Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 19th 2017 Contents Featured Participants on the Fit4Europe Project
Full Circle Animation
From the onset, Full
Circle Animation saw tre-
mendous value for the
company being part of the
programme, as an avenue
to develop its export cli-
entele in the EU region.
Prior to this pro-
gramme, Full Circle Ani-
mation had grown to be
the leading animation production studio in the Caribbean.
However, given the relatively small market size locally
and regionally as well as limited broadcast and distribution
channels available in the region, this makes it improbable
for animation to be a viable business proposition in the
long term if dependent solely on this market.
For this reason, Full Circle saw the Fit4Europe programme
not solely as an opportunity aligned with our longer term
export plan and growth potential, but more importantly,
as an integral element of our shorter term business strat-
egy geared towards revenue sustainability and survival.
Working sessions on business culture in that region as
well as on the EPA hosted by exporTT, also added tremen-
dous value in us understanding the EPA and its relevance
to our line of business.
These proved to be a catalyst toward initiating favourable
business discussions with potential clients in the Europe-
an Union (EU).
After an almost year-long engagement in exporTT's
Fit4Europe programme, Full Circle Animation has increased
its production capacity by almost 40 per cent in the last
quarter of 2016 and by extension, the studio increased its
export sales as a result of business opportunities from
establishing relationships in the European market.
Red Fire Innovations Limited
Red Fire Innovations
within the last two
years managed minor
penetration into parts
of the Caribbean,
U.S.A. and Denmark.
Our selection as a participant on the FIT4Europe project,
was perfect timing to continue the company's internation-
al expansion trajectory.
Through various capacity building seminars hosted by
exporTT, Red Fire Innovations adopted new measures for
entering the European market, updated its website to increase
optimization and produced a digital catalogue to showcase
its artisan jewellery.
The tactile experience of talking with boutique owners
and showing products during the trade mission was a
tremendous experience. As at December 2016 two whole-
sale orders were fulfilled to a boutique and an online retail-
er in the U.K.
Recognizing the need for an ethical line of artisan prod-
ucts which can be exported to the European Union, Red
Fire Innovations created ROCHFORD ETHICAL DESIGN
which is geared specially to the creation of ethical, sus-
tainable, eco-friendly artisan products.
A new Co-creation initiative, between Red Fire Innova-
tions and Bene Caribe, aims to create products that will
promote and support the zero waste policy by both com-
The first product is a bracelet utilizing off cuts from
Bene Caribe batiks encased in recycled plastic water bottles
to be marketed in Europe.
It is my hope that exporTT and the Ministry of Trade
and Industry will continue to provide other opportunities
such as this geared towards the Creative Industries.
BENE CARIBE saw the Fit4Europe Proj-
ect as an opportunity to gain technical
assistance to improve the export readiness
of our products and increase our capaci-
ty for export.
We benefited from quality training and opportunities
identified during the market survey mission.
These enabled us to hone our skills and prepared us
specifically for the markets.
During the trade mission, we attended various expos and
participated in meetings with other leading Fashion insti-
tutions, influencers and potential boutiques to identify new
From this trip we gained significant insight on the impor-
tance of ethics and sustainability as factors that may affect
market access for new fashion brands.
We were also able to see and experience the style of the
regions, to better understand how to adapt our product for
the markets, and we gained potential partners and boutiques
One of the key learnings from the mission experience
was the importance of jumping on a plane and going in
person to any market that a business is interested in explor-
ing for export.
The EU is a wide market that is open for business. The
Fit4Europe project helped us to design a strategy for expand-
ing our exports and we look forward to doing so in 2017.
Bene Caribe is ever thankful for this opportunity.
Trinidad Chocolate Factory
Our participation in the
Fit4Europe project was the
pinnacle of the company's
interactions with exporTT over
This project caused us to fast
forward our business thinking
and actions. Exports were no
longer something that could
happen sometime in the future.
Exports were now. We had mere months to be ready to
present our products to interested buyers.
We had to be clear as to; who was our market, what we
had to offer, what was our unique selling proposition and
what price and terms of trade we wanted.
The project was transformative for us as we now had to
consider how we would stand out on the international stage
and how we could be competitive.
We also had to fast forward our capacity to meet demand
- scaling up required a huge jump in our scale of operations.
Interestingly, it caused us to fully embrace co-creation and
win-win relationships along our value chain, bringing
suppliers and other local & regional producers into our
plans and confidences paved the way for us to respond to
Our visit to the UK market was a success. We were well
received. Buyers wanted to know about the persons and
business behind the products. Authenticity, commitment
to high quality standards, and ethical relationships along
our supply chain were of great importance.
We received specific feedback with respect to the pre-
sentation, formulation and size of our product offerings.
We are responding to the feedback and continue to engage
We still have some way to travel on this road to export-
led growth, but I feel as if we have made five years' prog-
ress towards our long-term business goals in just nine
God's grace, we look forward to the future with con-
fidence given our learning and experiences on the F4E
National Canners Limited
As with any trade mission
you must first start with a
solid foundation of the
expectations and goals the
MISSION is designed to achieve.
It was clear to me, from the on-set that the data and
market research provided by the Project Consultant and
exporTT were carefully constructed to reach the key
market leaders within the EU.
With this in mind, we were able to identify and target
NEW potential distributors before departure on the
This proved to be invaluable as the flow of information
was critical to ensure both parties achieved a positive
rapport with each other, to advance the relationship
building process prior to our arrival.
Having a pre-set meeting with key decision makers
and putting a face with the product was just another
positive step forward in strengthening the business rela-
These discussions were insightful and educational; you
could really dial in on market dynamics, key players
within the market and the features and benefits of our
Each was open to expressing their own perspective on
the category and segments, the economic environment
and market potential.
This open communication is directly related to the
"Relationship Building" process because this kind of
insight and knowledge would be hard to obtain in such
a short period of time, if at all.
I believe our participation in the TRADE MISSION in
addition to the support provided by Clive Vokes and the
exporTT Team Members will have a positive impact on the
Matouk's Brand becoming a category leader in Europe.
Senator, the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, centre, in company with Project Consultant Clive Vokes, third front left, Andrea
Power Coordinator Regional Cooperation and Integration, CDB, third front right, Fit4Europe Project Team and Beneficiary
Companies at the Project Launch.
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