The Ministry of Economic Development, Planning, Trade and Cooperatives last week Tuesday launched its MADE IN GRENADA EXPO and BUY LOCAL FIRST campaigns geared towards promoting the manufacturing Sector.
Both events are carded for February 7- 8, 2014 and will showcase all locally produced goods ranging from jams and jellies to paints.
The purpose of the Expo is to give manufacturers and producers, both large and small, an opportunity to promote their products, earn additional income and get valuable feedback from consumers, while at the same time enhancing their capabilities and skills.
Leading up to the MADE IN GRENADA EXPO a number of training sessions will be held involving the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) and the Grenada Bureau of Standards
The manufacturers will be divided by sector and training will be held for every sector identified.
The Bureau of Standards has already started training with Spice Producers in proper packaging technique.
GIDC will also be offering training in Business Techniques, Business Plan Development and the Importance of Proper Record Keeping.
Manufacturers will also be exposed to topics such as Customer Relations, Sales Technique and Trade Fair Management.
It is anticipated that at the end of the training, processors should be producing a higher quality, more appealing and commercially competitive products for display at the EXPO.
At the end of the training sessions, processors are expected to produce a higher quality, more appealing and commercially competitive products for display at the EXPO.
Speaking at a press conference in St. George’s, GIDC Representative Khesha Mitchell expressed concern over the fact that a lot of local businesses do not keep records and do not have a business plan which is now a request from some institutions when seeking funding.
Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Trade and Cooperatives, Oliver Joseph, explained that events such as these could close the country’s huge trade deficit.
He said that Grenada produces some of the best products in the region but is struggling to get them onto the CARICOM market.
He mentioned that for the first time in many years, the popular Clarke’s Court rum is now selling on the Trinidad and Tobago market.
Minister Joseph is encouraging Grenadians to support local businesses and called on manufactures to start exporting their products.
He believes that if Grenadians buy more local products it will create more jobs and save foreign exchange.
The BUY LOCAL FIRST CAMPAIGN has been organised in response to a call from Government, the Private Sector and citizens to boost the local economy.
The Grenadian economy continues to suffer from depressed economic conditions influenced by the continued slowdown in international economies, a low productivity base and high import bill.
The Grenada Private Sector Working Group is made up of the Ministry of Trade, Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Private Sector Representatives and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Unit in the Ministry of Trade.
The campaign will be done in phases. Phase I (one) of the campaign will be run from November 26, 2013 to February 2014.
This initial phase will seek to introduce the public to concepts of advertisements, as well as encourage them to support the initiative through buying local products.
As part of this phase, supermarkets and mini marts will be the outlets identified for the campaigns through the use of shelf talkers and stickers.
Details on the remaining phases will be given in due course.
The main objectives of the BUY LOCAL CAMPAIGN FIRST are to spur local consumption, generate much needed income especially in the rural economies, as well as encourage manufacturing companies to grow and become export-oriented and to improve Food Security.
Private Sector Representative, Ruel Edwards believes that this initiative presents “a win-win” situation for everyone.
According to Edwards, the hope is that all businesses will benefit and become more profitable, as well as expand and develop, result in greater product consumption, which will encourage innovation.
The campaign will be led by the private sector working group.
The MADE IN GRENADA EXPO and BUY LOCAL FIRST campaigns are in keeping with Government’s policy to provide training and exposure for the local manufacturing sector to enable them to be more competitive on the local and international markets.