Chairman of the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA), Leo Cato says Grenada now has the opportunity to exploit the market in the United States, having recently passed inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“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 nutmegs 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.
Grenada’s nutmeg is currently mainly sold in Europe and markets across the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Despite this good news, Cato said that the Association has a challenge with receiving supplies because in 2018 the amount 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 nutmegs 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.