In keeping with the late George Brizan’s book entitled, “Nutmeg – Grenada’s Black Gold”, this paper now goes on to designate the GCNA as Grenada’s Gold Mine and gives Eleven (11) ways that the Nutmeg Association can be Grenada’s goldmine.
They include: (1) Changing GCNA’s Marketing and Sales Policy to supply directly the Main END USERS of Grenada Nutmeg, (2) Developing A National Spice Grinding Plant, (3)Establishing Grenada Nutmeg as a FOOD, (4) GCNA merged with the Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA), (5) Adding value to ALL Nutmeg and Mace end products, (6)Nutmeg Growers must own GCNA’s $66 million Assets, (7) GCNA to involve school children and Imani youths & the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture in all aspects of GCNA’s work, (8) GCNA to use the GIS for Success stories in the operation of GCNA, (9) GCNA to have Nutmeg trees growing at the Airport (MBIA) and in Grand Etang for Tourism, (10) HAACCP compliant Mace Solar Dryers, (11) GCNA to adopt Electronic Technology at the Processing Plants for members and to control Praedial Larceny.
These Eleven ways as a Black Gold Mine will now be expanded as follows:-
Now the details, for more than ‘three scores and ten years’, the GCNA has operated and managed the same way as a Price taker not a Price maker –depending on a middle man or an agent to obtain its income.
Recently, they are looking for others in Trinidad, in Cuba, and even in Europe while still selling Grenada Nutmegs in Crocus Bags. THIS Must Stop. GCNA must now sell our nutmegs to END Users that is the People and Companies which use Grenada nutmegs in their formulations and in their Finished products.
This means that GCNA must now know the names and addresses of these End Users and obtain Specification sheets of these end users. Sometimes these end users may require other spices blended with our nutmegs.
In doing this we will be receiving five to six times the value that we now or even used to receive for our nutmegs. We would even have to begin the “JIT“ system of marketing and sales for the end users will require the ground nutmegs and minor Ingredients at short notice.
With this NEW approach we will be selling Ground Nutmegs and Spice blends and co-operating with the Minor Spice Corporation. Perhaps we can start by working with a Jobber in Europe as we set up a Grinding Plant at Lagoon Road using the current Broken & Clean Nutmeg (BCN) Plant.
The GCNA must now set up a HACCP Compliant and GCNA Compliant National Spice Grinding Plant by retrofitting the Broken & Clean (BCN) plant now located in Lagoon Road which supplies nutmeg pieces to Canada and the USA.
In so doing the GCNA can now sell Food Grade Ground Spices to both the local, Caribbean and International Markets and to the End users of Grenada Nutmegs that CATZ International and JHB International now supply.
In that way we would earn three to four times what we now receive for Grenada Nutmegs on the world market. I can help if contacted to implement same.
Tied in with this Spice Grinding Plant must include the Package and Packaging Technology to ensure High Quality products both for large suppliers and small operators in Grenada without Loss in Quality, and Shelf Life Stability.
Nutmeg and Mace is a FOOD – we must now begin to publicise this fact to ALL Grenadians that Nutmeg is a Food and must be always treated as a food from picking to harvesting to processing by enforcing ALL Food Handling Practices and Practices including not only Food Sanitation but also Critical Control Points monitoring and so on.
GCNA must now link up with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Dr. Burkhardt of St, George’s University ( SGU) to establish his cheap Solar Dryer for Mace after it is washed.
Value Added Products: The GCNA must emphasise adding value to Grenada Nutmegs and its by-products such as the Nutmeg shell, the Nutmeg pods, grinders and Distillation grade nutmegs including the production of Nutmeg Oil, Oleoresins and Aquaresins and Mace and its by-products in Joint Venture relationships with existing companies and operations.
As a matter of fact, GCNA must set up a sub-committee to search for and obtain Joint Venture partners. Up to twenty percent of the GCNA income can come from adding value to the other products.
Ownership: It is time that ALL Nutmeg owners own GCNA by giving each nutmeg grower and member of the GCNA ONE (1) share valued at (say) $150.00 as be issued to nutmeg sellers and growers by some other formula to be agreed on.
Merger and Change of Name: It is time that the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association and the Grenada Cocoa Association join together to form the Grenada Cocoa and Nutmeg Association Ltd with one Board of Directors, one Secretary and one General Manager.
This should cut down on the overheads and the cost of Management of the GCNA. Further details could be worked out from time to time.
GCNA and the Young People: GCNA must involve young persons in all aspects of its existence.
The GCNA must sign an aide memoire to work with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Agriculture and the Imani programme.
Grenada Nutmeg Myristica fragrance should be added to the syllabus such as the Botany of Nutmegs and the History of Nutmegs and later the Financials of the GCNA in its annual report with the POB students.
Small scale Research and Development should begin to determine the sex life of Nutmegs such as methods to determine maleness and femaleness in very young nutmeg seedlings.
GCNA should run a Nutmeg Planting competition all over Grenada for Primary school students to see who can plant the most nutmeg seedlings in Five Days in August in Farmer’s lands. Winners cold be given a Trophy to be kept in the winner’s school.
Eco-Tourism & Nutmegs: GCNA should have at least one (1)Nutmeg Tree grown in the Airport just like the ones that exists in the Lagoon Road Complex but there should be a small Billboard highlighting a few facts on the Grenada Nutmeg and some Nutmeg Shells as Air Fresheners in the lobby of the Airport. Similarly there should be a Nutmeg “Spice Garden” with Nutmeg shells at Grand Etang in front of the Great House and tour for tourists etc.
Electronics in GCNA: The GCNA must adopt Electronics in its operation so that one day we even can have a Debit card when we sell nutmegs weighed in Grams and Kilograms even to curb Praedial Larceny.
GIS and GCNA: The GCNA should be invited to give success stories and technical information on the Nutmeg Industry and on the GCNA.
These are but a few ways how the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association can become “Grenada’s Black Gold Mine”.
Dr. E. Reginald Buckmire