Food

Best Product 2017 Nominee: Carita Breadfruit Flour

Thursday, April 20, 2017    

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Carita Jamaica Limited

Principal: Rita Hilton

E-mail: caritaja@cwjamaica.com; marketingdev@cwjamaica.com

Website: www.caritapremium.com


Address: 188 Spanish Road, Kingston 11

Tel: 923-7050/923-6673

The breadfruit flour project started as… an infant school feeding programme to help alleviate poverty by Trees That Feed Foundation, which is a not-for-profit public charity to provide a nutritious breakfast option for children. Their mission is to plant trees to feed people, create jobs and benefit the environment. Trees That Feed Foundation believes tree crops are a large part of the answer to world food concerns.

We were first approached by… Mary McLaughlin, chair of TTFF, to plant breadfruit trees to encourage orchard farming in rural Jamaica; she worked with several chefs to develop a tasty breadfruit porridge or hot cereal.

The main ingredient is… breadfruit flour, and there is also cornmeal and coconut milk.

We wanted to do more with breadfruit in Jamaica because… much of the fruit goes to waste if it is not consumed by locals or exported. We contracted local producers to mill the flour for us and sent samples to local entities with recipes. They were impressed that the flour is produced locally, has no additives or preservatives, has an excellent flavour and supports rural communities. The breadfruit flour gives Jamaica a viable option to rice and wheat flour.

Our major challenges are... getting the raw material (seasonal), lowering cost (by using alternative energy) to make the product affordable to a wide cross-section of consumers.

This issue remains, and managing the raw material inventory is... the initial launch of the products was to assist small rural communities with the sale of the product. The demand has exceeded the capacity, and the season has been delayed due to unpredictable weather conditions. Raw material inventory will be handled with this knowledge.

The product became available to the public in... Feb/March 2016.

And is available at… Lee’s Food Fair, Carby’s Souvenir, Craft Cottage, General Foods, Loshusan Barbican, Natural Health, and Hi-Lo.

The response to the product has been... overwhelming, considering we have not advertised the product.

Our core customers are... health-conscious people, as well as those individuals who have celiac disease and wheat allergy.

We plan to grow the business to become... a household item without gluten products such as wheat and oats. Cassava, sweet potato and yam flour are next on the agenda.

Our first breakthrough came... when we participated in a JAMPRO-facilitated food fair in Sam’s Caribbean marketplace in New York, when we prepared traditional Jamaican fritters using breadfruit flour. The response was excellent!

Jamaicans should support our product because... it is a healthy option, is uniquely Jamaican and creates sustainable job opportunities in rural Jamaica. It is also a part of the breakfast feeding programme in infant schools.

If we knew then what we know now... we would have established a large raw material inventory and had this project off the ground four years ago!

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