Monday, February 17, 2020

Local Breadfruit in High Demand Because of Yellowish Color and Size

The United States market has been one of the most coveted yet difficult markets to penetrate. Border regulations and other non-tariff barriers have made it increasingly difficult for small countries like Saint Lucia to successfully penetrate these markets.

Export Saint Lucia has been actively pursuing export opportunities in the United States, and in February 2019 embarked on a familiarization and fact-finding mission to the market.

Export Saint Lucia CEO, Sunita Daniel hailed the mission a success.

“We can confirm that we have received contracts for non-traditional agricultural produce, for example our local breadfruit, which buyers have stated is among the best they have seen because of its yellowish color and size, which is preferred by the U.S. consumer. There is also confirmed demand for sea moss, particularly in California, for its potential health benefits, and we think that it can only augur well for our sea moss farmers if we can take advantage of this opportunity.”

The CEO also went on to identify two major deliverables coming from the mission. “In our meeting with some members of the Miami Chamber of Commerce, it was agreed that we would explore the use of Algas Organics “Plant Tonic” on a number of baseball fields in the wider U.S. and possibly for golf courses in Florida. This would be a wonderful opportunity for the company if the product is adopted as the “go-to” fertilizer for the fields of play for two of America’s favorite pastimes. “ 

Daniel further stated, “As it stands, some Saint Lucian products are not allowed entry into the US, specifically; soursop, mangoes, and golden apples. During the mango season we see an abundance of mangoes, some even going to waste in St. Lucia, while there is a great demand for these products in the US. We’ve had discussions with the FDA, and they’ve given us a contact at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and together with our Ministry of Agriculture we will examine how we can start the conversation with the USDA on lifting those restrictions for these agricultural products. So very soon we should see the export of Golden Apples and Mangoes to the U.S. market”

According to the Director of Client Management Jerson Badal, Export Saint Lucia sought opportunities beyond the traditional supermarkets and distributorships, to target ethnic stores and terminal markets with a view to increase exports for smaller exporters. Badal added, “We also wanted to look at existing exporters and how best we can increase their arrangements for market entry. Critically we wanted to ensure that once market entry was successful, that the exporters had the ability to maintain and sustain entry requirement and demand. We also want to look at opportunities for artistes, musicians, and persons in the fashion industry. The mission went through an enormous amount of research to identify which products presented the best opportunities for market entry, which distributors should be targeted, including logistics and other factors which may impact exports.”

Export Saint Lucia will continue to keep the public abreast on these and other strides as it relates to the U.S. market.


  1. When I was a child growing up in my home country of St. Kitts, we used to despise the breadfruit and hide to eat it. But when I traveled to the US and a friend from St. Lucia brought some back when he went home and gave one to me, I could not believe that breadfruit could taste so good, it can be eaten alone because it is so tasty. I am elated that St. Lucia breadfruit will be more available in the US.

  2. This is excellent news and the kind of work I appreciate this Government is doing. It was yesterday in fact I was having a discussion on how much mangoes that goes to waste in our country and what done to bring in some money by selling it to foreign countries.
    I live in Canada for many years and knows first hand how expensive it is to buy these things there first hand so I am.encouraged by this initiative

  3. Supprised at the headline. Shouldn’t people buy goods on how they taste and not how they look….Interesting. Heads up to the government and the people involved. This is something I have been advocating for in a while. I hope there is follow through and not just talk.

  4. It was about time that someone try to solve this problem with our fruits entering the U.S.. Especially our soursop which is in great demand because of the benefits people with cancer think they can get from ,although they have no proof.

  5. There continues to be a concentration on the export of primary products. Much attention should be paid to agro- processing as well so that the mangoes and other fruits can be preserved here for year round use, exported regionally and internationally particularly through niche markets. That way we significantly impact the volumes that would go to waste

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