Producers are looking further afield, providing quality Jamaican food items to buyers all over the world.

Michelle Chong

CEO, Honey Bun

Honey Bun has long been known as an innovator; we never looked to existing standards as a reference for the basis of the company, but looked outside of Jamaica to establish best practices. We were the first to invest in equipment for firmer bags for our products. We are also the first bakery in Jamaica to be HACCP-certified for food safety. Honey Bun is also the recipient of many stock exchange awards for corporate governance, best practices, investor relations, and so on. We do not work for awards, though we look at what we can do to be as good as the rest the of the world. We export to the UK mainly. Two of our products that are doing well have a longer shelf life as a result of their ingredients. One of them is called a spice bun, which contains preserved fruits. The other product we are re-marketing is our rum cake, which is popular.

Sean Garbutt

Managing Director, Walkerswood

We are a community-based company and have a close connection to the surrounding community and farmers. Farmers account for around 30% of our scotch bonnet pepper needs at the moment. We work closely with them by providing technical assistance, seed and water support, and land on which they can farm. When we showcase the connection between factory and the farms, one truly feels the authenticity of our brand and product. We use only natural ingredients; we do not have the hottest pepper out there, but a wonderful flavor profile with a nice kiss of heat. Our secret is that everyone involved in Walkerswood has great pride in our business. Our jerk seasoning, hot sauces, table sauces, and condiments are the real core of our products. Jamaica has a diverse heritage, and we try to stay true to that in our product lines. Jamaica should focus on value-added products, because this allows the country to capture wealth, improve the economy, and support our workers.

Rita Hilton

Managing Director, Carita Premium

The company was registered in the early 1980s, starting as a truly micro-company. The first years mainly involved air shipments to fill that diaspora market with products such as hot peppers and breadfruit. We are passionate about contributing to the economy, supporting rural farmers in their production systems, and developing sustainable businesses in the industry. For us, it is not just about shipping things out in the raw state, which is what we did initially. Now we seek to add value, and by doing so, we assist farmers in getting a better price for their produce. We produce gluten-free breadfruit flour as well as sweet potato flour and cassava flour. There is a growing need for gluten-free products, after all, but it is also a product that will help small farmers with the trees and fruit. Our company has also started producing teas, and we use only Jamaican products like moringa, lemon grass, sorrel, ginger, guinea hen, and turmeric for our teas.

Thalia Lyn

CEO, Island Grill

No one offered a healthy chicken menu in Jamaica or jerk chicken in a formalized restaurant environment. I felt that Jamaica needed an authentic Jamaican restaurant chain that offered healthy food. Jerk was mainstream enough to penetrate all strata and all nationalities; we felt it was a concept if successful in Jamaica, we could take it overseas plus have the added bonus of being healthy. There were two things we were aiming at: healthy food and Jamaican food. This is still our vision, and we continue to develop more healthy items. We also are conscious of the environment, so we do not use styrofoam and instead use environmentally friendly packaging. The Ministry of Health has indicated it will endorse our products, and the Heart Foundation approves of our menu and style of cooking. We are also part of the Jamaica Moves campaign with the Ministry of Health. We are being innovative in emphasizing the fact that we are a health-conscious chain.