GraceKennedy is now manufacturing and distributing frozen patties to the United States as part of its latest thrust in securing a place in the global market. Chief Executive Officer Don Wehby told the Jamaica Observer that the conglomerate has partnered with a co-packer of Jamaican heritage in the US to manufacture the patties.


GraceKennedy, which currently distributes to over 60 countries, says it is seeking to carry its newest product across the globe and has already begun distribution in the US.


In an e-mailed response to Business Observer queries, Wehby said the patties can now be found in South Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties; Central Florida in the Orlando/Orange county area; and in most independent chains, including Broward Meat & Fish, Bravo Supermarkets and Presidente supermarkets.


Grace patties, also branded turnovers to better reflect the wider American market, are also listed in Winn-Dixie supermarkets.


“We have also begun exploratory sales in the Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia areas with a listing in 16 Shoppers supermarket stores,” he said.

A note to shareholders in GraceKennedy's 2016 annual report says the patties, which are currently produced in three flavours – spicy beef, mild beef and curry chicken – were introduced in the south-east USA on a test basis in March 2016.


The company said that after extensive research and testing, the patties have received positive reviews on innovative package design and product taste.


GraceKennedy, which styles itself as the ambassador of Caribbean food globally, in its report said the pastry is rapidly being discovered and enjoyed over the world. It estimates the packaged frozen patty retail market size to be well above US$50 million and is aiming for 20 per cent of that amount or US$10 million from patty distribution outside of Jamaica.


Currently Grace patties are priced between US$2.99 and US$3.69 for two patties in each retail box.


“There are no plans to introduce Grace Patties in Jamaica. The focus is on growing the product in our international markets, starting with the USA. We believe there is a significant market of core Jamaican consumers as well as potential mainstream consumers in developed markets,” Wehby reasoned.

The company closed 2016 with the testing of the Grace frozen ackee in key locations in the US.


GraceKennedy's international food companies showed positive year-over-year results for 2016, with Canada and the United Kingdom reaching new milestones for their businesses, according to company data.


The group saw revenue increase by 10.7 per cent to total $88.27 billion for the year. GraceKennedy's money services segment reported the highest growth rate of 19.3 per cent, followed by banking and investments, insurance, and food trading, which showed growth rates of 11.5 per cent, 9.9 per cent and 9.8 per cent, respectively.



Food trading continued to be the dominant contributor to revenue accounting for 78 per cent of total group revenue.

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- On 27-28 April 2017, a digital financial services (DFS) workshop will be convened in Port of Spain, Trinidad, to update policy makers in the Caribbean about the latest trends in financial technology. 


The workshop is organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) subregional headquarters for the Caribbean in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT), the UWI St Augustine Campus, and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). 


In light of the success of the financial technology workshop held in Port of Spain from 1 - 3 June 2016, the DFS workshop should benefit policy makers seeking greater participation in the digital economy. 


Financial technology, or FinTech, encompasses a range of approaches to the modernization of the financial services industry. These include new forms of payment systems to support e-commerce, crowd funding technologies to enable business development, and regulatory tools that can detect and prevent financial crimes. 


FinTech is an emerging sector poised for high growth in coming years. It appears to be a field in which Caribbean companies may be able to specialize and prosper, and to build services that can be exported to global markets. 


ECLAC has been in the forefront of identifying appropriate policy responses that address this wave of new financial technologies that have emerged in recent years, and supports the idea that there is great value in bringing together stakeholders from both regulatory institutions and the Caribbean’s financial technology industry. 



The workshop is expected to bring together stakeholders ranging from financial and telecommunications/ICT regulators; to representatives of academia and institutions critical to research and development of the innovation sector; entrepreneurs seeking to develop and use innovative financial solutions; mobile network operators; banks; financial service providers; mobile financial services platform providers, as well as international organizations, NGOs involved in financial inclusion programmes and civil society.

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(Barbados Today) Misleading!

That’s how Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite  has described Barbados’ listing by the United States State Department as a major money laundering country, based on 2016 reporting.

In fact, in a statement released today by the Barbados Government Information Service, the Office of the Attorney General said while the report cited a number of generic methods of money laundering that may be found in any country, the island’s best intelligence does not support the view that they are at proportions which would have a significant impact on the local economy, or cause the faintest ripple in the international financial sector.

Following is the full statement issued in response to the recent action by the US State Department.

” It has come to the attention of the Government of Barbados that the United States of America’s (US) State Department recently named Barbados among a number of countries which the US regards as major money laundering countries.  This appears to be a position taken on 2016 reporting. Barbados is duty bound to state its position on this finding, which it considers to be misleading.

In respect of Barbados, the report cited a number of generic methods of money laundering that may be found in any country.  While the areas of criminal activity cited are present in the country, Barbados’ best intelligence does not support the view that they are at proportions which would have a significant impact on the local economy, or cause the faintest ripple in the international financial sector.

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Barbados has exported BDS$89.9 million (US$44.95 million) in rum products to the European Union over a four year period, Commerce Minister Donville Inniss has said. He said that the exports were for the period 2012-16 and that the industry continued to provide valuable foreign exchange and revenue; supported the sustainability and linkages of many other businesses within the agro-processing and tourism industries; and contributed significantly to job creation.Inniss, speaking at a reception and tasting of Authentic Caribbean Brands hosted by the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association Inc. (WIRSPA) said the objective of the initiative was two-fold: transitioning the industry's output of bulk rum to branded rum; and engaging stakeholders in a strategic partnership to expand the market share of the local brands in the hospitality sector.

Explaining that there were three components to the programme, Inniss noted that this would include a geographic indicator of Barbados' rums, supported by a Barbados Rum Marque, which would become a certifying seal of approval.

He said the other components included the repositioning of the industry to incrementally convert bulk rum to primarily branded rum; and embarking on an ongoing promotional campaign in the tourism sector to secure Barbados Rum Brands as a spirit of choice across hotels and bars.

“I am proud to say that this initiative has begun to bear fruit with the successful completion of the inaugural Barbados Sugar and Rum Season. This event was held during the period February 1 to April 1, 2017, under the auspices of the Barbados Tourism Product Authority.

“Its objective was geared towards enhancing the island's cultural heritage, particularly rum and sugar, and culinary tourism product offerings,” he added.

Outgoing WIRSPA chairman, Dr Frank Ward, who was also present at the function, said the outcome of the French elections could determine the future of the industry.

He said that should Marine Le Pen a far right politician wins it could have a damning effect on the rum industry.

“If there are any changes in Government in some of our major markets, that may also have an impact. The idea that France may pull out of the EU that could have a significant impact upon us . . . . So if the outcome of the French elections is such that it engenders a more protectionist outlook, that would not bode well for us as an export-oriented industry because then there may be barriers put up to us being able to trade. I'm not saying that it's going to happen but we always have to be thinking of various possibilities which will negatively impact upon us,” Ward added.

Le Pen faces political novice and centrist Emmanuel Macron in the run-off on Sunday.

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(Caribbean 360 News) NEW YORK, United States, Tuesday April 25, 2017 – With Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines saying adios to Cuba later this year, JetBlue is looking to fill the void.

Spirit plans to drop its twice-daily Fort Lauderdale to Havana flights on May 31 while Frontier will cease its daily Miami-Havana service on June 4. The two airlines will return 21 weekly Havana frequencies when they cease service to Cuba.

And JetBlue is requesting seven of those weekly frequencies. Six of them would be used for flights between Fort Lauderdale and Havana, and the remaining one to launch a new nonstop Saturday service from Boston to the Cuban capital.

This is the third time the airline has asked DOT to add the Boston-Havana service. The previous two requests were denied.

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