On the heels of strategic moves in the Caribbean in 2016, regional seafood giant Rainforest Seafoods set sights on exporting Jamaican lobster and conch to five new global export markets.
The company’s exceptional start to 2017 was bolstered with the exporting of frozen lobster to Greece, Germany and the United Arab Emirates in early January.
Exporting frozen lobster to these markets follows their introduction of live lobster to the Chinese and American markets last December.
Live lobster exports to the Asian market were well-timed for their peak seasonal demand, where the product commands a premium price during the celebration of the Chinese new year. Export of the product has provided greater opportunities for local artisanal fishermen who supply the company.
According to CEO Brian Jardim, with their role as the largest supplier of seafood in the Caribbean cemented, there is a continued thrust to expand their export reach.
“In 2016 our exports into the CSME grew by over 40%, driven largely by the increase in traction of our products in St. Lucia and Barbados,” he indicated.
He further explained that most of that growth was attributed to the increased export of value- added products manufactured at their Kingston facility including smoked, pickled, formed and breaded proteins.
Jardim announced the expansion into new export markets during the official tour of their state-of-the-art processing facility in Kingston by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson-Smith on Tuesday, January 31.
The tour was made as the manufacturing company and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held discussions about stimulating Jamaica’s trade and export growth, which the company believes will drive an increase in local manufacturing and further creation of value-added products, both of which are critical to providing local employment.
In addition to its plants in Kingston and Montego Bay, Rainforest has operations in St. Lucia, Barbados and Belize. The company employs over 600 team members across the Caribbean, most of whom are Jamaica-based.