February 9th, 2022
“As an individual, above all, keep pushing forward. Keep setting your goals, just have it in your mind, and keep pushing, it’s okay to fail once you learn from it.”
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
CGA Ltd. (CGA)
Starting as a collective under the name Coconut Growers Association, CGA Ltd. has been pressing coconut oil since 1937 but has recently embarked on a brilliant rebranding and repositioning campaign in local and international markets. At the centre of these initiatives is Gabrielle Agostini.
Gabrielle alongside the CGA team started with rebranding existing soaps, margarines and oils in the CGA range before expanding into infused coconut cooking oils under the Constance Estate label. “Many of the brands in the range had not had a visual refresh or rebranding for some time. What we also realised is that we had all these great facets to the brand that were on-trend now – such as the fact that we have been producing vegan products that were sustainable and cruelty free and others that were on par with the clean beauty trends of today,” she added.
This allowed the R&D team to expand with another new label – Cedros Bay, an eye-catching all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare line, keenly taken up by Instagram influencers, and now available globally via Amazon and CGA’s websites. Agostini led their initiation into the cosmetics category in the same way she worked on the re-development of the other lines. “We didn’t simply repackage the products, in many cases we also updated the formulations and worked with regulatory agencies to ensure that they would meet global criteria, too. Our overall goal is really about changing our products so that they are healthy for your body but also safer for the environment too,” she included.
Much of the push into social media and new product development comes from Agostini herself. “I have really sensitive skin, so I understand the needs of people like me, in addition to the online surveys we did.
My background is actually in Medical Sciences and I’m also doing diploma studies in skincare right now, too.” An avid traveller, pre-pandemic, Agostini had been to every continent other than Antarctica on many travels to 52 countries. In 2017, she created a website under the brand www.thetrinitraveller.com before transitioning it to Instagram. “I wanted to show Trinis simple and cost-effective ways to travel and I spent a lot of time and effort in my blogs and content creation to make it a success,” she highlighted. From these digital media experiences for her brand, Agostini was able to bring new levels of vibrant aesthetics to the CGA brands. Her personal site would also win Best Caribbean Travel Blog Posting from the World Tourism Organization in 2017.
“We have been using social media at CGA as a means of connectivity and transparency with our customers. We also continue to explore new ideas as innovation is key at these times, as is always asking your customers for feedback,” Agostini advises. “However, as an individual, above all, keep pushing forward. Keep setting your goals, just have it in your mind, and keep pushing, it’s okay to fail once you learn from it.” That personal and professional approach has netted CGA numerous awards such as Green Manufacturer of the Year 2018 and Innovator of the Year 2019 and many kudos for Agostini’s role in it as well.
Article by: Kieran Andrew Khan