Fast-food restaurant chain Chefette has been given a challenge by Prime Minister Mia Mottley to add more homegrown items to its menu and help address the issue of lifestyle diseases (NCDs) on the island.
Acknowledging that the company had already taken some steps to offer some items that can be grown locally, Mottley said Chefette should take it “a step further”.
Mottley was addressed a gathering at the ground brreaking ceremony for the company’s Lears, St Michael ice cream manufacturing plant and meat processing plant on Tuesday evening.
The Prime Minister said: “Part and parcel of being a successful global brand means that what you offer in addition to style of management and the family environment that you have create, but that on the product offering it needs to reflect what can be grown in those lands out there.
“At this very time when those very items have proven to be critical for the healthier lifestyles of our people then we need to see how we can roast breadfruit chips instead of frying English potato chips alone.
“There is a place for English potato chips but we need to find a place for breadfruit and sweet potato chips.”
The restaurant chain seasonally offers sweet potato chips.
“Barbadians have a crisis among the population with chronic NCD’s, and unlike others who believe it is a zero-some game I believe that the responsible decisions that your company will continue to make in terms of changing out the oils that you have and do the other things that are necessary to be able to promote more healthier lifestyles that we can be at the forefront of indigenising the product such that when people think of fast food they don’t only thing of North American type foods. You have done it already with rotis. We need to continue that process of indigenisation.
“I know that on occasions you have done elements of it but we would like to see it as a permanent feature because we hope that others will follow you in their offerings as well at the national and regional.”
With its new Frosteez brand ice cream set to come on stream by summer 2021, Mottley urged the company to start considering ice cream flavours “that would allow the farmers in St Andrews, St Joseph and St Thomas, to know that they can come and get their produce sold”.
“We need to have a production model that is reflective of seasons as well.
“Don’t be drawn into the view that everything has to be a carbon copy every day of life.
“People enjoy seasonal variety.”