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Local food sampling exhibition hailed a success

Local food  sampling exhibition hailed a success

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The Food Sampling mini exhibition put on by the Department of Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Commerce and Information Technology has been described as successful.

Janice King, a trade officer in the department, said the mini exhibition, which was held on the Inland Revenue sidewalk last Friday, 2 October 2015, was the first to be staged by the department. The second will be held this Friday, October 9, under the Singer building.{{more}}

She said the exhibition was exclusively for public sampling of the local products which were showcased in the categories of jams and jellies and peanuts, in an effort to determine the best product in each category, using specific guidelines based on labelling standards and taste.

King said a number of people stopped by and sampled products, which they described as being of “excellent quality”.

Based on the criteria for judging, the top three products in each of the categories will be selected to participate in the national exhibition hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture to mark World Food Day, celebrated on October 16; however, the national fair will be held on October 15 at Heritage Square.

The Department of Trade’s director, Cuthbert Knights, said the participation of the local producers in the national exhibition is part of a broad mandate of showcasing an annual “SVG’s Best Competition and Award” for local manufacturers and service providers to help promote Vincentian businesses and products locally and internationally.

He added: “What we (the Ministry) want to do is to let Vincentians be aware of the products which are being produced here; we want to heighten that awareness; we also want to encourage Vincentians to support these types of products.”

He said while the department knew of the quality of the products, it also wanted to stress the importance of improving standards and the need for better packaging.

In other words, the purpose of the mini exhibition is to: showcase and stimulate an appetite for local products; raise consumer awareness of existing products; and highlight the importance for standards.

A larger exhibition is being planned by the department for the year 2016 and there are plans to include regional producers.

Two of the participants in Friday’s exhibition expressed confidence in the quality of their products. One of the participants, Yvonne Lyttle of Sisis, producers of bottled nuts, said the taste of her nuts separated her from the others.

“They really tasty; everybody say they like the crunch.”

On the other hand, Sonia Pierre of Sonia’s Delicacies of Bequia said she was very excited and happy to be there.

Sonia said she produced jams, jellies and preserves in flavours unique to her.

“I don’t really have competition,” she proudly claimed.

The department is encouraging members of the public to participate in the upcoming events and lend their support to local producers, especially during this month, when the focus is on everything Vincentian as we celebrate our Independence anniversary on October 27.

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