Dozens of Caribbean companies had the opportunity to network, connect and trade with potential European partners during the newly launched two-day Absolutely Caribbean Virtual Expo, which kicked-off on Tuesday.
Hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the European Union (EU), the innovative expo provided opportunities for about 50 regional firms.
Over the two days, more than 380 registered attendees, largely from the European buying community, engaged directly with the Caribbean exhibitors who flew the flag for the region in the competitive consumer goods category.
In welcome remarks at the expo’s opening ceremony, Caribbean Export’s Chairperson Senator Dr Lynette Holder said: “We strongly believe in the quality of goods that come from the Caribbean. Products range from award-winning cocoa, innovative ‘free from’ flours, and unique herbs and spices grown in the Caribbean that infuse our local cuisine and which we are already exporting globally.”
In addition to the expo, visitors were able to participate in informative and educational live webinar sessions involving pioneering entrepreneurs, business leaders and organisations from around the world.
Some of the sessions on day one included Caribbean Flava, featuring highly regarded Caribbean chef influencers Craig and Shaun McAnuff of Original Flava; Food Trends after COVID-19, hosted by the International Trade Centre (ITC)-Alliances for Action; and All Things Natural, an enlightening discussion on the array of plant-based ingredients and natural products from the Caribbean, involving Dr Damian Cohall from the University of the West Indies and Michael Hughes from FMCG Gurus.
Wednesday’s webinars included uncovering of insights and opportunities for Caribbean businesses in the UK with Category Wins.
ITC-Alliances for Action hosted two sessions focused on the Caribbean coffee and cocoa industries, and the day ended with a focus on one of the Caribbean’s oldest industries – rum and spirits – which was hosted by the Rum and Spirits Academy of Europe.
The expo was a follow-up event to the successful fourth CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum which was held in Frankfurt, Germany in 2019. It was supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers Association (WIRSPA). (PR)