JMEA Partners with Caribshopper to Increase Exports for Member Companies
The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) have partnered with Caribshopper, an e-commerce marketplace that allows the Caribbean consumer to shop US retailers & Caribbean retailers all from one central app. This initiative was launched Thursday, February 23rd, 2023 at Outpost Republic, 80 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston Jamaica.
Under this established partnership, JMEA member companies especially micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will have the opportunity to compete in the world market as they tend to have a great deal of difficulty in appointing distributors in countries like the USA, UK, and Canada. President of the JMEA, John Mahfood, said that this gives manufacturers and by extension Jamaica, a chance to be on par with other international companies. “Companies will just have to ensure that their products are well priced, of good quality, and attractive” Mahfood expressed. He further advised manufacturers to be patient with having their products on the e-commerce market as the bulk of sales will come over time and there is a good long-term benefit.
CEO of Caribshopper, Kadion Preston, said that the decision to partner with the JMEA was a strategic one that has been in the works for over a year. “Caribshopper will be putting ourselves together to see how we can move the dial whether through helping merchants to better price their product which is a problem or how to get stronger digitally and present their products,” he shared. Preston noted that Caribshopper was founded on the premise of Caribbean pride, “being able to show a wide range of what we make and the strength of our culture is important to myself and my team. So to be able to work closely with organizations like JMEA, it’s a very happy day for us and it is a success.”
In 2022, Caribshopper sent over 68,000 packages to North America and Canada and is currently making plans to expand to the UK through its partnership with JAMPRO. With this success, member companies are expected to thrive on Caribshopper’s online marketplace and the JMEA is hopeful that there will be an increase in the value of exports. Speaking at the ceremony, Sandra McLeish, Managing Director of Sankhard Company Ltd. the parent company of Springvale Products, emphasized the reach that Caribshopper has. “Caribshopper allows us [Springvale Products] to get into places that through the traditional route we would not be able to reach. We are an example of the really small entity that is benefiting from being able to be on a platform like this and get our products out,” expressed McLeish.
Present at the signing ceremony were the Hon. Dr Norman Dunn, State Minister of the Ministry of Industry, Investment, and Commerce (MIIC) and Shullete Cox, President, JAMPRO all brought remarks echoing the importance of expanding exports and commending the Association on exploring all possible exporting avenues. Other notable attendees supported the remarks by noting that it is an exciting time to be a part of the exporting community in Jamaica.
JMEA’s Executive Director, Kamesha Blake, in giving the vote of thanks expressed gratitude to all attendees and participants for making the ceremony a success. She also used the opportunity to encourage full support for the upcoming Expo Jamaica that will be held on April 27-30, 2023 under the theme, Connecting the World to Jamaica. “I look forward to the business community being at Expo Jamaica where we will continue to display Brand Jamaica,” said Blake in closing the Partnership Signing Ceremony.
Shantole Thompson, Marketing & PR Manager
Bobique Brown, Marketing & PR Officer