CARIBBEAN Producers Jamaica (CPJ) is breaking with its tradition as an importer of gourmet foods to distribute local meats to the hotel industry.
The company's meat processing plant in Montego Bay, which opened earlier this year, is handling domestically raised meats in a move that will please campaigners who want the tourism industry to buy locally.
"Only meat that cannot be found here will be imported," CPJ's Business Development Manager David Lowe told the Jamaica Observer.
Pork and mutton are expected to be the primary meats sourced locally to start, he said.
The processing plant was designed to provide "retail cuts that would not have been made available to Jamaica through a local processor," he said.
The company hopes the expansion will also allow it to enter the retail trade through supermarkets, thus making prime cuts available to ordinary consumers.
"CPJ developed the capacity to do a lot of processing of almost any type of meat," Lowe said.
"We have one of the most advanced facilities of this kind in Jamaica, and we intend to see the development of a local supply chain that can deliver on the expectation of quality, quantity and traceability."
The 18-year-old company is a primary distributor of wine, beverages and seafood to the hotel sector, but expanded its portfolio to supply cleaning and sanitation products after a US$1 million ($90 million) partnership with American company Swisher Hygiene was brokered earlier this year.
It is expected to earn up to US$3 million ($272 million) in the next three years.
For the 2011-12 financial year, CPJ's pre-tax profit has climbed 55 per cent to US$3 million — a success Lowe said has much to do with a broadening product and service portfolio.
CPJ Market — the 4,300-square-foot retail location in Kingston — is the latest addition to the company's expanding portfolio.
The market on Lady Musgrave Road includes a deli and lounge which will feature products from the company catering to a high-end market.
Fifty additional full-time staff have been hired by the company.