Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 13th 2014 Contents BG10 | NEWS
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt FEBRUARY 2014 • WEEK TWO
In early January, the Office for National Statistics stated
the United Kingdom economy grew by 1.9 per cent
in 2013, the strongest growth since 2007. Now that
the economy is on an uptick, investors there are looking
for opportunities in the T&T and the Barbadian mar-
Last week, the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce
and the UK Trade and Investment Office of the British High
Commission in T&T hosted English companies from the food
and beverage and automotive sectors on a market visit to this
country during the period January 28-31.
The Business Guardian spoke to these investors last week
Wednesday at the British High Commission, Elizabeth Street,
Andrew Chard, spokesperson for Caribbean Trading Ltd,
said the brands the Waitrose chain of supermarkets offers are
already present in this market, but some products are not
"Waitrose is a supermarket chain in the UK with 300 stores
and we ve now got a range of their products represented in
Hi-Lo Food Stores. So I would be working with them particularly
on this trip to see whether we can broaden our range. We will
be doing some analysis on things that we have sold, things
that haven t gone so well and introducing lines to complement
the things that are doing well."
The Waitrose brand, according to Chard, stands for "excellent
quality food products and value for money".
"We found that the core range of products from Waitrose
represents really good value for money at the retail price level
when it is exported to the Caribbean. We found that it has
taken off really well and the prices have been really well received
and people love the quality of the products."
The Caribbean market has been lucrative for Caribbean
Trading Ltd. The company has been exporting to the region
for the last 20 years. Some of the products exported include:
chicken wings, pork parts, cheese, butter, garlic, oils and fruit
from Turkey. The company has offices in Barbados and St
Ian Barker, of the wholesale British exporter Ramsden Inter-
national which is a family-owned company affiliated with
National Independent Supermarket Association. The company
is a buying consortium supplying stores throughout the UK
"This gives us access to a very large British-branded food
and beverage products that you ll find in almost any UK super-
market. We export to over 120 countries worldwide and have
been supplying it to the Caribbean for more than six years.
We work in partnership with Caribbean Trading Ltd. I am
here (on the market visit) to help support Caribbean Trading
as well as to learn more about the market, the potential, the
opportunities there are in T&T."
Asked what are the products best suited to T&T, he said:
"We have to be selective because firstly, there are already rep-
resentatives of various brands. Also, it s quite expensive to
bring in products that are produced locally, so we have to
avoid those areas.
"We have a range of health products, which are all vegetarian
and many organic. By visiting stores in T&T, we can do a gap
analysis. We can see what is already on sale and we can
hopefully identify products and brands we feel will be suitable
for the market place."
Ian Kelly, chief executive of the British Caribbean Chamber
of Commerce, said the chamber has been in existence for ten
years and since then the T&T and UK businesses have been
involved in a "significant" amount of trade between the two
"There are many things going on trade wise which we are
very proud and this trade mission exemplifies the strong trade
links between the two countries."
Justifying the need for the trade mission to visit T&T at a
time when the UK economy is "picking up", he said: "This
market is a good market to visit. You (T&T) are doing very
well, too. The rest of the markets are still recovering from the
UK's growing economy good
for T&T's investment prospects
James Telfer, from left, honorary chairman of the British Caribbean Chamber of Commerce; Sally Allister of GF Foods; Patrick Garcia, Business Development Company; Andrew Chard,
spokesperson for Caribbean Trading Ltd and Ian Barker, territory trading manager, Ramsden International.
PHOTO COURTESY: T&T BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
"This market is a good market to visit, you (T&T) are doing very well, too.
The rest of the markets are still recovering from the financial crash."
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