A contingent of agro-producers from the OECS recently explored new opportunities for collaboration and innovation at the 7th Agroalimentaria Trade Show held from May 9 -11 2019 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Under the guidance of the OECS Competitive Business Unit (CBU), four regional manufacturing companies were exposed to the international trade fair and secured on the spot orders and offers of trial shipments, including the European Market.
Agroalimentaria, organised by the Dominican Agroindustry Board (JAD) and the Dominican Trade and Investment Promotion Office (CEI-RD), is acknowledged as one of the most important food industry trade fairs in the Caribbean region, providing a unique opportunity for food, tobacco, and beverage firms to showcase their products to international buyers.
Ms. Debra Blackman, Technical Specialist for Manufacturing at the OECS Competitive Business Unit, coordinated the preparation of the companies’ participation and led the delegation to the Dominican Republic. The CBU also provided on location support for the event in planning and logistics, booth design and setup, promotional efforts, and the presentation of a unified OECS presence.
“We expect this event to help increase awareness and exposure of OECS businesses and their products; establish networks, begin sustainable business transactions and gather relevant information that will enhance their business,” Ms. Blackman noted.
The four OECS companies participating in the trade show were:
- Demerara Distillers (St. Kitts) Ltd – St. Kitts and Nevis;
- Benjo Seamoss & Agro processing – the Commonwealth of Dominica;
- Layou Farms – the Commonwealth of Dominica; and
- NATMED Ltd – Saint Lucia.
The companies displayed a range of products from sea moss beverages, herbal teas, cosmetics and rum. Products were exhibited by thematic areas:
- Organic and Fair Trade
- Health and Wellness
- Technology and Services
- Agribusiness Suppliers
The highlight of the show was the Cocina Dominicana. Three OECS products were used as the main ingredients to prepare cocktails and rice. Benjo’s Seamoss beverages and Demerara Rum were used to create a cocktail, and Layou Farms Moringa powder was used to create a seasoned rice.
The Mission was funded by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), under the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP).