Tuesday 20 October, 2020

St Lucia restarting agricultural exports to UK market

Sunita Daniel, CEO of Export Saint Lucia

Sunita Daniel, CEO of Export Saint Lucia

After months of reeling from the impact of the closure of borders related to COVID-19, Export Saint Lucia is happy to report that Saint Lucian farmers and exporters of agricultural produce will recommence exports to the United Kingdom on Sunday, July 26.

British Airways will operate a 777 cargo only flight to Gatwick to transport produce from 13 fresh produce exporters to the United Kingdom.

General Manager of Hewanorra Air Cargo Services (HACS) said that he was pleased to see the return of BA Flights and that he was even more pleased to see activity at the cargo shed which brings relief to the exporters.

He added: “We sometimes underestimate the importance of air cargo and how impactful it is on the lives of the exporters of perishable goods. HACS continues to lobby on behalf of the farmers and in conjunction with Export Saint Lucia to ensure that the service is maintained and affordable.”

Nila Mangal of Mangal Trading, a young lady of Marc, shared her thoughts on Sunday’s shipments. She said: “One of the most difficult things during this period was dealing with disappointment three ways. Our UK buyers were disappointed that they could not get our provisions; the farmers were disappointed that yet another sales revenue stream was gone and for me as a young entrepreneur, I was unable to ply my trade for what seemed like forever. I am beyond happy about Sunday and looking forward to future exports”.

Nila has been in the news of late as a young lady benefitting from assistance from Export Saint Lucia with research and buyer matching in the UK market.

Ms Sunita Daniel, CEO of Export Saint Lucia had this to say: “The return of this cargo service from BA is one step towards a semblance of normalcy for the island and in particular our produce exporters. It had been a very trying time for us as an agency having to deal with demand from buyers and distress from our exporters. We did, however, remain in contact with our buyers in the UK, and kept looking for new purchasers as there had been an increase in supply over the last few months. The outgoing produce will bear our Taste of Saint Lucia mark, a mark synonymous with high quality and authentic Saint Lucian products.”    

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