Sugar Town Organics biedt gezonde opties voor Europese markten

Chronic diseases are on the increase worldwide, however there is a global trend seeking to combat those illnesses through healthy choices.

Europeans, in particular, are becoming more health conscious and are focused on using natural products, ranging from food to make up.

In 2018 the European cosmetic market was valued at approximately €78.6 billion with the  natural cosmetics niche market accounting  for some five per cent of the total market. 

Europeans also enjoy sauces, condiments and seasonings and have for the past couple years imported the same from a number of Caribbean countries. Sauces, condiments and seasonings made in Caribbean countries and exported to Europe in 2018 are valued at US$ 8,149,000.

Anastasha Elliot, who hails from Saint Kitts and Nevis, has been eyeing both the European cosmetics and condiment markets with the intention of getting a piece of the pie. Her company, Sugar Town Organics, producers of natural food and cosmetics, will participate in the upcoming 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum, slated for September 26 to 28 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Organised by the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the forum will bring together over 150 stakeholders and businesses from 15 CARIFORUM countries and Europe with the intention to build partnerships and to boost exports to the continent.

Anastasha’s journey to producing a range of healthy natural products for everyday use began when her mother was diagnosis with cervical cancer.  That pushed the family to look critically at the products they used and the food they consumed.

“That forced us to take a look at our environment, our food source, what and how we ate, how we were living both the emotional and mental aspects and the products we used on our skin and hair,” Anastasha recalled. 

As a result, a number of things happened:

  1. The family adopted a holistic lifestyle, embracing indigenous herbs and fruits. 
  2. Her mother beat cancer in four months.
  3. Anastasha and her mother launched Sugar Town Organics, a natural agro-processing company in 2010.

Built on strong traditional knowledge in herbal care passed down through generations, the company combines science and cultural practices to the produce over 80 items for everyday use or consumption.  With Anastasha’s degree in culinary arts, along with diplomas in organic hair and skin care formulation, she ensures everything they create helps consumers to live healthier lives.

Sugar Town Organics produces natural food and cosmetics under two brands: Flauriel and Yaphene. Everything is made with raw, active, high performance ingredients sourced from indigenous botanical fruits, herbs and plants found in Saint Kitts and Nevis and the Caribbean. Raw material include hibiscus, fennel, nettle, coconut, ginger, neem, soursop, sorrel, sugar cane, sea weed, and tarragon.

For persons seeking the best in personal care products, Yaphene offers a wide variety of options that are “powered by nature”. Free from GMO, toxins, fillers, parfum, synthetic chemicals and artificial colours, the line includes shampoos, conditions, hair growth serums, oils, toothpaste, eye cream, facial cream, hair cream, and deodorant. Local spas and hotels use Yaphene products.

Under the Flauriel brand, the health-conscious person can choose from natural jams, salad dressings, pancake syrup, vinaigrettes, liqueurs and wine made from a variety of indigenous crops such as hibiscus, mango, coconut, sorrel, soursop, avocado, guava, ginger and more.

The mother-daughter company works with eleven local farmers and sources additional raw material from Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad.

Sugar Town Organics can be found in over eight stores in St. Kitts. The company is now focused on exporting its brands throughout the Caribbean and Europe.

Truly Turmeric – Een gezonde toevoeging aan maaltijden

Turmeric has many proven health benefits and is thought to assist in the prevention of heart disease, Alzheimers, high blood pressure, and cancer to name a few.  It is also a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and is high in iron and vitamin B6.

After seeing the turmeric being grown in Belize while on assignment there in 2014 for an International NGO, Umeeda Switlo fell in love with the Belizean turmeric.  “It was huge and really orangey in colour, she enthused.  In that moment she had the idea to form a business venture using wild crafted, whole root turmeric grown by the farmers in Belize.

As a result, she started a company with her daughter Nareena and called it Naledo – a combination of the name Nareena and Toledo, the district in Belize where the turmeric is sourced.  This company produces “Truly Turmeric”, which has the distinction of being the world’s first wildcrafted whole root turmeric paste.  The company also created a social enterprise in Toledo that would support farmers, from whom the turmeric is sourced directly, employ youth, improve health and produce products sustainably.

Umeeda admits that this model of doing business was inspired by her mother Lella (known as Mamajee) who had instilled in her a strong sense of social responsibility and who, during time spent in the kitchen cooking together would always ask both she and her daughter Nareena what they could do to make the world a better place.

After developing “Truly Turmeric” in 2016, Naledo decided to gain exposure by launching the product at an industry trade show in Vancouver in May 2016.  With just a basic set up of 50 labelled jars and a few samples, they managed to attract the attention of a national distributor who believed in their social enterprise model and helped them to grow from zero stores in 2016 to 600 stores across Canada.  “Truly Turmeric” can also be found in Belize, the Bahamas and some parts of the United States.

Keen to find new markets for the product and to share the health benefits of turmeric with other parts of the world, Naledo will be taking “Truly Turmeric” to Europe as part of the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum being held from September 26 to 28 in Frankfurt, Germany.  The forum is being organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the European Commission and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) .

“Truly Turmeric” paste is great for use in many dishes including marinades, smoothies, oatmeal, soups, stir fry, curries, eggs or just in plain water.  The paste can also be used to make a refreshing and rejuvenating face mask if desired.

Op natuurlijke wijze veelvoorkomende haar- en huidproblemen oplossen

More and more people are conscious not only about what they put into their bodies for good health but also what they put on to their skin.  Consumers are trying to get away from sulfates traditionally found in shampoos that have gained notoriety for being very harsh on the skin & scalps of persons with skin conditions such as: psoriasis, eczema or sensitive skin.  Skin conditions such as psoriasis affect 7.8 million adults in Europe and approximately 1-3% of adults in Europe suffer from eczema.  Also, many consumers are now seeking to avoid parabens a key component used to restrict bacterial growth in many popular international hair care lines which has been linked in recent times by many medical studies to the development of breast cancer.

Across the Caribbean you’ll find naturally made soaps, shampoo’s and personal care products that are devoid of such dangerous chemicals.  At the upcoming 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum in Frankfurt, Germany a collection of some of the finest natural products from the Caribbean will be presented such as, Curealoe from Curacao; Caribbean Blue Naturals from Saint Lucia; BahamaSpa from the Bahamas and Sugar Town Organics from St. Kitts and Nevis.  Another such company which is quickly becoming a company to look out for is Herboo Corporation Ltd.

Herboo Corporation Ltd., a Jamaican company which produces a range of hair and skin products using locally grown plants, spices and herbs.  According to Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Javin Williams, the idea was birthed out of his personal experience with dandruff. “A few years ago I had really bad dandruff and while I tried the popular brands they just would not work so in my frustration I went to my grandmother…and she recommended some herbs to me like rosemary and peppermint and trust me when I tell you that when I used them, in less than two weeks my dandruff was gone.”

After that experience he decided to utilize locally grown herbs and spices on a commercial scale as a way to help others treat their hair and skin.  He explained that coming from a poor background meant that he did not have the money needed to produce the products on the scale he wanted so his sister came to the rescue.

She took samples of the products to her university and asked for donations in exchange for a sample of the products.  The money collected was the seed money used to create products on a commercial sale which were then sold and the proceeds used to develop new products.  Javin also entered a number of business competitions and the proceeds from those also assisted.

In addition to local financial assistance, Javin also received support in a number of areas including the chemical composition of the product, investment advice and marketing.

The 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum is a 3-day event taking place from 26-28th September 2019.  Over 60 Caribbean suppliers across 4 industry sectors will be at the event organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the European Union and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) aims to improve trade between the Caribbean and Europe.

Caribische thee in de hoop op de Europese markt te nippen

Whether it’s for medicinal or recreational use, tea is one of the most consumed hot beverages worldwide. In 2017 the global tea market was valued at almost US 50 billions dollars and it is expected to exceed US 73 billion dollars by 2024.

Certainly, European traders in the 16th century knew they were onto something great when they introduced tea leaves from China to the continent. Only growing in popularity, tea remains not only a preferred beverage to sip but a wise investment choice in Europe.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency has created a unique opportunity for European buyers and distributers interested in natural teas from the Caribbean to be introduced to export ready tea brands at the upcoming 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum.

Slated for September 26 to 28 at the Union Halle, Frankfurt, Germany the high profile event will be hosted by Caribbean Export in collaboration with the European Commission and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

Over 150 Caribbean and European counterparts will get the unique opportunity to meet under one roof to discover tantalizing Caribbean products and services as well as network and build international partnerships. The purpose is to help companies from 15 CARIFORUM countries start or increase exports to Europe.

Caribbean Cure, the award-winning tea company from Trinidad and Tobago, is one of the natural ingredient companies seeking to get its tasty and earthy concoctions sold in Europe.

Brewing nothing but pure natural Caribbean goodness, owners Sophia Stone and Stacy Seeterram were inspired by tradition to produce five deliciously healthy infusions.

The brews pleased more than just the palates of family and friends. In fact, Caribbean Cure has been recognized as producers of world class teas.  In 2017 and 2018 the company won bronze for its Tropical Relaxation blend and its Island Breeze blend respectively at the Global Tea Championships hosted by the World Tea Expo in Colorado.

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Caribbean Cure was shortlisted for a SIAL Paris 2018 Product Innovation award in the prestigious SIAL Innovation Contest, the world’s largest Food and Beverage Exhibition.

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

Co-owner Sophia Stone added, “I wanted to honour our long history in the Caribbean of using herbs and bush teas. Backed by science, my goal was to make these healing remedies more efficacious, convenient and attractive to today’s consumer.”

Also headed to Frankfurt, Germany in September is Shavuot, a Jamaican brand of exotic teas made from local leaves, seeds and roots such as carassee, ginger, moringa and turmeric.

Owned by Richard Harris and his two sons, Joel and Jordan Harris, the trio decided to produce value added products from crops grown on the family’s farm. Shavuot, which means harvesting goodness, is sold in approximately 15 countries.  The family produces thousands of cases of tea each month, with 90 per cent being shipped overseas and the remainder sold in Jamaica.

For buyers interested in sourcing Caribbean teas, the 4th CARIFORUM Business Forum is the only place to be from September 26 to 28.

Gelukkig Veganistische Chocolade

Did you know that dark chocolate naturally releases a chemical in the brain to make you happy?

When Elizabeth “Lady” Montano was informed of this by Gillian Goddard, Co-Director of the ARC TT – The Alliance of Rural Communities of Trinidad and Tobago, that light-bulb moment went off.  Lady Montano had been struggling to find that perfect ‘treat’ for patrons attending her son’s (International Soca artist Machel Montano) annual Machel Monday Carnival Concert.  In 2014 her and her team had been on a quest to find the perfect snack to highlight the theme “Happy Nation” and as veganism and vegetarianism are lifestyle choices of the Montano’s, creating a vegan chocolate became the obvious choice!

“Our brand ambassador Machel Montano is vegan, I am also vegan and most of our family is either vegan or vegetarian.  We want to encourage healthy living hence those ingredients. There are no preservatives, no additives, no emulsifiers and no dairy of course.  We wanted to keep it pure, healthy and attractive to taste and we have succeeded in doing that. We want to make people aware that you can eat healthy and still enjoy it,” Lady Montano said.

Machel Montano Chocolate Ltd will be attending the upcoming 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum, which will be held in Union Halle, Frankfurt, Germany from September 26 to 28, 2019 in an effort to break into the European market.

Organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in cooperation with the European Union and the German Development Agency (GIZ), the forum aims to improve trade and exports from the region to Europe, especially in high potential growth areas such as the agro-processed food and natural ingredient industries.

Machel Montano Chocolate Company Ltd produces 60 per cent dark chocolate bar using authentic fine flavoured Trinitario cocoa.  The formula is quite simple containing only three ingredients: cocoa nibs, cocoa butter and Guyanese Demerara sugar and has a shelf life of one year.  As a handmade product it’s currently ranked as the second best local chocolate in Trinidad, and it now has its eyes on expanding into Europe and the United States.

The Montano’s mission isn’t just to produce a fantastic tasting happiness inducing vegan chocolate, they also want to revitalize the Trinidadian cocoa industry.  The company has sought to empower several local communities, which currently supply the cocoa.

“Machel through his foundation is working with the Siparia community where he grew up to set up a factory. This is part of our Corporate Social Responsibility and we are working with WHYFARM to achieve that goal,” disclosed Lady Montano, adding that the foundation was empowering residents through training and by equipping them with chocolate production tools.

 What is Trinitario Cacoa?

Trinitario cacoa come from the Trinitario cacao trees which are a natural hybrid biological class resulting from cross-pollination. They were created in Trinidad after a hurricane in 1727 destroyed most of the Criollo cacao trees. The Trinidad cacao plantations were then replanted with Forastero resulting in the creation of a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero (source: https://www.caribbeanandco.com/caribbean-chocolate-brands/)

Over 60 Caribbean producers will be attending the Business Forum and other chocolate producers include Cocoa Saint Lucia and Coldbush Organics from Jamaica.

Your True Shade Cosmetics – Wetenschap en natuur samensmelten

The global cosmetics industry generates billions of dollars each year and Jamaican Dianne Plummer, owner of Your True Shade, a healthy cosmetic line manufactured in her homeland, is hoping to get a slice of that market.

The first Caribbean cosmetics beauty line to be certified by Cruelty Free International in the United Kingdom; Your True Shade is recognised as a green skin care and clean cosmetics brand. Your True Shade was created out of necessity by Dianne while studying sustainable energy and chemical engineering in Sweden and Finland. During that period, she found it difficult to find makeup that offered ideal coverage without irritating her sensitive skin and causing eczema flare ups.

Using her engineering background, Dianne hand-picked natural ingredients to formulate her own skincare and make-up line. As a result, Your True Shade Cosmetics Limited was born. The line has the distinction of being free from harmful chemicals commonly used in some skin care products. And remarkably, it celebrates the diversity of skin tones found in the Caribbean and beyond.

Though her company is only four years old, Dianne is determined to be a trailblazer in natural skin care in the Caribbean and focuses heavily on innovation, research and development. “I’m always trying to make everything better, change formulations and tweak things as we go forward, because innovation has to be at the core of the business,” she said.

She added that the old way of doing things was not a sustainable business model, but that a revolution was needed. In her opinion, what separates the outstanding entrepreneur from the average Jane or Joe is the ability to bring something new, never before seen or done, to the market. “In an already saturated market, like skincare, one must figure out how to do it differently and be innovative,” Dianne stressed.

She does this by fusing technology, science and nature to deliver a safe, efficacious product, thereby successfully changing the narrative surrounding beauty by making it synonymous with health.

Your True Shade cosmetics is known for its ability to conceal and minimise imperfections, as well as promote healing and repair through the locally-sourced, natural, anti-inflammatory and hydrating herbs, spices and plant extracts used to formulate the line. In essence, it’s makeup with skincare benefits.

Your True Shade will be at the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum being organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency at the Union Halle in Frankfurt, Germany from September 26 to 28. Together the over 60 Caribbean suppliers, the event organized in collaboration with the European Union and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) aims to improve trade between the Caribbean and Europe.

Find out more about True Shade Cosmetics: www.yourtrueshade.com and join their community on Facebook @trueshadecosmetics and Instagram @yourtrueshade.

Full Circle Animation Studio – Caribbean Animators To The World

Well executed animations can enhance the viewing experience of both children and adults. Full Circle Animation Studio, from Trinidad and Tobago is just one company in the Caribbean that is excelling in its production of animations and whose body of work is being noticed internationally.

Full Circle has the distinction of being the first animation studio in the Caribbean to work with an international production company for a full season of a television show with a major network. They were contracted by Big Jump Entertainment in Ottawa, Canada to produce the animation for season three of “Animals”, an HBO TV series featuring performances from celebrities like Wanda Sykes, Raven-Symoné, RuPaul, Aziz Ansari and Usher among others.

As a result, creators in the company worked tirelessly between December 2017 and May 2018 to perfect the animation for the show.

“This show had a very unique and distinctive style of design and animation. It looks simple and minimalist but it required us to transmit a lot of emotion through the characters using very limited animation movement. Going in, we had underestimated how challenging that could be, while keeping the provocative edge that really defines the style of the show. In that regard, it was a new technical experience for us” said Managing Director Jason Lindsay.

Mr. Lindsay also noted that the experience benefitted his team tremendously. “For a young animation industry like ours here in Trinidad, the main long-term benefit of an opportunity like this is the investment in our human resource. The experience and technical/creative insight gained from our animators working with an experienced production studio like Big Jump Entertainment is invaluable. The entire team benefited from it tremendously,” he stated.

Full Circle has also worked on smaller productions which were broadcast on The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Universal Studios, DreamWorks TV and RAI as well as on projects in the Caribbean.

The company has also collaborated with other companies in the Caribbean on regional and international projects. “On our very first outsourcing job, we collaborated with animation studios in Barbados and Jamaica. Since then, it’s not uncommon for us to work with animation studios in St. Lucia, Barbados and Jamaica for international outsourcing clients. We’ve collaborated on projects with Malfinis Productions in St. Lucia, Alycone Animation and Skyres in Jamaica and Westoonz and BIMAP in Barbados.

“We’ve also developed working relationships with a network of recording studios, casting directors and voice actors in Grenada, Belize, Suriname, Dominica, and Guyana for projects based on Caribbean content like the CARICOM mini-series Pepperpot Valley,” the Managing Director explained.

Now focused on expansion and growth, Full Circle is looking to offer its services on the European market. To that end they will participate in the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum being held in Frankfurt, Germany by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the European Commission and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

This will be an opportunity for them to explore business options available on the European market and to give Europeans some highlights of their vast repertoire.

The Business Forum is a high-profile event which seeks to develop and build international partnerships through business to business meetings, networking and business consultations.

Wat u moet weten over Rum

Rum has been discovered, produced and perfected on sugar plantations in the Caribbean since the 17th Century.  Over the years the demand for this by-product of sugar cane has grown world-wide.

Global exports of rum from CARIFORUM (a grouping of fifteen Caribbean countries) to Europe have increased by 26.86 % over the last three years to reach a value of $1.45 million Euros.  Major importers are Spain and Germany, with Spain’s consumption making up 14 % of the spirits market.

To further improve and strengthen exports in Europe, representatives from CARIFORUM rum producing industries will converge in Frankfurt, Germany from September 26 to 28, 2019 for the 4th CARIFORUM EU Business Forum to build relationships and increase awareness in Europe.

The Business Forum is organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency which has identified the agro-processed food and natural ingredient industries as well as the cultural and creative industries as sectors with the highest potential for growth in Europe. 

Ian Burrell, the world’s ONLY recognised Global Ambassador for the rum, will be leading the Rum Master Class on Day 2 of the business forum.

Speaking to the development of this industry over the years, Manager for Competitiveness and Export Promotion at Caribbean Export, Damie Sinanan noted that “over the last decade, the production of rum has diversified to include a wide range of flavours including apple, pineapple, mango and passion fruit. With these changing trends and increased demand, we hope to see a more diverse range of Caribbean rum available in the European market.”

Did you know…

1. Not all rums are sweet

Most rums are made from molasses a byproduct of sugarcane through a process of fermentation and distillation, and after this process all that remains is alcohol. As a result, rum in its natural state is sugar free and the natural sweetness of rum comes from aging in mostly American oak wooden barrels. Some rum producers do add sugar to the distilled rum to sweeten and smoothen out the product, making it seem more thick and luxurious. However, you won’t find this in authentic rum producing countries like Barbados, Jamaica, and Martinique, which have regulations that prohibit adding sugar and other preservatives.

2. Pirates didn’t just drink rum

While rum was considered the drink of choice for pirates during the 1660s to 1730s when piracy flourished in the Caribbean, pirates didn’t just drink rum. Famous pirates like real life Captain Morgan (born 1635 in Wales and died 1688 in Jamaica), Edward Teach aka Blackbeard and others drank all types of alcohol and spirits like brandy, port, and Spanish wine. Most of the rum consumed during the 17th-century was drunk by people who lived in the Caribbean, not pirates.

3. Rhum is French for rum

Rhum with an H is not a spelling mistake but refers to French style rum that is made from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice rather than molasses. The official name is Rhum Agricole and this style of rum is traditionally made in former French Caribbean colonies such as Martinique which labels its rum AOC Martinique Rhum Agricole.  

4. Ron is Spanish for rum 

Just as the French have a different way of spelling rum, so do the Spanish. In fact, if you’re in a Spanish speaking country, then rum will be spelled Ron. Beyond the French and Spanish variation, there are also other names for rum. In fact, rum has many unofficial names including Aguadiente, Brebaje, Barbados Water, Clarin, Demon Water, Guildive, Killdevil, Nelson’s Blood, Red Eye, Pirates Drink, Navy Neaters, Guildive, and Tafia. As for the origin of the word rum itself, it is thought to be from an old English word called Rumbullion that was used to describe cane spirit in Barbados during the mid-1600’s and is meant as an “uproar or tumult.” Another linkage is to the word Rumbustious due to the effects of drinking rum.

5. Not all aged rums are dark

There are different types of rum including gold, dark, white, spiced, flavored and overproof.   Aged rum tends to be dark, but there are also some aged white rums. Aged white rum is achieved by putting distilled rum in an oak barrel which is charcoal-filtered, and this takes away the dark color but still leaves the rum with the rich flavor of darker rums. The clarity and crispness of white rums make them a perfect choice to drink neat (by itself), or with ice and lime or in a full-blown rum cocktail. Beyond Cane Spirit Rothschild (CSR) and Brinley Gold Shipwreck, two white rums from St Kitts, an extremely popular aged white rum is Barcardi with origins in Cuba but now produced in Puerto Rico.

6. There are different ways to experience and savor rum 

Rum is often paired with (diet) coke or fruits juices, but there are other ways of drinking this global spirit.  For premium rums with complex flavors and aromas, its best to drink neat or with a splash of water or cube of ice. Premium rums also work well in classic cocktails such as Old fashions and Manhattans. A growing trend is to pair rum with different types of food including chocolate and marshmallows. Enjoying a glass of premium rum neat while smoking a cigar is also another favorite pastime.   Note that when visiting a Caribbean bar or rum shop, you may hear “straight” or “straight up” instead of neat for a shot of rum.

7. Rum comes in all price ranges

Like all other spirits, prices for rum range from low to high with entry-level bottles of rum ranging from US$20 to US$60 but prices go much higher. For example, an Appleton Estate 50-year-old Independence Rum which was distilled in 1962 but bottled in 2012, sells for around US$5,000. This is not surprising as only 800 bottles of the Jamaican Appleton Estate 50-year-old Independence Rum was put into circulation. Even more costly is a Wray & Nephew 17-year-old Jamaican rum used in the original Mai Tai in 1944 which is valued at around US$52,000. Another highly prized and expensive rum was The Harewood Estate Rum uncovered circa 2011 which has the distinction of being the oldest rum in the world. Bottled initially in Barbados circa 1780, 24 bottles were auctioned by Christie’s in London in 2013 & 2014 for £250,000 (approx. US$332,000).

8. Not all rums marketed as rum are rum

With the increasing popularity and global demand for rums, it’s perhaps no surprise that there are now fake rum brands. Counterfeit rums are standard in Europe where no sugar cane is grown. For example, Tuzemák a distilled drink from the Czech Republic has been marketed as rum, but it is made not from sugar cane or byproducts but potatoes or sugar beets. Other fake rums to watch out for are Rum Verschnitt from Germany and Inlander Rum from Austria. As such, stick to well-known rum brands and for the Caribbean choose those with the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque label.

Take a look at the Caribbean rum producers that will be in Frankfurt, Germany from September 26 to 28, 2019 for the 4th CARIFORUM EU Business Forum.

Bélo brengt Franse reggae naar Europa

BélO is easily one of Haiti’s ambassadors to the world.  He has been described by Huffington Post as a socially-minded, Haitian-born singer-songwriter who powerfully delivers jazz and world beat inflected reggae in French and Creole.

The socially conscious singer-songwriter’s real name is Jean Bélony Murat. He uses his sophisticated sound and music to expose social and environmental issues faced by Haiti.

He has received numerous awards including “Best Male Artist 2007” by the Haitian Music Awards and the prestigious “Prix Radio France International Discoveries of 2006.” BélO’s sound is a beautiful mixture of jazz, worldbeat, rock, reggae and Afro-Haitian traditional rhythms known as Ragganga.

BélO is in the line-up of musical performances at the Discover the Caribbean Day on the 28th of September 2019 at the Union Halle, Frankfurt, Germany.  The event is organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) as the final day of the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum starting on the 26th September at the same location. 

Caribbean Export has identified the cultural and creative industries as high potential growth areas in Europe and in collaboration with the European Union and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) the event will see over 60 Caribbean companies showcase their products and services to the attending audiences.

With the realization that there is an increase in the demand for Caribbean music at a number of cultural events in Europe, including Summerjam Reggae Festival in Germany, Ibiza Soca Festival in Spain and Reggae Sun Ska Festival in France, Caribbean Export is hoping to promote more Caribbean music to Europeans.  This is part of their larger efforts to encourage the export of work done by cultural industries in CARIFORUM countries to Europe.

Other activities on the Discover the Caribbean Day include a film festival where patrons can watch a range films and animations produced in the Caribbean.  There will be over 60 different food and beverage producers sampling products enabling consumers curious about what the Caribbean has to offer, to come out and Discover the Caribbean. 

Natuurlijke huid, lichaam en gezondheid

The demand for natural medicine in Europe has grown at a tremendous rate as Europeans becoming more and more conscious about their health and the quality of the goods they consume.

In 2017, the global nutraceuticals product market reached US$204 billion. With an abundance of medicinal plants, the Caribbean is ripe with natural remedies to supply the increase in demand for natural ingredients.

A common experience for many people living in the Caribbean and visitors is the irritating mosquito bite. It’s an unwanted experience of millions all over the world and with this desire to use natural remedies drove medical doctors Gayle Devaux-Segovia and Carlos Segovia to develop natural repellent prior to the birth of their first child. They wanted to make a natural insect repellent safe enough to use on a baby.

“When our son was born, we used the insect repellent on him and it worked very well. We got a lot of encouragement from people so in 1997 we formed a company called Natmed Ltd. We branded the product under Caribbean Blue Naturals and twenty years later, it is still one of our best sellers,” Dr. Gayle Devaux-Segovia explained.

Over the years, Dr. Gayle and her husband added more products to Caribbean Blue Naturals: deodorant, body spray, hand sanitizers and sun screen to list a few. They are all natural, cruelty-free, reef-safe, non-GMO, 100% biodegradable and mostly vegan as they use beeswax in their lip balm and candles.

Dr. Carlos Segovia said they source the majority of their ingredients locally. According to him, these ingredients included Saint Lucia cocoa, aloe vera, seaweed extract, nutmeg and other Caribbean spices. Our mission is to produce all natural products of the highest quality and make them affordable to the general public, he noted.

The Saint Lucian company will showcase its wide range of natural products at the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum organized by the Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the European Union and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).
Along with over 60 other Caribbean companies, the Business Forum enables buyers and consumers to meet suppliers and source products from the Caribbean over 3 days from 26th to the 28th September 2019 at the Union Halle, Frankfurt, Germany.

De Caraïben één kopje thee per keer genezen

Sophia Stone founded Caribbean Cure in 2015. The Trinidad-based tea company was borne out of her passion for using nature to promote health and wellness.

“I wanted to honour the long standing tradition in the Caribbean of using herbs and bush teas,” she said. “And backed by science, my goal was to make these healing remedies more efficacious, convenient and attractive to today’s consumer.”

Bombarded with ideas and wondering how she could turn some of them into a profitable entrepreneurial venture, Sophia quit her full-time job, to focus on the full-time pursuit of her dream.

But her initial line of eight herbal supplements failed to garner the success she’d hoped, and after depleting her savings, Stone was faced with two very clear choices, pack it all in and quit “dreaming”; or, find another way to make the dream work. Like any true entrepreneur, she chose the latter.

Sophia’s new plan was to curate tea blends using the ingredients from her supplement line, but virtually all of her family and friends rubbished the idea, advising her to go back to her 9 to 5 – all but one.

Stacy Seeterram, a friend, and confidant, believed in Sophia’s idea, so she asked Stacy to partner with her in creating this new venture.

What helped to make the Caribbean Cure dream a reality, and what kept you motivated?

With five tea blends currently on the market, and the approval of family and friends who indulge in their curative, feel-good concoctions, Seeterram says their approach to business is one of their greatest motivators.

“We try not to worry about being successful,” she shared. “What we do is work toward being significant.”

In addition to keeping them excited about turning up for work each day, this approach won them international recognition as producers of world-class teas.

An opportunity to honour family traditions also keeps the duo laser-focused. There’s a little bit of history brewed in each cup of Caribbean Cure tea. Island Breeze, a delicate blend that includes cardamom pods and white tea, is a tribute to Stone’s Afghan/Canadian heritage, and borrows from one of her family recipes; while Carnival Oasis with its inclusion of cinnamon, clove and mauby bark, transports Stacy – a Trinidadian, with roots woven throughout the West Indies – back to her childhood, as it conjures memories of her grandmother’s “magical” blends.

What’s next for Caribbean Cure?

Caribbean Cure’s short-term intention is to increase production capacity and efficiencies to enable greater access to Caribbean markets. Through the Women Empowered through Export (WE-Xport) programme, they have forged key partnerships with a strong CARIFORUM trade agenda.

In July 2018, Caribbean Cure, unveiled new packaging, beautiful tea tins, adorned with designs created by a local artist.

The team is now set to enter into the next phase of tea export negotiations with their partners in the EU, Canada and Japan, and feels poised for an upward swing in the company’s development. They’ll be participating in the 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum and Authentic Caribbean Expo hosted by Caribbean Export on September 26-28, 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany.

A few takeaways for budding & aspiring entrepreneurs.

Sophia and Stacy share that one of the most valuable lessons they’ve learned on their entrepreneurial journey is the importance of releasing emotional attachment in order to facilitate growth.
“Do not fear mistakes,” Stone advised. “Regrets are far more difficult to deal with than mistakes. You walk away from a mistake having learned something, but a regret is a missed opportunity,” she said. “Even if it seems beyond your reach, try. You will amaze yourself with what you are capable of.”

Find out more about Caribbean Cure: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn – @caribbeancure and by visiting their website www.caribbean-cure.com.