Rose, Lime Company (E)

L. Rose and Lime Company was one of the most successful agricultural companies ever based in Dominica. It contributed to the most prosperous period that the island experienced at the height of the green lime trade from 1903 to the mid 1920s and continued to operate here until 1980. The company was first established at Leigh, Edinburgh, Scotland in 1865 by Mr. Lauchlan Rose. It manufactured the world famous "Roses Lime Juice Cordial' and lime marmalade. L. Rose & Co. purchased Bath and Elmshall estates in Dominica from William Davies in 1891 and converted the old sugar factory to the processing of limes. In 1906 the company started the manufacture of calcium citrate and in 1921 a factory was erected at Bath Estate for the production of citric acid crystals. Rose and Co. was the main buyer of limes and lime products from across the island. After World War II, it held Picard Estate for some years and then purchased Soufriere Estate (1950), St. Aroment (1958) and Canefield and Wallhouse in the 1960s. In 1957 the company was bought over by Schweppes Ltd., the largest single group of soft drink manufacturers in Britain, which in turn merged with Cadbury, the chocolate manufacturers. In 1960 Roses entered the shipping agency business with offices on the Bayfront. At Soufriere there had been significant upgrading of equipment including a jetty for shipping and a cableway or "coulees" fro getting limes from Morne Acouma across the valley to the factory. The villages of Soufriere and Scott's Head were heavily dependant on the company for employment. In 1974 a large grapefruit and orange juicing plant was opened at Bath Estate, but within months the factory proved to be a failure. By 1978, changes in the world economy, political upheaval here, management problems and a concentration by the parent company on more significant investments in Ghana and Cameroon in Africa caused L. Rose and Co. to pull out of Dominica. Already St. Aroment was being subdivided for housing , Canefield, Bath and Elmshall estates were sold to government and Wallhouse was sold to Leo Emanuel, while Soufriere Estate was handed over to the government as a parting gift in 1980.




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