|C.Kersten & Co N.V. (Kersten) is not only part of the rich Surinamese history, but also assumes responsibility for the future of Suriname. For 239 years now the company has committed itself to the purpose of allowing the community to share in her successes. In Suriname Kersten is the only company with such a large number of subsidiary company’s united under one parent company. These are companies active in different sectors such as tourism, mining, auto dealership, building & construction, energy, healthcare and real estate.|
Since her establishment Kersten has manifested great social responsibility towards the community. She is known for her dedication towards building and contributing to the quality of the communities in which she operates.
Kersten and the Berg en Dal plantation
Kersten has been the owner of the Berg en Dal plantation since 1970. This plantation, approximately 2470 ha in size, is situated on the banks of the Suriname River in the district of Brokopondo. Berg en Dal has always played an important role in the history of Suriname. Aside from (past) activities in gold and timber the plantation can boast of an unequaled rich cultural and historical heritage. Mentionable are the cemetery on the Blauwe Berg (Blue Mountain), the historical village center, the church, the police station and the old gold mines. Regrettably, this heritage area has greatly deteriorated because of the large migration to the capital city and because of the lack of economic activity in the area.
Also the domestic war which raged through the interior of Suriname in the eighties has had great negative impact on the plantation.
Several local families have lived on the plantation for generations. These families have united in the “Stichting Plantage Berg en Dal” (Berg en Dal Plantation Foundation). Over the years Kersten has always maintained a good relationship with this Foundation. In 2006 two agreements were signed between the Foundation and Kersten. Among other things these agreements specify that an area of approximately 40-48 ha of the plantation, outside of the immediate resort area, is set as new residential area for the local families. With these agreements a favorable precedent has been set for the united and harmonious implementation of the planned Project with the local families in the near future.
With the traditional authority of the area, contact has been placed at an early stage. Recently a krutu (meeting) was held in which the Project was presented to the local communities. Inhabitants of the surrounding villages are convinced that their traditional culture will remain intact and eagerly anticipate the start of the Project.
The Berg en Dal Project
In 2006 the Kersten Board of Directors approved the Berg en Dal project.
The project is an integrated plan for the development of the area. The plan is fully based upon sustainable development of the environment, our historical heritage, and the surrounding communities. The project will not only benefit and contribute to the tourism industry but also to the local population. One of the goals is the creation of a unique tourist experience in the area, with great appeal for the international, regional and local tourist markets. The focus will also be on the up till now non traditional tourist markets such as the USA and Canada.
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