The Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) has embarked on an aggressive drive to stimulate enhanced promotion of the Grenada Nutmeg commonly known as the island’s “black gold.”
Initiatives to be undertaken range from the unveiling of a new logo which gives identity to the product, the development of a website (www.grenadanutmeg.com) for more exposure and the opening of a Spice and Souvenir Shop to sell value added nutmeg products.
In its quest to increase nutmeg production, the association is also seeking to spark interest among the younger population to become more involved in the nutmeg industry.
Addressing persons gathered for the opening of the new Spice and Souvenir Shop dubbed, “All Things Nutmeg,’ located inside the GCNA complex, Kirani James Boulevard, St. George, Marlon Clyne, the GCNA General Manager, said the initiative signals a new way of doing business for the farmers organisation.
“This represents a new approach to the way we do things at the GCNA,” he told the gathering, noting that the association was created by farmers to market the nutmeg industry and look after their interest.
Citing a need for a change as it relates to the marketing of Grenada’s nutmeg, Clyne said the focus continues to be on having bulk quantities of nutmeg for export as was the case prior to the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 in which the industry was badly affected.
He recalled that “for a number of years we have approached nutmeg marketing with a strategy that was geared towards bulk production, where we would prepare nutmeg in containers and export, because we had the quantity.”
“Since Ivan…up to today, we have continued with that strategy. Prior to Ivan we were producing almost 3000 tons of nutmeg. Today we are producing just about 500 tons,” so naturally there should be a change in the way we attempt to market our nutmegs,” he added.
Clyne explained that the focus of the new drive is “an attempt to reach down the value chain” in efforts to generate “higher prices” for the Spice product “instead of focusing on selling to wholesalers, who have to resell the nutmegs.”
He said the idea is to “sell in smaller quantities and get higher value. So the ‘All Things Nutmeg’ shop will be a learning ground for us as we prepare to take this internationally.”
Clyne pointed out that, “Preparation for the international market would rely on linkages that we (GCNA) would create with other industries – especially the tourism industry…creating a pillar that would allow us to be more competitive…and strengthen our position as a nutmeg producer.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Merina Jessamy, lauded the new initiatives being undertaken by the GCNA.
“I believe that the branding of the GCNA here today, with the website (and) the shop really herald a new season for the GCNA and the Agriculture sector…”, she said as she congratulated the management and staff for their innovation.
“This initiative is very opportune, we have enough time to practice until the next season comes around,” she added.