Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is intensifying its marketing and promotional efforts to increase exports and source additional markets for Jamaica’s authentic food brands and products.
The JAMPRO team has been tapping into various markets, including Canada, United States of America (USA), Cuba and other Caribbean territories.
Highlighting the marketing initiatives, Manager for Sales and Promotion at JAMPRO, Marlene Porter, told JIS News that through its Canada Market Development programme, JAMPRO has been undertaking several activations to identify and grow exports in the various areas.
“JAMPRO has been looking at the Canadian market for several years now and we have had workshops that look at that country. We have had speakers share with us on the Canadian market and doing business there. We have hosted engagements in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission, so that our local stakeholders and clients can be sensitised on the market requirements, the trends in consumer demand and other dynamics relating to the market and how to penetrate it,” she said.
Mrs. Porter added that there have been workshops looking at the packaging and labeling requirements within the Canadian market as well as trade missions and shows that various local companies have participated in to network and showcase their products.
“We have put some 16 companies before buyers that have come in from Canada for business-to-business meetings and visits to their facilities, so that the buyers can see that we have the capacity and can sustain a presence in the market,” the Manager pointed out.
Mrs. Porter said that the market development programme for Cuba has been bearing fruit, with plans for an inward mission from Cuba to coincide with Expo Jamaica in April.
In terms of the United States, JAMPRO has undertaken a number of activations in Florida, New York and Georgia, and is preparing to venture into Washington DC.
“The Caribbean is an important target market, and we continue to look for the opportunities there. Late last year, we did a mission across three Caribbean markets with a number of companies, to explore even further how we can build out that market,” Mrs. Porter informed.
“So, we have a number of activations planned to get our export products out there, to get brand Jamaica out there, and we are looking at special programmes as well that will help to promote brand Jamaica as we build out our individual market-penetration initiatives,” she added.
Come March 13, JAMPRO will be hosting an agricultural information session geared at further promoting investments in that sector.
The session is targeted at persons who have a deep interest in that industry, and those with projects and seeking investors.
“In going into exports, people need to understand that it requires work. You have to take certain steps to understand the market and realise there are differences in doing exports than just selling on the local market,” Mrs. Porter said.
She is encouraging persons to “seize opportunities of this kind by going into the markets, gather market intelligence and take that step of doing business and expanding exports”.