Caribbean Export apoya a las PYMES de la República Dominicana y Haití a presentar sus productos en el Salon Du Chocolat 2022 en Paris, Francia

República Dominciana y Haití se hicieron presentes de manera conjunta en el importante evento internacional Salon du Chocolat 2022 en Paris, Francia que tuvo lugar del 28 de octubre hasta el 1 noviembre de 2022. Este es el evento más grande dedicado a la industria chocolatera con más de 200 expositores de diferentes países que llenaron los más de 20,000 metros cuadrados del Pabellón 5 de Porte de Versailles.

Las empresas que participaron por parte de Haití fueron AYITIKA SA, productores de cacao y chocolate y la Federación de Cooperativas de Cacaoteros del Norte (FECCANO), quienes son una federación de ocho cooperativas produciendo cacao en el norte de Haití. De la República Dominicana participaron Chocolala SRL, una cooperativa de mujeres productoras de cacao y chocolate en Puerto Plata; el Grupo CONACADO, uno de los productores y transformadores de cacao más grande del país con más de 33 años de experiencia; ProAgro, una mediana empresa expandiendose a mercados internacionales con su producción de chocolate en polvo y su marca La Criollita; y Recursos Globales, una empresa familiar destacada por su marca CacaoMae que elabora chocolate y otros productos derivados del cacao.

Estas seis empresas fueron solo unas de las varias que conforman la Cadena de Valor Binacional de Cacao/Chocolate que Caribbean Export lanzó como parte de las acciones que implementa en el marco del Componente de Comercio y Apoyo al Sector Privado del Programa Binacional de Cooperación entre Haití y la República Dominicana. Esta iniciativa forma parte de las acciones de la estrategia ampliada que busca mejorar el diálogo binacional privado-privado, así como mejorar la competitividad de las empresas haitianas y dominicanas con miras a la consolidación de la cooperación institucional entre ambos países. Las acciones de este programa cuentan con el apoyo técnico y financieron que la Unión Europea provee mediante el 11mo. Fondo Europeo para el Desarrollo. El Director Ejecutivo Adjunto de Caribbean Export, el Sr. Leo Naut, informó que: “La Cadena de Valor Binacional de Cacao/Chocolate cubre el espectro completo de la industria teniendo entre sus beneficiarios productores de cacao, transformadores del mismo y chocolateros de renombre. En Salon du Chocolat las empresas participantes recbieron una inmensa acogida del público presente, y de la misma manera han tendio la oportunidad de establecer lazos con posibles socios comerciales en la Unión Europea y los demás mercados de relevancia.”

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Enfrentarse a la mayor feria alimentaria del mundo

Esta semana, el equipo de Caribbean Export presentará catorce marcas caribeñas en la mayor feria bianual del mundo, SIAL, en París (Francia). Se esperan más de 310.000 visitantes durante los cinco días que van del14 al19 de octubre, y las empresas caribeñas se exhibirán en el pabellón Absolutamente Caribeño.

Entre las empresas expositoras se encuentran nuevas marcas como Only Coconuts de Precision Global Inc., que cuenta con 30.000 m2. En la planta de procesamiento de última generación de Guyana, con certificación no GMO y HACCP, se produce una gama de productos a base de coco que son 100% puros y naturales.

Con una nueva imagen, VincyFresh (antes Winfresh) sigue presentando sus auténticas marinadas, salsas y condimentos y promete ayudarle a “vivir bien” utilizando los mejores ingredientes cultivados en el rico suelo volcánico de San Vicente y las Granadinas.

Otros productores de salsas y condimentos que también se presentan son Superb Blend, de Jays Enterprises, de Barbados, la gama orgánica y natural Flauriels, de San Cristóbal y Nieves, y la pasta de cúrcuma natural Truly Turmeric, de Belice, de Naledo. El productor surinamés GOM Food Industries también ofrece sus salsas sin gluten, veganas, Halal y sin GMS para la exportación.

Para los chocolateros, el ganador del Great Taste Award 2022, Cacoa Sainte Lucia, está atrayendo a la multitud que busca probar el galardonado chocolate vegano 100% cacoa y las almendras de chocolate negro Premium. Además, el productor haitiano Choko Lakay fermenta los granos de cacao, haciéndolos más oscuros y de sabor más dulce con un perfil suave.

El café Jamaican Blue Mountain, de Country Traders, es el que mejor combina con el chocolate. Podría decirse que es el mejor café del mundo, este café suave como la seda, equilibrado y con cuerpo está disponible para la exportación y obtiene sus granos directamente de los agricultores locales de las Montañas Azules de Jamaica.

En lo que respecta a las bebidas, el Caribe es ampliamente conocido como la cuna del ron, y mientras damos la bienvenida a los rones de primera calidad de la República Dominicana, con Chicaron (un ron de canela), J&J Spirits y St. Lucia Distillers, tenemos el viñedo y la bodega V’Toria Rhonda, propiedad de mujeres.

V’Toria Rhonda ofrece seis vinos innovadores, exóticos y de frutas tropicales, mezclados con distintas variedades de uva.

Y después de probar todos los alimentos y bebidas disponibles de los 200 países en SIAL, asegúrese de comprobar los suplementos dietéticos a base de hierbas 100% naturales traídos al mercado por Natural Organic’s LLC. Sus suplementos tienen como objetivo desintoxicar el organismo, luchar contra la inflamación, regular los niveles de azúcar en sangre y reducir el colesterol, entre otros.

La tendencia de la cúrcuma no muestra signos de desaceleración

La cúrcuma ha estado en el primer escalón de la tabla de “alimentos de moda” durante los últimos cinco años y sigue siendo uno de los ingredientes más buscados por los consumidores preocupados por la salud.

La “especia dorada” se ha utilizado durante siglos en la medicina tradicional y herbaria, así como en la cocina india y asiática, pero su popularidad mundial ha aumentado en los últimos tiempos debido a sus probados beneficios para la salud como los llamados “nutracéuticos”.

El interés del público por la capacidad de esta especia para aliviar la inflamación, mejorar la función hepática, aliviar el dolor crónico y ayudar a la digestión, ha hecho que se busque como suplemento y en una serie de productos alimenticios.

La cúrcuma y su principal ingrediente activo, la curcumina, pueden encontrarse ahora como ingrediente añadido en varios artículos de los estantes del supermercado, como salsas, batidos, sopas, tés, aderezos para ensaladas e incluso productos envasados como los cereales. También se puede utilizar como parte de un aliño para la carne o el pescado, y su característico color amarillo anaranjado añade viveza al queso, la mostaza y los condimentos secos, sin afectar al sabor.

La aparición de la cúrcuma como “alimento a tener en cuenta” comenzó cuando los datos de Google Trends registraron un aumento del 300% en las búsquedas de la misma entre febrero de 2012 y febrero de 2016. Esto hizo que la especia apareciera como la tendencia alimentaria número uno en el informe “Food Trends 2016: U.S.”, junto con otros alimentos que también siguen acaparando la atención, como el jackfruit, el arroz de coliflor y el pan de masa madre.

Desde 2016, la cúrcuma ha sido mencionada constantemente en la conversación de “alimentos de moda” y no se espera que eso termine pronto. De hecho, una investigación del CBI fechada en enero de 2022 reveló que “en todo el mundo, y también en Europa, se prevé que el consumo de cúrcuma longa (también conocida como cúrcuma) aumente más de un 10% al año en los próximos cinco años.”

El CBI añadió: “Es probable que la tendencia de dietas más saludables siga siendo el principal motor de la evolución del mercado alimentario en las próximas décadas. Esta tendencia tendrá un impacto positivo en la demanda de especias como la cúrcuma longa”.

Abastecerse de cúrcuma en su forma más pura es una forma de asegurarse de estar a la cabeza de la demanda. Esta especia se cultiva en varias partes del mundo, incluido el Caribe, y es más potente cuando está fresca y sin cultivar.

La empresa Naledo, con sede en Belice, lleva la delantera en este sentido, ya que fue el primer fabricante del mundo de pasta de raíz entera de cúrcuma silvestre.

Fundada por madre e hija Umeeda y Nareena Switlo en 2016, Naledo es una empresa social que trabaja directamente con más de 300 pequeños cultivadores con sede en Toledo, Belice, para crear un producto que se produce de forma sostenible desde el bosque hasta la mesa con un impacto mínimo en el medio ambiente.

Naledo ha obtenido un amplio reconocimiento y premios por sus productos de cúrcuma 100% naturales, que también incluyen zumos frescos e incluso una línea de cuidado de la piel. También se ha ganado la admiración por su compromiso de pagar a sus agricultores seis veces más que el precio de comercio justo por sus productos.

La empresa participará en la próxima feria Speciality & Fine Food Fair, que se celebrará del 5 al 6 de septiembre de 2022 en Olympia, Londres, como parte del pabellón “Absolutely Caribbean “, compuesto por pequeñas empresas apoyadas por la Agencia de Desarrollo de las Exportaciones del Caribe y la Unión Europea.

En el evento, Naledo mostrará su producto estrella “Truly Turmeric”, que se presenta en cuatro tamaños y dos sabores: original y pimienta negra. La lista de ingredientes del sabor original es cúrcuma de raíz entera, aceite de coco prensado en frío, zumo de lima fresco y sal marina. La pimienta negra cultivada en los bosques de Belice se añade a la gama de pimienta negra.

La variedad de cúrcuma que cultiva el equipo de Naledo se llama Allepey y tiene el color más intenso y el sabor más profundo de todos los tipos de cúrcuma. La cúrcuma de Allepey tiene normalmente alrededor de un 5% de curcuminoides, pero la de Naledo tiene un 7,6% de curcuminoides, según el sitio web de la empresa.

La pasta “Truly Turmeric” de Naledo se vende actualmente en más de 1.000 minoristas de Canadá, América, Reino Unido y Europa, así como en línea.

El sabor, el aroma y la historia de Naledo han hecho que destaque en el abarrotado mercado de la cúrcuma, que se ha visto impulsado por la pandemia del COVID-19.

Desde que la crisis sanitaria mundial se instaló en febrero y marzo de 2020, los datos de Google Trends han puesto de manifiesto un aumento del 670% en las búsquedas mundiales de “alimentos” y “sistema inmunitario”. Y se prevé que el sector mundial de los nutracéuticos tenga un valor de 722.000 millones de dólares (EE.UU.) en 2027, con unas ventas en el segmento de alimentos y bebidas que refuerzan el sistema inmunitario que superarán los 17.000 millones de dólares (EE.UU.) en 2025.

Por lo tanto, no es probable que el interés del público por la cúrcuma y sus beneficios para la salud disminuya pronto, por lo que parece probable que esta “tendencia” pueda convertirse en algo más que una fase pasajera.

Absolutamente listo para la Feria de Especialidades y Alimentos Finos

A sólo siete días de que se abran las puertas de la Speciality and Fine Food Fair 2022, diez empresas absolutamente caribeñas están listas para presentar su gama de productos durante dos días en Olympia, Londres, del 5 al 6 de septiembre de 2022.

Entre las empresas auténticamente caribeñas figuran Naledo (Belice), Superb Blend (Barbados) Old Duppy (Barbados), Flauriel (San Cristóbal y Nieves), Pringa’s (San Vicente y las Granadinas), Shavuot (Jamaica), St Lucia Distillers (Santa Lucía), Kalembu (República Dominicana) y Antillia Brewing Company (Santa Lucía), CariBelle Foods (Trinidad y Tobago).

Las empresas, que se presentarán en un pabellón con la marca “Absolutamente Caribe”, cuentan con el apoyo de la Agencia de Desarrollo de las Exportaciones del Caribe, en colaboración con la Unión Europea, y pretenden atraer a los principales compradores y distribuidores europeos.

El5 de septiembre, a las 11:30 horas, Caribbean Export organizará una visita guiada para los medios de comunicación al stand, lo que dará a la prensa la oportunidad de conocer de primera mano los productos que han suscitado interés.

De hecho, el productor de pasta de cúrcuma de raíz entera “Naledo” ha conseguido que su producto “Truly Turmeric” sea seleccionado por el prestigioso consultor de chefs Steve Walpole para ser utilizado en el programa “Taste the Trends Kitchen ” el6 de septiembre a las 10 de la mañana.

Los visitantes del stand también pueden participar en un concurso para ganar un viaje a Santa Lucía, por cortesía de St Lucia Distillers y la Oficina de Turismo de Santa Lucía.

Acompáñenos en la Feria de Especialidades y Alimentos Finos y haga un viaje por las islas del Caribe para descubrir la gama de productos, desde las ardientes salsas de pimiento picante, los sabrosos condimentos naturales y orgánicos hasta las bebidas alcohólicas, como la cerveza artesanal caribeña, el ron y la mamajuana. Descubra también productos artesanales de cúrcuma silvestre, tés naturales y productos “free from”.

Nos vemos allí.

Win a trip image

ProNET – Fortalecimiento de la capacidad de las empresas

En 2010, Caribbean Export, en colaboración con Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), lanzó el programa modular ProNET.

Originalmente dirigido a empresas manufactureras que quieren desarrollar su negocio y ser más competitivas, con nueve módulos en estrategia comercial, gestión de calidad, producción, desarrollo de productos, gestión del conocimiento, gestión de recursos humanos y gestión financiera, el Desde entonces, el programa ProNET se ha ampliado con un nuevo módulo centrado en la gestión de la energía y las energías renovables.

El programa se basa en una Metodología de aprendizaje experiencial y es un estudio de caso basado e impulsado por ejemplos prácticos y tareas que utilizan técnicas como trabajo en grupo y ejercicios de aprendizaje estructurado, discusión abierta, sesiones de lluvia de ideas y trabajo de campo.

Ahora estamos buscando revisar el curso y actualizarlo de acuerdo a sus necesidades.

Si ha participado en un curso de ProNET, su aporte es muy importante para nosotros y lo invitamos a completar esta encuesta.

¡Agradecemos su tiempo y sus comentarios!

Ampliación del apoyo a Surinam

Surinam, ubicado en la costa nororiental de América del Sur, es uno de los quince países que componen CARIFORUM y ha sido la sede de nuestro equipo ejecutivo esta semana.

Nuestro Director Ejecutivo, Deodat Maharaj, junto con Damie Sinanan, Gerente de Competitividad y Promoción de Exportaciones, sostuvieron reuniones de alto nivel con el Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, Negocios Internacionales y Cooperación Internacional, Min. Albert Ramchand Ramdin; ellos en. de Finanzas y Planificación – Armand Achibersing y el Ministro de Asuntos Económicos, Emprendimiento e Innovación Tecnológica – Min. Saskia Walden (MBA, CFE) para presentar la nueva dirección estratégica de la Agencia y construir relaciones para apoyar el desarrollo del sector privado en Surinam.

From left: Damie Sinanan, Min. Walden and Deodat Maharaj

Caribbean Export, con financiamiento de la Unión Europea ha estado brindando apoyo a Surinam. Desde 2017, unas 187 personas de Surinam han participado en las actividades de Caribbean Export y, hasta el momento, se han otorgado más de US$147 000 a empresas a través de nuestros diversos programas de subvenciones. Mientras buscamos construir negocios, transformar vidas para un Caribe más fuerte, la inversión es un requisito fundamental para hacer realidad nuestra visión. Como tal, se ha propuesto la facilitación de una Cumbre de Inversión Virtual de Surinam y bien podría estar en las cartas pronto.

El Dr. Sinanan también se reunió con varias partes interesadas sobre el terreno, incluidas De Associatie van Surinaamse Fabrikanten (ASFA), Vereniging Surinaams Bedrijfsleven (VSB) y el Centro de Desarrollo Empresarial de Surinam en un esfuerzo por ampliar el alcance de nuestras intervenciones con más empresas surinamesas en el futuro.

Caribbean Export continúa trabajando asiduamente para fortalecer nuestras relaciones con las partes interesadas clave y fomentar nuevas alianzas que puedan expandir nuestra cartera de servicios para apoyar el desarrollo del sector privado, la transformación de nuestras economías y la creación de empleos para nuestra gente.

El ministro Shaw anuncia millones de dólares en inversiones agrícolas

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw has announced millions of dollars in investments in the agricultural sector.

Among them is a US$95-million investment to create a certified organic high-tech greenhouse farm in Goshen, St. Elizabeth, “which will be the largest, by far, in the region”, he said.

He informed that the joint-venture project “will be undertaken on a 200-acre property over a seven-year period, and will specialise in Heritage and Heirloom produce, TOV tomatoes, bell peppers, bush beans, garlic, strawberries, cucumbers, sweet corn, watermelon, and other assortments of fresh produce”.

The Minister was addressing the opening day of the virtual Caribbean AGTECH Investment Summit 2021 (CATIS 2021 on Tuesday (October 5).

He further cited the US$6-million JFVL Agriculture Project, which will deliver fresh fruits and vegetables for the domestic market, including satisfying demand from the tourism sector.

The joint venture equity investment is centred on the establishment of a state-of-the-art fully integrated supply chain operation.

“The project involves the production, warehousing, cold storage, and multi-channel distribution of fresh produce on the domestic market,” the Minister said.

JFVL’s business model involves the engagement of contract farmers to farm a 600-acre property in Hill Run, St. Catherine, under the company’s direct management, Mr. Shaw said, noting that a feasibility study on the project has been completed.

In addition, the Minard Estate Farm in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, will be expanded under a public-private partnership to increase live animals, beef production, semen, and embryo production, and a 500-acre Agro Park will be built in St. Thomas, under joint-venture equity.

“It (agro park) will be a leading global development site for climate-smart agriculture production, resulting in import replacement of highly valued crops for distribution and export,” the Minister said.

The virtual Caribbean AGTECH Investment Summit was organised by the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency and its partner, the Caribbean Agribusiness Association (CABA).

The three-day Summit was aimed at promoting the Caribbean as a destination for investment in high-tech agribusiness ventures, with a focus on the production of crops, meat, and seafood, as well as value-added products from the region using smart technologies.

Written by: Garfield L. Angus and originally published by the Jamaica Information Service

Construyendo una Asociación de Comercio e Inversión con Rising Africa

Many Caribbean countries mark Emancipation in the month of August. Indeed, the CARICOM Community celebrates this historical milestone on 1st August annually.  During this time, we reflect on the end of slavery which will forever remain a stain etched on the collective conscience of humanity.  We use the remembrance of Emancipation to celebrate the deep and inextricable bonds we as Caribbean people have with Africa. Thus far, these connections have largely remained in the historical, cultural and people spheres. This must change to also include translating our excellent ties into trade and investment relationships that will redound to the benefit of people here in our Region and in Africa.

For those who follow developments in Africa, May 2019 marked the dawn of an exciting chapter in the continent’s continued ascent. It ushered in the start of the African Continental Free Trade Area with a cogent and compelling vision with Africa as one mega free trade area.  Just in terms of countries participating, it is already the largest free trade area in the world given the number of states who are members. Africa’s rise is also eloquently illustrated by the data. Whilst the entire world is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and most countries and Regions like ours showing negative growth, the African Economic Outlook done by the African Development Bank noted that real GDP is expected to grow by 3.4 percent despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Countries such as Mozambique have been receiving record levels of foreign direct investment. Yet, whilst Asian countries led by China have been rushing to Africa, we have largely lagged behind in terms of pursuing an aggressive trade and investment relationship with Africa. The opportunities to partner with Africa and a market of an estimated 1.4 billion people are immense.  As we seek to advance an agenda for a resilient Caribbean, it is not only important to shore up existing trade partnerships but to also look to new relationships on the trade and investment front. The world is changing and so must we.

In terms of trade data, according to the United Nations’ International Trade Centre trade map, CARIFORUM countries (CARICOM and the Dominican Republic) exported US$249.2 million worth of goods to Africa in 2018 which grew to US$601.4 million in 2019. Though this is a step in the right direction it is still a fraction of what can be realised once we make a concerted push to Africa. The obvious question is then, how we go about ramping up our commercial relationship with Africa.

Firstly, we need to shift from political diplomacy to one that includes a commercial focus giving Africa the priority it deserves.  Some progress has been made on this front with the establishment of missions in several African capitals by Caribbean countries. We are also seeing results. Just last month, I participated in the signing ceremony where Caribbean companies Global Integrated Fintech Solutions (GIFTS) and IPayAnywhere (Global) signed an MOU with Nigerian giant TelNet relating to the provision of a range of payment services. What was different about this relationship is that it ushered in a partnership focused on the new economy and not the classic relationship in the trade of commodities. The Barbados High Commission in Ghana played an instrumental role in bringing this to reality hence the emphasis on strong commercial representation. Similarly, the joint mission of CARICOM countries established in Nairobi, Kenya must pursue the same objective with a focus on East and Southern Africa.

Secondly, as we build a relationship with Africa and seek to also attract tourists from the continent, we must also deepen our relationship in the services sector other than tourism.   We already have Caribbean expertise serving in Africa in places like Mozambique supporting the development of their energy sector. However, this is individual and ad hoc. We need to be more systematic and look to areas such as tourism where we have demonstrated expertise and find ways of marketing our knowledge in such areas to countries where this assistance is required.

Thirdly, as the youngest continent on the planet with approximately 60 percent of the population under the age of 25 and with a growing middle class, there is immense potential for our creative sector. For example, Caribbean music remains popular in Africa, but we need to be more proactive in identifying the market opportunities and support our artistes in accessing them through digital and other platforms building on initial efforts such as the successful collaboration between Caribbean Soca artistes like Machel Montano from Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria’s Timaya. By focusing our creative sector on Africa’s vibrant young people, we will be building a relationship for years to come.    

Finally, it is important to underline that building this relationship with Africa and its private sector is not only the remit of the governments across the Region. Business has an important role to play in reaching out to Africa as has been done by institutions such as Republic Bank which has established operations in Ghana. Private sector organisations such as the chambers of commerce and manufacturers association need to also establish relationships with their counterparts on the continent. We at the Caribbean Export Development Agency recognise the importance of helping to build this bridge. This is precisely the reason why the identification of new trading relationships is an important part of our Strategic Plan for the period 2021 – 2024. We have already started initial outreach to institutions such as the East Africa Chamber of Commerce. As a Caribbean person who has lived, worked and travelled across Africa, I have seen first-hand the seismic shifts taking place on the continent. It is time we also make this pivot to Africa investing the requisite time, effort and energy. In a rapidly changing world, bolstering our relationship with Africa is no longer an option but should be a key element of our strategy to help build Caribbean resilience.

Riding the Wave of Success: Introducing Benjo’s Seamoss from Dominica

Sea moss, also referred to as Irish sea moss, is a type of red seaweed or algae found around the shores of the Caribbean, North America, and Europe.

On several Caribbean islands, sea moss has been used medicinally for centuries, but it has recently become increasingly popular around the world as a so-called superfood because of its various health benefits.

Pure or unrefined sea moss is high in antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C and D and contains zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and iodine.

Fast Facts

  • 92 of the 102 minerals that make up the bodys natural mineral composition can be found naturally in sea moss.
  • The commercial seaweed market to exceed $92 billion by 2025.
  • It is estimated that 56 million metric tonnes will be required per annum as an alternative protein source by 2054 representing 5.94% of global protein demand.

Sea moss is also versatile as it can be made into a jelly and added to all kinds of foods including smoothies, sauces, and soups. It can also be blended with milk, sweeteners, and other ingredients to make a healthy drink. 

Over 25 years ago, Dominican entrepreneur John Robin realised the potential for sea moss when he was studying in Canada for an associates degree in fisheries development.

John started working on a project around seaweed and that’s when he got the idea for his business Benjo’s Seamoss.

He recalls: I realised in the Caribbean that we have lots of people who know about sea moss in the various islands but nobody had commercialised it or made it readily available. My idea was to globalise the production and distribute sea moss around the world.

Seaweed presents tremendous backward linkages for agriculture in Dominica and the Caribbean. Seaweed has around 2,500 different applications so we need to utilise the potential of this product. Beverages is just one aspect.

When John returned to Dominica he set about researching ways to bottle sea moss, extend its shelf life, and build a Caribbean brand on the same level as American soft drinks giant Coca Cola.

He joined with a partner to establish his company and, after overcoming some initial spoilage and product development issues, they created their meal in a bottle concept which touted the nutritional health benefits of sea moss.

John explains: By consuming seaweed on a regular basis, the body can be purged of some of the impurities that we ingest through our food, water, and even the air that we breathe. The minerals in seaweed are also in the right quantities for the body to absorb and use on a daily basis, that’s why there is a global demand for sea moss right now.

Benjo’s Seamoss is made from seaweed that has been cultivated in the Caribbean. It currently comes in eight flavours; original, peanut, oats, linseed, pure, bois band, ginseng and ginger but can be adapted for individual markets.

John says: Once we get the sea moss we store it, wash it, boil and blend it and then mix it with other ingredients. We have a standard and well established formulation. Most people describe our product as the best tasting sea moss in the world.

John characterises his company as one of the most successful projects in the OECS. Benjo’s Seamoss is currently the largest drinks exporter from Dominica with 95% of the product being shipped to 20 countries in the Caribbean and worldwide.

John says the key to growing his company has been consistency along with customer service. We spend a lot of time on market research and continuously listening to the customer, John explains.

We try to determine what the customer needs, we respond to that, and then exceed their expectations. We continue to innovate, introduce new products, and have a professional approach to everything we do.

John is thankful for the support he has received from the Caribbean Export Development Agency, especially in terms of access to regional tradeshows, but wishes there was more emphasis on assisting well-established brands along with start-ups.

He suggests: I really think we need to focus on the movers and shakers in the Caribbean and provide sustainable support in a holistic way rather than a piecemeal offering. Our region has ideas, we have global products, but there is no coordinated strategy to help major exporters and that’s keeping us back.

We have to find ways to create viable, big companies that can impact whole economies by providing employment, generating foreign exchange, and addressing the imbalance of trade in our region.

John has been in business for more than a quarter of a century but he has no intention of slowing down. In fact, he has ambitious plans to advance the reach of Benjo’s Seamoss even further by expanding from a national to a global strategy.

He adds: We want to expand on the operation in Dominica but we also want to do more in different regions in the world. Shipping is expensive so it makes more sense to set up a factory in the US, Asia or Europe.

We want to be a truly global brand.

Best-selling UK chefs share tips and tricks for tasty Caribbean cuisine

Celebrity chefs Craig and Shaun McAnuff are known for their flavourful, modern and vibrant Caribbean recipes.

The brothers, who are British but with Jamaican roots, launched their Original Flava brand in 2016 with a series of YouTube cooking videos and within a month attracted 70,000 followers. In 2019, their book ‘Original Flava: Caribbean Recipes from Home was a best-seller.

Craig and Shaun are on a mission to shine the spotlight on Caribbean cuisine by showcasing some of the most authentic, accessible, and tasty ingredients the region has to offer.

They believe food brings people together and want to share the happiness they experienced as children from their mother and grandmother’s Caribbean cooking.

At Caribbean Export’s Absolutely Caribbean Virtual Expo, the brothers took part in a live panel discussion on the versatility of Caribbean food.

Craig shared details about their incredible culinary journey and also spoke about the increasing popularity of Caribbean food in Europe and the UK.

“I think the love for Caribbean food really knows no bounds”, Craig said.

“It has such a range of different and exciting flavours as well as the culture of the food. It has the feel good factor and many nutritional benefits…adding Caribbean fruit and vegetables to your dishes makes food a lot more colourful.”

In a pre-recorded video, Craig and Shaun used food products from several Caribbean manufacturers in their own recipes. They also shared five tasty tips on how these items can enhance every dish and bring the scintillating taste of the Caribbean into every home.

Watch the video for Craig and Shaun’s tips and tricks and read more below:

Tip 1 – If you’re looking for an alternative to ordinary flour, why not try gluten-free products using Caribbean staples like breadfruit, coconut, sweet potato or cassava. These products are light, tasty, healthy, and high in fibre. They are also ideal for making flavourful pancakes and dumplings.

The McAnuff brothers used O’s breadfruit flour to make dumplings to go with ackee and saltfish. Shaun said: “It takes a bit longer to work with, more kneading than usual, but the dumplings came out nice and fluffy. The flavour was also much stronger and better than normal flour.

Tip 2 Turmeric is widely recognised as a superfood but why use the powder when you can get 100% of the health benefits and taste from the root! Belizean-based company Naledo produces the world’s first whole-root turmeric paste called Truly Turmeric. This paste enhances the richness and flavour of curries and stews and can even be used in smoothies.

Craig added: Naledo’s turmeric paste was a real joy to work with. Using the root of the turmeric meant you could feel the zing, texture and deep rooted flavour. It’s also versatile. We loved it.”

Tip 3 Caribbean cuisine is known for its heat and one of the best ways to introduce some spice is with a quality hot pepper sauce like Eaton’s Jamaican Scotch Bonnet. Maximise the flavour of soups, jerk chicken and even gravy by adding the sauce 10 minutes before serving.

Shaun also suggests using pepper sauce to control the heat in your dishes: “You can tip a bit in and taste it as you go along to work out how much you need or don’t need. We also use the sauce in jerk seasoning as an alternative to fresh scotch bonnet.

Tip 4 Viking Mango Chutney is the perfect combination of sweetness and spice. It introduces freshness and flavour and can be used to accompany any dish or to jazz up a salad. Add some lemon, lime and a little bit of water to the chutney in a pan and bring it to a boil to make a warm, tangy Caribbean style vinaigrette.

Craig said the family history behind Viking Mango Chutney particularly resonated with the brothers as well as the company’s close work with local farmers in St Lucia.

He described the smell of the chutney as incredible and added: Salad can be dry and boring sometimes we like to use something sweet with ours. But you can’t always get the right fresh mango, especially in the UK, so this chutney was just perfect, and it tastes unbelievable.

Shaun said: Mango chutney is also really versatile. You can use it as a plantain chip dip, as a dressing, or for Doubles as well. It’s amazing and natural.

Tip 5 The root of the sarsaparilla plant, supplied by Jamrow in Jamaica, is known to have various health benefits especially in relation to relieving joint pain and inflammation. Sarsaparilla roots can be blended, grated or boiled in a pot of water to make a soothing medicinal drink. Try something new and experiment with this Caribbean herb.

Shaun said: We’re familiar with the sarsaparilla drink from when we were growing up, so we were intrigued to use the roots. We made an iced tea and a hot tea by blending it and putting it into tea bags. It was a dense and strong drink.

Craig added: We grew up on cerasee and lemongrass tea, so it was intriguing to work with sarsaparilla, and you could feel the nutritional benefits. Herbal teas are also a huge thing right now in the UK.

Speaking at the Absolutely Caribbean Virtual Expo, the brothers enthusiasm for Caribbean food was tangible and they reiterated their commitment to promoting it around the world.

Shaun revealed: The most important thing for us is to keep flying the flag for Caribbean food. We just want to make people aware of the array of natural flavours, spices, and remedies the Caribbean can show the world. We’ll keep making Caribbean recipes, putting the Caribbean flag on the map, and letting people know that this is the best food to go too.

He aquí por qué necesita asistir a #AbsolutelyCaribbean2020

If you haven’t heard already, Absolutely Caribbean, our first virtual event kicks off next week.  We have more than 50 producers exhibiting over the two days.  From organic beauty products to aged rum, hot pepper sauces and condiments, these are some of the best and most exciting producers from the Caribbean.

The event programme has shaped up nicely and is bursting with interesting sessions that you simply won’t want to miss.  Here are just some of the highlights –

Partners, Original Flava, will show us how versatile Caribbean products are in everyday cooking.  ITC-Alliances for Action will present a review on the main food trends and opportunities for the future.  There will be sessions on plant-based ingredients which have seen a surge in demand in recent years. Another will run through the history of rum, including a selection of some of the best ones available.  You’ll have the opportunity to learn all about trends, business innovation and social inclusion within the coffee market as well as learning all about chocolate as a mass product with the potential to leverage real change within our food system.  What’s more, you will be able to book slots with each and every one of our producers to find out more about their products and how they are made.

Over the last few years, we have seen a growing trend for Caribbean products across Europe which is really exciting and provides great opportunity for our producers.  In 2018 alone, over 26 Billion Euros worth of goods and services were exported globally from Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) and 17.6% of this was to Europe.  If you want to read more about the profit potential of Caribbean products across the UK, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, make sure you read our report (here).

If you haven’t signed up already, what are you waiting for?

https://expo.absolutelycaribbean.com/whatson.html

See you there!

Productores caribeños: la demanda de los consumidores por productos puros y simples es natural

Health-conscious consumers are driving the increasing demand for natural products and ingredients. Research shows that the global natural food and drinks market was valued at $79.1 million in 2016 and is estimated to reach $191.9 million by 2023 – a compound annual growth rate of 17.6%. The term ‘natural’ has a range of connotations, but all of them are overwhelmingly positive, and signify how invested consumers are in trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In a 2018 global study, Ipsos asked consumers to interpret the term ‘natural’ and the three most common associations were:

• Healthy.
• No artificial ingredients.
• 100% from nature.

The public gravitates towards natural products because they believe these offer health benefits which cannot be replicated by man-made substances.

Back to nature

The Caribbean is a tropical haven for a range of plant-based ingredients, so it’s no wonder the region is seeing a surge in demand for its natural produce.

A picture of part of the Caribbean products on show at Food Matters Live

This year, Food Matters Live will welcome Caribbean suppliers of natural goods including herbal teas by Caribbean Cure and Shavuot International; the world’s first turmeric paste from Belizean company Naledo and organic chocolate and cocoa based products by Cold Bush Organics from Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountains range, courtesy of the Caribbean Export Development Agency.

These companies and more are actively taking advantage of the Caribbean’s indigenous bounty.

Caribbean Cure, based in Trinidad and Tobago, prides itself on “harnessing the power of nature” in its organic loose leaf teas and tea bags.

Utilising Caribbean herbs, roots, plants and barks which are traditionally known for their unique healing and health properties, Caribbean Cure’s infusions are not only natural but delicious. They contain no preservatives, additives, or artificial flavourings and a special dehydration process ensures customers taste “the maximum amount of wellness in every drop”.

The award-winning company was founded by Stacy Seeterram and Sophia Stone.

“When we began handcrafting our blends, we had one simple mission – to share our passion and love for the age-old traditions and healing qualities of Caribbean herbs,” Sophia recalls. “We visited farmers, herbalists and tea lovers from across the region to find out what makes the perfect cup of natural tea. We were determined to create much more than tea with health benefits.”

Stacy adds: “The secret is in the process. The tea leaves are slow dried to maximise nutrient content. Each blend offers a delicate balance formulated to create a memorable and unique experience in every cup.”

Authentic and good for you

Shavuot International is a family-owned Caribbean company which has also tapped into the ever-increasing consumer appetite for all things natural.

Shavuot’s products include exotic tea blends, natural skin and hair treatments, breadfruit flour and powdered spices.

The Jamaican company’s teas rely on natural ingredients of the highest quality, handpicked and manufactured to preserve the rich nutrients in each blend.

Its loose tea is made from local leaves and seeds of the moringa plant, turmeric, cinnamon, cerasee, ginger and peppermint.

Shavuot, which means harvesting goodness, prides itself on using ethically and organically sourced ingredients produced through sustainable community development partnerships and with the support of local farmers.

The company currently exports its products to over 13 countries including the US, UK, Australia, Canada and around the Caribbean.

For more information visit Caribbean Cure and Shavuot International.

This article was originally published on FoodMatters.com