Shipment company

Rainforest Seafoods exports first shipment of conch from SVG – Searchlight

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EMPLOYEES LOADING the 20ft container with packed conch last Saturday Rainforest’s first shipment (truck escorted by Rainforest company vehicle) en route to Kingstown Tuesday morning

RAINFOREST SEAFOODS has made its first conch shipment as it begins operations at its Calliaqua factory.

The cargo, which filled a 20-foot container, left around 11:30 a.m. bound for Florida.

Rainforest Seafoods exports SVG's first shipment of conch
Rainforest’s first shipment (truck escorted by a Rainforest company vehicle) en route to Kingstown on Tuesday morning

The conch was sourced entirely from Vincentian artisanal fishers, then processed and packaged by Rainforest’s team of 80 employees.

The company’s President and CEO and Regional Business Development Manager, Brian Jardim, speaking on their first shipment from the St. Vincent factory, said, “This shipment is a significant milestone for the team at Rain forest. After construction delays due to the pandemic, we are thrilled to have this facility up and running and now exporting products overseas.

“This is just the beginning, as we actively seek new markets around the world for Vincentian seafood products that have proven to be highly sought after for their quality and sustainability. We are very optimistic about what the future holds and pleased with our continued investment in St. Vincent (and the Grenadines).

Commenting via a Facebook post on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Information Technology, Camillo Gonsalves, wrote: “After only a few weeks of operation, local fishermen have already received more of a million dollars from Rainforest Seafoods.

With around 80 employees currently on his payroll, Gonsalves pointed out in his Facebook post that “…they’re not up to speed yet.”

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) facility is a state-of-the-art seafood processing plant that was completed in January 2022 and contains a 250,000 pound cold storage unit, blast freezers and processing rooms as well as innovative equipment, “this will enable source-based retail packaging ensuring product presentation appeals to international markets.”

Gonsalves called on “all local fishers and investors to take advantage of the rapid expansion of our seafood market. Attractive concessions are available for investors.

He added that Agriculture Minister Saboto Caesar “has developed an innovative program with KCCU (Kingstown Co-operative Credit Union) Ltd., to finance boats and upgrades for fishermen, and many other supports to production are available to fishermen”.

Rainforest CEO Jardim also expressed his gratitude to the team at Rainforest St Vincent, “who have worked diligently to make this conch expedition happen, and to the anglers from across St. Vincent and the Grenadines with whom Rainforest has established strong partnerships.”

The Rainforest Calliaqua facility has already begun processing lobster, conch and a variety of finfish. The company is headquartered in Jamaica and has satellite operations in Belize, Saint Lucia and, most recently, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Rainforest Seafoods currently employs over 900 people in the region and exports its product line to over 30 countries.

Rainforest Seafoods’ impact on the local economy is expected to expand. According to Invest SVG, Rainforest Seafoods will support capacity building for local fishers, with the SVG government providing support in the form of boats and fishing equipment to enable fishers to take advantage of new markets for their harvests.