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The Rainforest Seafoods processing plant cost an estimated USD 8 million to construct. (Photo: Rainforest Seafoods)

Biggest value-added seafood plant in Caribbean set to open

JAMAICA
Thursday, April 28, 2011, 15:20 (GMT + 9)

Rainforest Seafoods is almost ready to launch its USD 8 million processing plant in Kingston - the biggest facility of its kind in the Caribbean. The new establishment will allow the company to enter the regional value-added seafood market.

The Slipe Road plant represents the company's biggest investment since it launched 16 years ago, said CEO Brian Jardim. It will also create 100 jobs.

"It's going to be the largest value-added seafood plant in the Caribbean - the first of its kind in our region," he explained.

Rainforest, one of the leading regional distributors of seafood sourced from all across the globe, is thus moving forward towards its goal to become as vertically integrated as possible, Jardim mentioned, reports Jamaica Observer.

The facility will be able to store 6 million lb of products, which will be more than double the storage capacity of the company’s plant in Montego Bay. It will host operations such as cooking and breading, smoking, filleting, producing ready-to-eat meals and modified atmosphere packaging. 

Value-added products that will be produced there include a heat and serve conch soup and a jerk shrimp, which Rainforest hopes to eventually market in North America and Europe.

Rainforest also seeks to penetrate the quick service restaurant (QSR) niche, a key seafood product consumer, in Jamaica and the Caribbean with the help of its new plant.

Rainforest will thus engage local fish farmers to obtain tilapia and other products.

"We have been working closely with the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and his team, headed by Dr Marc Panton, on this initiative and are very impressed with their focus and commitment to making this project a reality for all stakeholders. We are looking to pull in a lot of local artisanal fishermen and fish and shrimp farmers as we ramp up this facility," Jardim commented. 

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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