by Linda Straker
- GCNA has minimum accepted USA standards for food safety
- Nutmeg purchased through GCNA can be sold directly to US buyers
- More than 500,000 pounds of nutmeg remain unharvested annually
Leo Cato, Chairman of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) has explained that the passing inspection grade recently achieved from the US Food and Drug Administration will provide the association with the opportunity to exploit the USA market.
“The inspection was conducted in February 2019 and we were approved as having the minimum accepted USA standards in our processing plants and farms for food safety,” said Cato. “What this means is that nutmeg from Grenada purchased through the GCNA can be sold directly to buyers in the USA and this is a market we intend on exploiting so that our farmers can benefit to the maximum,” he added.
Currently, Grenada’s nutmeg is mainly sold on the European and within Caricom markets. Despite this good news, Cato said that the association has a challenge with receiving supplies, because in 2018 the quantity purchased from farmers was less than what was obtained in 2017.
“We know that lots of our nutmegs are remaining in the field for various reasons, but the main reason is lack of road access to farms dating all the way back to Hurricane Ivan,” Cato said. It is estimated that more than 500,000 pounds of nutmeg remain unharvested annually.
“And these are nutmegs we need, so we all have to work together to ensure more of our nutmegs are harvested, and so we can have enough supplies not just for old markets, but to meet the demands of our new market,” he said.
The board of directors of the association recently appointed a new General Manager and Quality Assurance Manager to its management team.
Roderick St Clair whose last post at the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) was Supply Chain Manager, was appointed as the General Manager as of 1 April, and Kizzy Renee was appointed as the Quality Assurance Manager.