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BPWCCUL Buyers Programme Capturing International Attention
Published on June 18, 2013 by admin

BPWCCUL Buyers Programme Capturing International Attention

This year’s BMEX Buyer’s Programme has a new sponsor as the Barbados Public Worker’s Cooperative Credit Union Limited (BPWCCUL) joins BMEX 2013 as a Platinum Sponsor. Each year the team from the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association transforms the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre into an international marketplace as the Expo sets the stage for mutually beneficial networking and exposure of regional and international buyers to Barbadian brands and vice versa.  This is a prime opportunity for these buyers to secure entry for Barbadian products into their various markets and by extension provide the world with the opportunity to experience a variety of Barbadian flavours.

This year’s Buyers’ Programme will welcome participants from Anguilla, Antigua, St. Vincent, Guyana, Trinidad, Grenada, Dominica, St. Lucia, the USA and the UK.  While several of them are first time participants at BMEX, others are repeat buyers who are always keen to work with Barbadian manufacturers and help them to break through barriers to some export markets. Annually, they excitedly take a trip to BMEX in anticipation of what the market has to offer; what’s new, what’s improved and what innovative products are ready to be explored.

According to Executive Director of the BMA Bobbi McKay, the Buyers Programme is an integral part of BMEX.  “Each year we provide win-win opportunities for buyers and manufacturers to advance business relationships with a view to improving Barbadian exports and boosting the national economy.  This programme has been exceptionally successful and we have a number of buyers who return each year to scout for new offerings and to promote Barbadian products overseas. This programme also allows us to get feedback from buyers about areas of improvement, what would facilitate easier access to their markets and what are some of the opportunities available which we may not be aware of. Manufacturers get the chance to sell themselves and their products in ways that they would not normally be able to; but they also get a sense of the standards that are required if they want to go the route of exporting.  Overall we believe that it is an awesome experience for both parties and this programme will continue to be a fundamental component of the BMEX brand.”

One of those companies making its way to BMEX 2013 under the BPWCCU Buyers Programme is Market Place – a major Supermarket out of Anguilla.  A first time visitor to BMEX, Manager Suzanne Lake-Marlin notes “I am looking forward to visiting as I am excited to see what else Barbados has to offer.  It will give me the opportunity to see what other products can work for the Anguilla market as well as the chance to network with the various manufacturers and other buyers. We already import products from Pine Hill Dairy, WIBISCO, Roberts Manufacturing, Caribbean Confection, Exotica and Barbados Packaging which do very well in Anguilla.  We have had a long standing relationship with Barbados as we have been importing from WIBISCO and Roberts Manufacturing for over twenty years.

“I believe that we should do more trade together as a region. I fully support Caribbean trade and believe that we need to be supporting each other rather than looking outside of the region for products and services which can be found right here.  My one comment to Manufacturers is that Anguilla is heavily influenced by the US market and so consumers expect a certain look and standard to their products.  The packaging must be attractive and the products appealing; they are looking for good quality products at competitive prices.  If we can hit this combination the products will generally do very well in Anguilla.”  Lake-Marlin added.

Also making their way to BMEX 2013 is B & S Marketing Inc... B&S a New York Corporation, was founded in 1997 and is proud to announce that the company is 100% owned by Barbadians in New York. According to CEO Carlos Sandiford, “The objective of B & S is to import and market superior products from Caribbean manufacturers. Our mission is to satisfy the needs of our customers more effectively than our competitors and B & S is currently the importer and distributor in the New York Tri-State area for companies such as the non alcoholic brands of the Banks Holding Group, Roberts Manufacturing Ltd., Caribbean Confection Company Ltd. and Exotica Condiments Inc. We also market products for Rose and LaFlamme, Armstrong Agencies, Parry E Bellot & Co and Universal Beverages LLC. We have a distribution network that services hundreds of outlets which span New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, New Jersey, Connecticut, Boston and Philadelphia. To this end, our network is quite wide and varied.” B&S also markets the products within its portfolio on its website bansanmar.com

 

“We are foremost Bajan and so whatever we can do to help promote Barbados and to help facilitate its development we are willing to do.  It is really a win-win-win situation for all involved.  Barbados’ manufacturers win as they get to export more of their quality products and thereby boost the economy and its foreign exchange; they are able to maintain jobs within the manufacturing sector and employees are better able to take care of their families.  We win as it helps to make our business relevant and we see ourselves as an important conduit between Barbados and many cities in the New York Tri-State area. The consumers within these areas who have developed an appetite for Barbadian and Caribbean products also win.   There are many Barbadians who have migrated to the US who are always on the hunt both for some of their lifelong favourites as well as new and interesting products coming out of Barbados.  Through my visits to BMEX and in particular to the Buyers Programme I am able to do two things.  One, I get a first hand glimpse at what is new and what people are doing and secondly it gives me the opportunity to provide valuable feedback from the US market. Again, everyone stands to benefit.  The Buyer’s Programme is therefore very relevant for me and hence why I make the time to attend BMEX on a regular basis.”

B&S is currently in the process of launching a condiment line and all of the products will be produced in Barbados.  It is anticipated that the first shipment of products will hit the US market by September 2013.  BMEX 2013 – An Explosion of Bajan Spirit; where there is always something for everyone. 


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