CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, said matters under consideration at the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) presented an opportunity to provide solutions that would advance the regional integration movement.
He was speaking on Wednesday morning at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, during the opening session of the Forty-Sixth Meeting of the COTED.
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.