BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday August 30, 2018 – The dynamic and creative product offerings of two Caribbean companies have seen them being selected as finalists in the Innovation Awards 2018, hosted by SIAL, the world’s largest food innovation exhibition. They are Caribbean Cure Ltd of Trinidad and Tobago and Naledo Belize Ltd.
The awards, held in Paris during Sial from October 21 to 25, recognize those who help to shape what we eat both today and tomorrow.
Apart from Caribbean Cure Ltd of Trinidad and Tobago and Naledo Belize Ltd, the Caribbean Export Development Agency, in collaboration with the European Union, is supporting 10 other food and beverage producers to participate at SIAL under the Caribbean Kitchen banner.
Naledo Belize Ltd is one of the world’s first manufacturers of fresh turmeric paste. Tumeric is a healthy root often found in a powdered or capsule form, but the company has created a turmeric paste, making it a niche product within the global market.
“We are very excited to be a finalist in the SIAL 2018 product innovation award for Truly Turmeric. Naledo is the first company in the world to manufacture a fresh turmeric paste and our CEO Umeeda Switlo came up with this recipe based on her traditional Indian cooking. This nomination means that our company has been recognized for the innovative product we produce and our social enterprise model. We hope that it opens trade doors to the EU and beyond,” said Nareena Switlo, COO at Naledo.
Naledo is a social enterprise based in Toledo, Belize and focuses on youth entrepreneurship, sustainable production, regenerative agriculture, and community empowerment. With every jar sold, customers directly impact a network of small-scale growers in Belize.
Keeping with tradition, Caribbean Cure Ltd produces a line of loose leaf natural healing teas that utilizes indigenous plants found within the Caribbean. Their handcrafted teas are made through the preservation of nutrients found in the roots, herbs and flowers of plants that have been used in the Caribbean for generations to heal and treat ailments.
“When we began handcrafting our blends, we had one simple mission: to share our passion and love for the age-old traditions and healing qualities of Caribbean herbs. We visited farmers, herbalists and tea lovers from across the region to find out what makes the perfect cup of natural tea. We were determined to create much more than tea with health benefits. We are excited to share the Caribbean tea experience at SIAL Paris and will continue to share our passion with the world on this global platform,” said Sophia Stone, Founder and Managing Director at Caribbean Cure Ltd.
Chris McNair, Manager – Competitiveness and Export Promotion at Caribbean Export, said the agency was thrilled that two of the 12 companies it is supporting have been recognized as contenders for an SIAL Innovation Award.
“This doesn’t only bode well for Caribbean Cure and Naledo but also for the region as a whole. We have some fantastic food innovations across CARIFORUM and we need to gain greater visibility for them,” he said.
The participation of CARIFORUM companies at international trade shows is a key intervention of Caribbean Export to support the region’s exporters to increase their market penetration namely in Europe.
“It’s important for Caribbean companies to be present at international events. We have to leverage the support from the European Union via the 11th EDF to ensure the innovative, great products coming out of the region are seen internationally. At the end of the day, there’s no point in having great products if no one knows about them,” McNair added.