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

CET, Rules of Origin critical to viability, competitiveness of indigenous industries – Review Consultation hears

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The protection of indigenous industries to ensure their viability and competitiveness on the global market and the harmonisation of rates across CARICOM were among the key concerns raised at a Consultation on the revision of CARICOM’s two trade instruments.

The trade and revenue instruments are the CARICOM Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin.

At the brief opening ceremony of the one-day Consultation on 25 July, 2017, at the CARICOM Secretariat, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr.Joseph Cox called for frank discourse against the background that the CET in its current format, was not sustainable and was not serving the purpose for which it was originally intended.

He said order, structure and modernisation were necessary for the instruments to work for the Region.

Regional stakeholders at the Consultation acknowledged the importance of the CET and the RoO to the economic growth of the Region. They recommended the careful consideration of derogations of the CET on some products, as well as the implementation of a modernised and simplified version of the Rules of Origin.

Consultant, Mr. Dan Ciuriek, said that the review of the regime was to ready it for free circulation, a fully functioning CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and to be effective as a springboard into the global economy.

Listen as Mr. Bernard Black, Senior Project Officer, Customs and Trade Policy at the CARICOM Secretariat, provides some insight into the discussion and the next steps that are to be taken.

Parliamentarians fighting against hunger in Latin America, Caribbean

Bridgetown, Barbados  – The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean in Barbados, last month hosted parliamentarians from 13 CARICOM Member States to address the issues of food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition in the region.

Member States represented were: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.  The participants featured one parliamentary representative of the sitting government and one representative of the parliamentary opposition – per country.

FAO has worked with countries around the world to establish parliamentary fronts against hunger, the aim being for both government and opposition, through a bipartisan parliamentary motion, to express a commitment and to work together towards reducing hunger to zero in their countries. (more…)