Fri | Aug 18, 2017

CB Group to launch fresh-produce company

Published:Tuesday | July 18, 2017 | 7:00 AM

The CB Group is announcing its entry into the fresh produce market in Jamaica with a new company, Imagination Farms, a groundbreaking venture with the ambitious vision of reducing Jamaica's $100 billion food import bill one food at a time.

Under the brand 'Homegrown by Imagination Farms,' onions, sweet corn, and Scotch bonnet peppers are the first three crops that will be introduced to the Jamaican market.

According to Matthew Lyn, CB's chief operating officer, the group's entry into the fresh-produce market in Jamaica has occurred after years of research specifically targeting crops whose growth can create at least one of two types of major impact: import substitution and strong growth in export.

The 'Homegrown by Imagination Farms' produce will go straight from farms to supermarkets, markets, hotels and restaurants, significantly reducing the time from harvest to table.

The development of the new product line was not without its challenges, with issues such as drought, flooding, pest control, and disease control being part of the learning curve while experimenting with crops that are best suited to the Jamaican climate.

 

Necessary move

 

But with Jamaica importing hundreds of millions in these three crops alone, the CB Group believes this move, despite its challenges, is necessary to move the country towards becoming more self-sufficient.

The group has access to over 1,000 acres across different parts of the island, which it plans to plant over the next five years depending on market demand.

The Imagination Farms company and its 'Homegrown' brand will be unveiled at a launch event today.

The line of fresh produce is expected to hit the shelves of supermarkets next month, and the company is encouraging Jamaicans to buy local.