Trade mission yields new Canadian market for six local companies

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, December 03, 2015

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Six Jamaican agro-processing and fresh produce companies have found Canadian demand for roughly $4-million worth of goods during a trade mission led by the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro) earlier this year.

The local companies, including Honey Bun Limited, Carita Jamaica Limited, Rio Grande Farms, Southside Distributors Limited, EG Wellness Brands, and Lasco Manufacturing Limited, participated in a networking forum with Canadian buyers and retailers, and B2B meetings during the five-day trade mission aimed at identifying more export opportunities in the Canadian market.

"The mission yielded positive results for the exporters, with some already receiving orders, while others are in negotiations with buyers," Jampro stated in a release to the Jamaica Observer. "The exporters also visited Canadian retailers and importers to get a better understanding of their competition and the demands in that market."

A part of Jampro's mandate is the promotion of business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector. Since the start of the year, it has led a number of international missions including trips to Mexico, China, Cuba and South Florida.

Jampro President Diane Edwards expressed satisfaction at the overall outcome of the mission. She noted that the agency has revamped its Canadian market development programme to focus more on exporters' needs, while improving its market development strategies to support local SMEs that aim to export to global markets.

"While the economic climate poses many challenges to our small and medium-sized exporters, we believe that there are amazing opportunities available to them in global markets," Edwards stated.

"In the financial year 2014/2015, we facilitated eight international missions to increase the export of Jamaican products, and we are aiming to do more to increase the presence of Brand Jamaica in international retailers. We will be monitoring the progress of the companies that participated in the mission to Canada and will assist them with any other needs to ease the export process."


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