News Date: September 10 2016
THE Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) has been given a mandate to rebrand its Food Promotion Unit. Word of this has come from Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick. Speaking yesterday morning at the launch of the Purity Bakeries’ Cassava Blended Bread at Sky Mall, he said this rebranding has become necessary given that the work currently being undertaken by that arm of the BADMC is not in fact food promotion, but rather agricultural product development and innovation. Given that, he disclosed the Unit will become the Agricultural Product Development and Innovation Centre. “That is what they have done in producing all of these new value-added products from primary products… You can go back to when they developed pasta from cassava, when they developed vinegar from cassava and all the other products that would have been developed at the BADMC, but nobody knows about them. Nobody knows about them because it is not branded as a centre for innovation and product development, so those products can be picked up by our manufacturing sectors and via licensing arrangements or other branding arrangements to start to market those particular products,” he said. Additionally, the Minister said that through this new Centre, persons will also get to know about the range of products made through the agri-preneurship programme. The young agriculturalists involved in that programme, he said, have successfully produced a large number of agricultural products including soaps, cosmetics and creams. His comments came as he said it is important that Barbadians understand that the world, not just Barbados, is their market and so it is important to create products and be innovative. Chief Executive Officer of the BADMC, Shawn Tudor, told the media after the launch that the rebranding effort will take place shortly, and will allow the Corporation to position itself differently when it comes to manufacturers – being able to manufacture under licence and engage the private sector. During his earlier address, Tudor said the BADMC had invested hundreds of man-hours with respect to food science and marketing expertise to innovate and introduce five new, commercially viable, gluten-free convenience foods utilising cassava. “These are all marketed under the Carmeta’s brand and include cassava cheesecake and sponge cake, as well as the cookies and sorbets… We remain committed to increasing consumer awareness and contributing to the cassava convenience food category here in Barbados through wider retail distribution and ongoing promotional support,” he said. His comments came as he noted that BADMC’s Agribusiness and Agricultural Services Divisions have contributed human and infrastructural resources to the Cassava Value Chain Development Programme in several key areas, including facilitating 34 cassava farmers to securely and cost effectively supply 70 000 pounds of cassava to the bakery industry, which was processed into 22 000 pounds of grated cassava and cassava flour by BADMC. He added that the Corporation has joined Purity and other bakeries in assuring the price accessibility of cassava blended bread by subsidising some 37 per cent of the cost of grated cassava processing.
News Source: Barbados Advocate