Despite the challenges supermarkets and their workers faced over the past two years, the Supermarket Association (SATT) president Rajiv Diptee said their dedication should not go unnoticed and unrewarded.
He made the comment on Saturday at the formal presentation to Xtra Foods Supermarket with the SATT people’s choice supermarket chain of the year 2021 award, at Xtra Foods Endeavour, Chaguanas branch.
Diptee said the SATT members have and continued to risk their lives in the pandemic to ensure that food items were made available to the population, and the workers should be classified as heroes.
“The members off SATT have been serving you tirelessly, risking their lives as frontliners and giving back to the nation to ensure that you have been fed and you have been taken care of during the pandemic.
“We are very grateful to the heroes, and make no mistake, I call them heroes, because they have been here since the initial lockdown in March 2020, risking their lives before vaccines were available,” Diptee said.
The SATT awards is in its 27th year and the people’s choice supermarket chain of the year 2021 award was a new addition to the slate. Another sub-award under the people’s choice award was the independent supermarket of the year award 2021, in which the Price Club Supermarket won in the Trinidad category and the Viewport Supermarket for the Tobago category.
Diptee said the people’s choice was created to recognise the efforts of the workers who continued to deliver consistently on standards and excellence.
Diptee said, “Today, we recognise Xtra Foods people’s choice supermarket chain of the year 2021 and we recognise they have consistently done these standards of excellence and services.”
Xtra Foods has five branches — Chaguanas Main Road, Endeavour, Grand Bazaar, Arima and Sangre Grande.
President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce Richie Sookhai said Xtra Foods has shown resilience and growth, expanding from a supermarket on Chaguanas Main Road to a major supermarket franchise.
“It is a proud day not just for Xtra Foods, but Chaguanas and the business community as a whole. They have grown into a mega food giant in the food supply industry. We are proud to see how they have grown and how they have helped the communities uplift the areas in which they have gone into,” Sookhai said.
He added that SATT continued to invest and uphold the country’s interest, especially in a pandemic, through its vaccination drives and outreach.