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JAMPRO heads export mission to UK's Food & Drink Expo

Published:Thursday | March 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM
The Meet Jamaica Pavilion at the Food & Drink Expo 2011.

Jamaica's burgeoning exporters are anticipating their participation in the JAMPRO-facilitated mission to the Food & Drink Expo, to be held from March 25-27, at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham.

As part of JAMPRO's ongoing efforts to further explore and capitalise on market opportunities in the United Kingdom (UK) and wider Europe, the agency has coordinated the participation of Central Food Packers, Continental Baking Company, Dees Imports, Gray's Pepper, Honeykist Apiaries, Jamrow Trading & Manufacturing, Perishables Jamaica, Salada Foods Jamaica, Seprod, Southside Distributors, Tijule Co and Jamaican Teas in the Food & Drink Expo.

The Food & Drink Expo is the UK's largest food and drink-focused trade show offering suppliers from the UK and around the world an opportunity to showcase products and services to key buyers and decision-makers involved in the grocery, food-service, wholesale, manufacturing and speciality retail sectors.

Excellent opportunity

Honeykist Apiaries director Yvonne Frederick recounted the 2010 experience at the Food & Drink Expo, stating, "We have been doing a number of JAMPRO events and it has been an excellent experience. I will never forget after the last expo in Birmingham when we got a call from someone who said they tasted our products and it was wonderful."

Seprod will be attending the expo for the second time this year, and according to the company's export manager, Donnette Reece, they are pleased to receive an opportunity to showcase their products to that market.

Natalie Grandison, marketing manager for Sunrite, was also pleased with the opportunities, explaining, "Based on what I've seen from the last time we attended, it was very fruitful. We made a lot of contacts, including an international sales agent with the United States and Europe."

Perishables Jamaica, which will be attending for the first time, is hoping to make an impression, as its managing director, Norman Wright, outlined, "We're a JAMPRO Export Max customer and we're targeting the UK for growth this year. We're fairly established in Canada. We do go into the United States, but we are not present in the UK market, which we are looking to change."

Award-winning Jamaican chef Collin Brown will be further adding to the Meet Jamaica experience at the expo by conducting a master class titled 'Flavours of Jamaica' on Monday, March 26. The class will take place at the expo's Brainfood Factory, and Chef Brown will demonstrate how to utilise products on display at the Meet Jamaica Pavilion.

The Food & Drink Expo mission to Birmingham falls under the umbrella of the 'Meet Jamaica' initiative, which is a public-private partnership between the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and JAMPRO that seeks to capitalise on the high level of interest in Jamaican athletes to promote Jamaican goods and services ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

The expo is staged every two years and will feature over 550 exhibiting countries and welcome over 26,500 visitors.