Caribbean seafood exporter Rainforest Seafoods expands sales to five continents
Rainforest Seafoods, a Caribbean seafood exporter with headquarters in Jamaica, began exporting conch and spiny lobster caught in Jamaica's water to the European Union and the United Arab Emirates at the start of 2017. It also began exporting lobster to China and the United States last December, according to a news release carried on the company's website.
The company's CEO, Brian Jardim, said in a company-issued release that “having established the seafood chain as a major supplier to the Caribbean, Rainforest is now focused on extending its reach to other global markets.” A news report stated that the company was seeking to substantially increase the percentage of its revenue generated from exports.
Conch and lobster represent Jamaica’s two top seafood exports. Jamaica's Fisheries Division, a part of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, ranks the country's queen conch as its most important fisheries resource, with more than 500 metric tons being exported each year and 2,000 people employed in the sector.
A 2017 government report on Jamaica's lobster industry ranks the spiny lobster as Jamaica's second-most valuable fisheries' export after the queen conch. The country's total spiny lobster exports for 2014 amounted to more than 800 metric tons with a value of about USD 13 million (EUR 11 million).
Rainforest Seafoods operates facilities in Montego Bay and Kingston, Jamaica; Belize; St. Lucia; and Barbados, and employs more than 600 staff. The company recently announced that it will be investing USD 10 million (EUR 8.5 million) to expand its Montego Bay facilities so as to triple its production and warehousing capacity. The company said it hopes to expand its processing of a wide range of local products, including lobster, crab, conch, and finfish. It expects to add 200 jobs as a result of the expansion.
The company also opened what it described as a state-of-the-art seafood processing facility in Belize at the end of last year, at a cost of USD 2 million (EUR 1.7 million), to process finfish, shellfish and molluscs. In addition, the company recently announced plans to open a new facility in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The company's website states that its Jamaica facilities are HACCP-, FDA-, and E.U.-approved.