Trade Winds moves to capitalise on Jamaican ginger demand
TRADE Winds Citrus has reaped its first crop of commercially grown ginger, with the juice manufacturer aiming to meet demand for Jamaican ginger on the international market while also using the crop as an input for beverage production.
Trade Winds is behind the Tru Juice, Freshhh, Squeezz and Wakefield brands of juices. Ginger is used in the company's line of Tru Juice products such as Sorrel, Pineapple, Guava Pineapple, June Plum and Otaheite apple flavours. Although it purchases ginger from local farmers, the company decided to experiment with the ginger crop.
The ginger was reaped some ten months after the crop was planted in May of last year.
"We're really excited about reaping our first crop of commercially grown ginger. We're just as excited about the results and the harvest because this is brand new to us. It's all about learning and experimenting and seeing what other crops we can grow to put into our juices," said Peter McConnell, the managing director for Trade Winds Citrus.
Trade Winds operates on a 2,900-acre estate that is divided into four farms. It grows and makes juices from fruits such as orange, cherry, otaheite apple, june plum, ortanique, sour sop and sorrel.
The company presently processes over 8,000 pounds of ginger daily. The ginger crop which was reaped last week was quite encouraging for the company and plans are already in place to expand production, McConnell said.
"We're just trying to open up new frontiers. We only grow citrus and sorrel right now. By growing our own ginger, we see multiple benefits such as use in our Tru Juice products and for export purposes," he explained.
Jamaica's ginger, viewed as among the finest in the world, reportedly earns some US$8,000 per ton, according to previous estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Additionally, there is roughly a 170-ton market for Jamaican ginger based on ministry estimates but the island manages to meet only a fraction of that demand.