Monday 24 June, 2019

Shaw unfolds plans to penetrate Caricom market with local produce

Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw argued that Jamaica, which import goods from the region, must now reciprocate and take advantage of the exporting opportunities existing under the Caricom agreement.

Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw argued that Jamaica, which import goods from the region, must now reciprocate and take advantage of the exporting opportunities existing under the Caricom agreement.

Minister of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw has served warning of his intent to aggressively penetrate the Caribbean Single Market Economy (Caricom) with the export of local agricultural produce and by-products.

He argued that Jamaica, which import goods from the region, must now reciprocate and take advantage of the exporting opportunities existing under the Caricom agreement.

"For years we have been told about the single market and economy in the Caribbean,  but you know what the single market has been? Jamaica. And some of our partners in the region you know what they do? They import peanut from Georgia in the United States, roast it, throw little salt on it and it comes in duty free to Jamaica from a sister country in the Caribbean. So now why can't we reciprocate and start selling more of what we produce fresh and processed into Caricom, duty free because the regime is there. I am going to target that one," Shaw noted.

He heaped kudos on companies such as Lasco Distributors for successfully competing in the regional and US markets with their goods.

"And I congratulate companies like Lasco, they have developed iCool and they have built such a competitive product that they are in Guyana, they are in St Lucia and now they have penetrated the almost impenetrable Trinidad and Tobago and selling iCool to the United States that's how competitive Lasco has become and that must serve as a inspiration to all of us that we can do it too," he argued.

He further argued that Jamaica must now produce the food to feed the growing number of tourists visiting the destination and quit the importation of food to do so.

Last year the country welcomed over four million visitors

 The Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister was speaking at the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League Annual General Meeting and convention at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay Friday night.

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