My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Jamaica Producers plans to export Breadfruit Flour and Chips to US, Canada in August 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

How Jamaica Producers plans to export Breadfruit Flour and Chips to US, Canada in August 2017

Banana shortage is apparently not a problem for JP (Jamaica Producers).

They've begun to lay plans to make products from local fruit for export, including Breadfruit as noted in “Breadfruit Snack Heading Overseas - JP Starts Shipping In August, Others Ramp Up Fruit Production”, published Sunday July 23, 2017 by Avia Collinder, The Jamaica Gleaner

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They’ve' developed a plan to quadruple the crops produced on their farms in Agualta Vale, St Mary from 210 hectares to 420 hectares by 2019. Managing Director of Jamaica Producers Group Jeffery Hall says JP would be exporting breadfruit chips by August 2017, as there is a global increase in demand for the fruit as pointed out in my blog article entitled “How RADA's National Fruit-Tree Crop Project benefits Breadfruit Farmers, Red Stripe and GOJ”. 

JP plans to use the USA as a test market, with the UK coming on stream next year to quote Jeffery Hall: "We are particularly pleased to report that we will begin exporting the product to the USA for the first time in August". Breadfruit is among several fruits and vegetables which will be used to make VA (Value Added Products) include:

1.      Bananas
2.      Cassava
3.      Potato varieties
4.      Breadfruit
5.      Pineapple

JP already makes and distributes several types of chips which are sold in local and foreign markets:

1.      Banana
2.      Cassava
3.      Plantain

Breadfruit as a snack option would not be new or even a surprise to many Jamaicans, as it tastes great when fried and goes well with anything else. But mass production might be a problem, as it takes three (3) years from planting to bear fruits unlike Banana chips which is made from excess banana as noted in my  blog article entitled “How Banana Shortage in Jamaica indicates Bananas extinct in Caribbean by 2020”.

Realizing this, JP has locked in contracts with farmers to supply the fruit, hinting at local price increases in the future as farmers may sell what they have to JP in preference to selling it in the market. But why breadfruit?

JP and Breadfruit – Breadfruit Chips popular but Flour the real money maker

Breadfruit, a cheaply grown Jamaican staple, has byproducts that are gluten-free. This means that the flour produced by Breadfruit may find favour with the health-conscious market in the United States and Canada

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But it may be the flour that carries the highest value, with an almost 500% value added boost once processes into a flour to quote Michael McLaughlin of the TFFF (Trees That Feed Foundation): “The wholesale price is only US$0.50 to US$0.80 per fruit weighing an average of four pounds. The local price for processed breadfruit is US$3-US$5 per pound. The math shows a value add of at least 500 per cent, which is more than enough to cover the costs of production and distribution”.

Currently the demand for flour made from breadfruit is around 300,000 tonnes per month. Good to note that JP has already been selling breadfruit chips solely to Jamaicans for the past six (6) years.

However, come August 2017, they'll be testing out the North American market, now more health conscious than before and looking for sugar free snack options as noted in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Gracekennedy Aloe Vera Sinkle Bibles American Health Drinks in 2016”.

 In 2016, JP made some US$12 billion in revenue; their food and drink operations contributed $8 billion with their snacks division contributing some 12% of total revenue. With some 93 million people consuming breadfruit, an a potential demand of 150 million in markets as-yet tapped by JP and other producers, the sky is the limit as to how much breadfruit as a snack and a healthy eating option can bring in for the company.

So says Managing Director of Jamaica Producers Group Jeffery Hall, quote: “The opportunities for breadfruit are meaningful. The demand exceeds supply. We hope to grow breadfruit exports to 10 per cent of the snack business by this time next year”. 

To this end JP is working with farmers to boost production, as they have everything set including new packaging come September 2017 to quote Mr Hall:  “JP is a leading producer of breadfruit chips. Our demand for this product is very strong and as such we are actively promoting cultivation of the crop and are working with farmers and engaging other interests, including Trees That Feed Foundation. In line with the significant growth potential for this product, we are launching a brand new package in September”.

Breadfruit may be the new Banana chips enjoyed by Americans and the Brits, if JP's plans succeed.

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