CARIFESTA XIII Grand Market gets underway today

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The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre  in Barbados was a buzz of activity on Friday in preparation for the opening of the CARIFESTA XIII Grand Market which will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017, at noon. Vendors and exhibitors were busy preparing their booths, mounting their displays and making general arrangements. Minister of Culture, Barbados Hon. Stephen Lashley was there to oversee the activities.

Our Communications Officer at CARIFESTA spoke to the Minister who said that all activities in the CARIFESTA XIII schedule are still on despite the disruption cause by Tropical Storm Harvey.   He also encouraged persons to visit the Grand Market and Buyers Shopping Mall to witness various aspects of the Region’s culture on display.

Stay tuned to this space for the video interview with Minister Lashley who will provide more details on what to look forward to at CARIFESTA XIII, including the opening ceremony which will now be on on Sunday, August 20, 2017, starting at the Queen’s Park Oval and culminating at the Kensington Oval.

Flashback to CARIFESTA XII – Haiti, 2015

CARIFESTA XIII runs from the 17-27 August 2017 in Barbados.

In the build up to this edition of the festival, the CARICOM Secretariat has produced a throwback magazine from CARIFESTA XII, held in Haiti in August 2015. This magazine (see above) includes highlights from the various performances and cultural presentations from two years ago,  which  should wet the appetite for what is expected to be a great regional cultural showcase in Barbados.

The magazine can also be accessed via this link https://issuu.com/caricom/docs/caricom_view_-_carifesta_xii__haiti (more…)

CARIFESTA a gateway to EPA – Minister Lashley

CARIFESTA_XIII-LOGO-WHITE-GLOW

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Barbados is leveraging its $6 million investment in CARIFESTA XIII against the opportunities to break into the European Union’s (EU) cultural industries market.

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley contends the region has been “slow” in taking advantage of the opportunities offered through the EU/Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Monday he told the media: “We are strategically trying to position our creatives to make that agreement a living document and, of course, working with our various partners in the EU and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) we want to ensure after CARIFESTA there is a strategic focus on gaining market share.”

Lashley said CARIFESTA was one of the first moves to translate the artistic talent of the Caribbean into revenue and to prepare its artistic developers for the bigger markets. To date $2.5 million of the $6 million budgeted for the Festival has been spent, he said.

Read more at: Nation News

Coconut industry benefits from CARDI project

Coconut heaven

Since the implementation of the Caribbean Coconut Industry Development Project two-and-a-half years ago, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) has made several strides in improving the local coconut industry through training as well as the establishment of new nurseries among other targeted initiatives.

The four-year project was undertaken through a partnership between CARDI and the International Trade Centre (ITC), with funding provided by the European Union. It was aimed at improving income and employment opportunities, food security, and overall competitiveness of the Caribbean coconut sector.

Participating countries in the project include Jamaica, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and Suriname, among others in the region.

According to CARDI country representative for Jamaica Dr Gregory Robin, Jamaica has the most organised coconut industry board in the region and so a partnership was developed with the local Coconut Industry Board, which had established a national stakeholder platform that addresses all the issues along the value chain, from production to the manufacturing of coconut water, oils and soaps.

Read more at: Jamaica Observer

 

Caribbean condiment exports heat up

Baron Foods Ltd. exports 50% of its production to over 25 countries (Photo via Spore)
Baron Foods Ltd. exports 50% of its production to over 25 countries (Photo via Spore)

From sweet preserves to spicy sauces, regional condiment agro-processers are investing in certification and standardisation in order to sustainably enter the highly developed international ethnic and gourmet export markets.

The value of the global condiment market is expected to rise to €20.29 billion by 2020, with urbanisation, higher disposable incomes, and growing interest in world cuisine increasing the demand for exotic sauces in North America and Europe. International sales of sauces and mixed condiments from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries is less than €44 million, presenting an opportunity to harness the export and growth potential of Caribbean condiment brands and novel products.

The Caribbean’s main spice and condiment crops are hot peppers, nutmeg, mace, pimento, ginger and cinnamon, with key exports coming from Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

In the 1970s, Jamaica’s Busha Browne Company became the first regional agro-processor to export jerk seasoning (a spice mix native to Jamaica) to the US. Today the firm also exports to Australia, Canada, England and New Zealand. In fact, Jamaica recently took a giant step to support its jerk seasoning exporters’ by becoming the first English-speaking Caribbean country to register an indigenous product, ‘jerk’, under the international geographical indication system.

Read more at: Spore