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(GIS) — The Ministry of Agriculture will, on Sunday, host a food fair in commemoration of World Food Day 2019.
The fair, as is customary, supports local agriculturists and agro-based businesses in order to bring attention to the range of products that Saint Lucia has to offer.
Mr. Phillip Sydney, communications officer at the Department of Agriculture, spoke recently with one such agro-processor ahead of the fair.
The owner of Creole Delight, Mrs. Etheline Lansiquot, has been making jams and jellies for export for the past seven years. She started making them out of her kitchen for local consumption and now owns a small-scale, family-run business, with a product line that has expanded to include sweets, juices and alternative flour products.
“The idea for this business stemmed from my aunt who made homemade jam all the time,” Mrs. Lansiquot said. “I started making jams at 23. I began to experiment with different fruits to see whether they would be suitable for jam and I found out that I could make jams with all sorts of fruits.”
In a move to expand her business, she reached out the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS).
“I was told that I could not run the operation out of my kitchen—that I needed a separate space. So my husband and my son built me a processing plant and we ordered the equipment that I needed from overseas.”
The SLBS subsequently visited the plant to ensure that all requirements were met. Creole Delight received certification, and in 2012, the business began to supply supermarkets and regional customers.
One of her most popular products is the spicy mango jam made with green mango, sugar and spices. Additional products include mango, soursop, banana, breadfruit, guava, ginger and pineapple jams; juices; and plantain and breadfruit flour.
“One of the most versatile fruits is the breadfruit,” she said. “I can make jam, juice, and even accras from breadfruit,” she said. (Accra is a savory fritter usually made from a starch and flavored with seasonings.)
Mrs. Lansiquot also runs a canteen that serves school children, and opens up the processing plant to students from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College interested in agro-processing operations.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s World Food Day fair will be held on Oct. 13 at the Vigie Playing Field. It is a day-long family event featuring many locally produced foods and agro-products.