Today marks seven years since the Guyana Marketing Corporation’s (GMC) Guyana Shop reopened its doors to the Public and renewed its focus on the continued marketing of local agro-processed products in Guyana.
To commemorate the milestone, GMC held a formal ceremony at its Robb and Alexander streets location.
Speaking at the ceremony this morning was Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder. In his address, the Minister said that the Guyana Shop’s focused is aligned with the vision of the Government of Guyana for food processing and value addition to be drivers for diversification and commercialization of agriculture, employment generation and increase export possibilities.
Acknowledging that the Guyana Shop is the largest selling agent of local agro-processed products in Guyana, Minister Holder spoke of the new and innovative value-added products developed over the years, many of which are on the shelves in the Guyana Shop today.
“These products include wines such as passion fruit wine, peanut and bark wine, peanut wine, boulanger wine among others, flours such as breadfruit and banana flours. There have also been soaps such as coconut oil, moringa soaps and lemon soaps,” Minister Holder explained.
He further noted: “From 2013 to now, we have seen 344 new products in the Guyana Shop, a few notable examples are Sun Crest Honey, Green Diamond, 592 Wines, GT Wines [and ] Leisa’s Products. Additionally, seven years ago when the Shop reopened the products that were shelved were sourced from regions 1,2,3,4 and 9. Over the years this has been expanded to include regions 5, 6 and 10.”
Ms. Rajdai Jagarnauth, Board Director of GMC’s Board, and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Business, who also spoke at the ceremony, noted that that the Board of Directors will continue to lend support to the Guyana Shop. She said that efforts are being made to ensure that the Guyana Shop has a presence in all of the regions of Guyana. She further stated that GMC will strive towards having a presence regionally, and extra regionally.
Also speaking at the ceremony was General Manager of the Guyana Marketing Corporation, Mrs. Ida Sealey-Adams. Mrs. Sealey-Adams spoke of the work the Guyana Shop has been doing over the years to ensure the success of agro-processors and by extension the agro-processing Industry.
GMC, through the Guyana Shop, has hosted several events to market local products. Some of these events were the Farine Fiesta, a Collaboration with Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs; the Honey Expo; tasting and sampling sessions at three Post Offices, a collaboration with the Guyana Post Office Corporation and flour producers, among others.
Mrs. Sealey-Adams also spoke of other promotional activities in which the Corporation is involved to promote local products locally, regionally and extra regionally. These ultimately lead to the formation of important linkages for agro-processors.
“Regionally, we have participated in events to promote your (agro-processors) local products. This resulted in linkages where the Corporation facilitated sending samples of products of interest to potential buyers. Notably, this resulted in products such as coconut oil and preserved carambola fruits being exported,” Mrs. Sealey-Adams told the small gathering.
Apart from participating in regional tradeshows, GMC has also provided support for agro-processors to market its product internationally.
“…we also continue to provide support to our Agro-processors to participate in trade shows and exhibitions. For instance, in 2017 we supported our Agro-processors in their participation of SIAL Trade show. SIAL Canada is now the only event of its scale in Canada, with more than 1,000 national and international exhibitors from 50 countries hosting over 18,500 buyers.
Additionally, earlier in this month, we also provided support to some of our Agro-processors who participated in a Trade show that was held in Miami.”
The General Manager concluded on the note that GMC will continue to engage local supermarkets and other retail shops to have local products sold nationwide. Additionally, GMC will continue to lobby to have organizations support local products.
She thanked the agro-processors for their continued support and commended them on the tremendous development they have shown over the years.
She assured the agro-processors that the Corporation will continue to work with them to ensure the increased marketability of their products.
Following the event, the Minister participated in the sticking of the cake after which he presented baskets filled with local products to persons who were part of the Guyana Shop’s 7th Anniversary basket giveaway promotion.