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Rainforest to participate in int'l seafood expo

Published:Friday | February 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor

Jamaican purveyors of all edible things from the sea, Rainforest Seafoods, will this year join scores of their international counterparts at the largest seafood trade event in America. And the team at Rainforest is understandably proud and ready to go.

Formerly known as the International Boston Seafood Show/Seafood Processing America, Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America is the largest seafood trade event in North America. The event attracts more than 20,000 buyers and suppliers of fresh, frozen, packaged and value-added seafood products, equipment, and services.

Those who attend come from more than 100 countries to do business at the exposition.

No other event in North America provides seafood professionals with direct access to qualified buyers and suppliers representing all areas of the seafood industry.

It is for this reason that Roger Lyn, marketing manager for Rainforest Seafoods, is excited about the March 13-17 expo. Speaking with The Gleaner, he said the expo is the largest in the US and the second-largest in the world and Rainforest, which has been attending for many years now, is happy to be actually participating this year.

"This is a big achievement for us; we will be showcasing our Jamaican-Caribbean flavour with our big-ticket items: lobster, conch, and shrimp, and we will be displaying these products and communicating our brand's message at the expo," Lyn said. He said that, in order to sell to the rest of the world, companies have to be participants at the expo, so Rainforest is pleased to be the first Caribbean seafood company at the show.

"Our spiny lobster is among the world's best, so we are confident that we will attract prospective buyers," Lyn added. Rainforest is ready for the potential, having set up processing plants in Belize and Honduras as well as the Slipe Road facility where lobster and conch are processed. "As we seek to penetrate new markets and diversify, we are also in the process of building a live lobster plant in Montego Bay.

Also on the company's calendar in the first quarter is the annual Ash Wednesday Rainforest Seafood Festival, the proceeds of which will again be donated to the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.