Saint Lu­cian Prod­ucts At­tract In­ter­est

Leads se­cured for DR, Dubai, US, France, OECS, Ba­hamas and Mar­tinique.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Fur­ther to our ar­ti­cle on page 9 of this edi­tion’s ‘Busi­ness Mat­ters’, the feed­back is that Saint Lu­cian prod­ucts made a huge splash at the just con­cluded Agroal­i­men­ta­ria 2017 trade show in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic (DR).

Brands and prod­uct lines on dis­play at Agroal­i­men­ta­ria 2017 were St. Lu­cia Dis­tillers with the Chair­man’s Re­serve line of rums; Jack­man’s Co­conut Oil, Honey Pep­per Sauce and Honey Based Vine­gar; the An­til­lia Brew­ing Com­pany with its line of flavoured beers; Rain­for­est Foods Bread­fruit Flour, Sweet Potato Gra­nola, Sweet Potato Flour, and the Baron Foods range of Baron Sauces.

The TEPA con­tin­gent re­ports that sup­pli­ers were es­pe­cially im­pressed by the orig­i­nal­ity and unique­ness of prod­ucts such as the sweet potato and bread­fruit flour and the sweet potato gra­nola, as well as the craft beers and the honey based vine­gar and pep­per sauce. The tastes of the rums of St. Lu­cia Dis­tillers and the su­pe­rior pack­ag­ing of Baron’s sauces were also a per­suad­ing fac­tor for many sup­pli­ers.

De­spite a very com­pet­i­tive condi­ments mar­ket in the DR, TEPA man­aged to show­case Baron’s Pep­per sauce at a na­tion­ally tele­vised cook­ing show hosted as part of the trade event, out of which leads were se­cured with sup­pli­ers in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, Mar­tinique and Spain.

As with condi­ments, the vir­gin co­conut oil mar­ket also proved very com­pet­i­tive. Ef­forts will con­tinue to lever­age the in­ter­est ex­pressed by two Do­mini­can Repub­lic sup­pli­ers.

St. Lu­cia Dis­tillers’ prized rums, Chair­man’s Spice, Chair­man’s Re­serve and Chair­man’s Re­serve White, were the Saint Lu­cia rums fea­tur­ing among the sev­eral Caribbean rum lines par­tic­i­pat­ing. Chair­man’s Spice was noted as a favourite among the sam­plers, at­tract­ing in­ter­est from dis­trib­u­tors in France and Turks and Caicos.

An­til­lia Brew­ing Com­pany’s flavoured beers gen­er­ated in­ter­est on the strength of their nov­elty. TEPA is hope­ful that in­ter­est shown from the Turks and Caicos, Ba­hamas, United States and the Do­mini­can Repub­lic will trans­late into more busi­ness and new mar­kets for the com­pany.

The Agroal­i­men­ta­ria trade show is recog­nised as one of the most im­por­tant Food In­dus­try trade fairs in the Caribbean re­gion. De­spite Saint Lu­cia and the DR be­ing sig­na­to­ries to the CARIFORUM trade agree­ment, there has been very lit­tle trade by Saint Lu­cia in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic due in great part to ship­ping, lan­guage bar­ri­ers and exclusive dis­trib­u­tor­ship agree­ments.

Mr. Jer­son Badal, Di­rec­tor of Client Ser­vices Delivery, said that given these fac­tors, it was im­por­tant for TEPA to “do its ut­most to lever­age the op­por­tu­ni­ties which the event pre­sented. By par­tic­i­pat­ing, TEPA could ex­ploit the op­por­tu­nity to forge part­ner­ships with the key stake­hold­ers in the com­merce sec­tor in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic”. This aim was re­alised as TEPA was suc­cess­ful in se­cur­ing meet­ings with key play­ers from the Cham­ber of Com­merce and the DR Cen­tre for Ex­port and In­vest­ment who “were ex­cited about in­creas­ing trade and co­op­er­a­tion be­tween our two coun­tries,” he con­cluded.

The trade event ran from Thurs­day May 18 - 20. It is an ini­tia­tive of the Do­mini­can Agroin­dus­try Board (JAD) and the Do­mini­can trade and in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion of­fice.

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