My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: US$300 mil market for JCIA and JAMPRO Factory Standard Jamaican Black Castor Oil

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

US$300 mil market for JCIA and JAMPRO Factory Standard Jamaican Black Castor Oil

Forget about discovering oil; Jamaican Black Castor Oil and commercial grade castor oil may be worth some US$300 million.

So says Interim president of JCIA (Jamaica Castor Industry Association), Joel Harris at a JCIA/JAMPRO sponsored Castor Oil Production workshop as reported in the article “US$100m Market Beckons For Jamaican Black Castor Oil”, Published Wednesday July 26, 2017 by Avia Collinder, The Jamaica Gleaner.

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The Workshop, which was held on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 focused on making the production of Castor Oil more industrial. This is as opposed to labour intensive methods employed which include:

1.      Picking
2.      Threshing
3.      Roasting
4.      Boiling
5.      Pulping with mortar and pestle
6.      Boiling to obtain the oil

Such an industrial-scale process has the advantage of:

1.      Improving margins
2.      Reducing inefficiencies
3.      Promoting consistency of quality among providers

Developing such standards for a factory process could position processors to reliably supply foreign markets.

Castor Oil Production Standard needed to tap foreign Markets

The demand is huge in the USA, according to Joel Harris, quote:  “Research shows a demand of between US$100 million between the United States and the UK, and US$200 million in Africa”.

This can be seen from the high prices of Castor Oil both locally and in the USA:

1.      JA$1,000 for the 4 oz
2.      JA$1,600 for the 8 oz
3.      US$8 to US$9 for the 4 oz in the USA

With a growing market for Jamaican Black Castor Oil and commercial grade castor oil, of US$300 million or more based on the demand by communities of African descent and Latino markets mainly for cosmetic purposes, the sky is the limit. Our only competitor is India but Jamaican Black Castor Oil is world renown, like our Blue Mountain Coffee.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil has a dark colour, the results of roasting the beans. So JCIA/JAMPRO initiative is two-fold; increase the number of Castor Farmers as well as improve the product quality via the introduction of an industrial process.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil –JCIA and JAMPRO’s industry standards to net US$300 million

The workshop was aimed at JCIA's 120 individual members and community group heads. The aim is to not only educate oil producers but establish industry standards and tap the collective knowledge of members.

Joel Harris's own company, Shavuot Limited of Winters Pen in St Catherine, is actively involved in the production of Castor Oil. Aside from producing two 55-gallon drums on a monthly basis, they also have been selling and marketing herbal teas and spices under the Shavuot brand for the past two (2) years.

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Joel Harris own experience should be motivation enough; his operation is profitable two (2) months after investing some $3 million in the start-up for the castor oil segment of his business. He benefits from the more efficient mechanical process, which yields 19.42% to 38.84% oil as pointed out by JCIA trainer and CEO of Temple Foods in Portland, Noel Terrier.

The trash is not wasted; it can be used to make Biofuel as pointed out in my blog article entitled “PCJ, UTECH develop Castor Oil-based Biodiesel to reduce Oil imports by 97,000 barrels”. 

I hope that in planting more land to grow Castor Oil, the PCJ and UTECH also develope the tech to recycle Cooking Oil, thereby creating Biofuel from Castor Oil and Waste Cooking Oil Blends that can reduce Jamaica’s Oil Importation!!


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