FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 21, 2022
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Local, regional and international industry experts convene at the JBDC Business Dialogue Forum on Monday, April 25, 2022. The second staging for this year’s forum series will be under the theme ‘Going Global: Developing the Agro-Processing Industry for Export.’ The session will be held via Zoom at 6:00pm. The JBDC is giving keen attention to the agriculture and manufacturing value chain and the range of opportunities it provides for global reach and expansion. A wide range of experts, including the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will provide insights on the current climate and the potential for brand Jamaica to increase export.
The agro-processing industry is positioned to be “big business” for Jamaica and has the capacity to carry local brands to international markets. Chief Executive Officer, JBDC, Ms. Valerie Veira noted “the forum is set to focus on the export potential of the several value-added and by products which are made from produce in the agriculture sector.” She added that each nodule of the value-chain must be looked at carefully.” Continuing, she said “the agricultural sector has the capacity to affect every sector and therefore conversations surrounding its potential are integral.”
Mr. Harold Davis, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the JBDC underscored the importance of forums such as these that highlight what is being done within the ecosystem. He said, “JBDC is positioning ourselves to drive new business opportunities along industry value chains by building industry specific incubators.” Continuing, he added that JBDC’s goal is to increase direct access to new local and international markets for our clients. “Through our projects and partnerships we are aiming to develop the capacity of micro and small enterprises to meet international certification and quality standards for export,” he said.
The forum will cover a variety of areas that take into consideration the elements within agro-processing industry while exploring the landscape and requisite details to enter international markets. The forum will see the following topics being addressed:
- Branding & Packaging Design to meet international standards
- AgriBusiness – Fulfilling the global demand for Brand Jamaica through Exports
- Sustaining Production: Accessing raw material, markets & funding
- CDB Project – Enhancing the export capacity of Micro and Small Agro-Processors using the Cluster Approach
- Standards, Regulations and meeting Global Requirements
The session will be moderated by Mr. Davis and the panellists include: Mr. Colin Porter, Technical Services Manager, JBDC; Miss Marlene Porter, Manager, Sales & Promotions , JAMPRO; Miss Christal Ann Thompson, CEO Honey Vera; Mr. Max Foedinger, International Consultant and Ms. Julia Douett, Director Standards, Bureau of Standard Jamaica. The main address will be delivered by Coordinator of MSME Development at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Lisa Harding.
The JBDC, through joint efforts with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the European Union (EU) will be enhancing the agro-processing sector in a major way. The initiative is called the Increasing the Export Capacity of Micro and Small Agro-Processors Using the Cluster Approach Project. Jamaica’s agri-entrepreneurs will get access to a range of manufacturing, training and marketing support under the two-year project launched in 2021, which is being implemented by the JBDC. The aim of the initiative is to actively grow exports nationally in keeping with development targets for the sector. This will lead to economic growth and additional opportunities for MSMEs and greater economic empowerment for women.
The Business Dialogue Forum provides an opportunity for discussion around current and topical issues impacting the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector. The forum features key thought leaders within various industries and sectors that provide insightful and relevant information. The JBDC plans to host the forum on a bi-monthly basis. Interested persons may visit www.jbdc.net to register.