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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • TPDCo is continuing its thrust to streamline the craft industry, transforming it into a lucrative and viable sector.
  • The agency is undertaking various initiatives to develop and strengthen the sector, including repairs at some of the craft markets.
  • The agency also works with the craft vendors in terms of pricing, quality of the products and interface issues, such as the approach to potential buyers.

The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) is continuing its thrust to streamline the craft industry, transforming it into a lucrative and viable sector.

Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Chairman of the TPDCo, Maxine Henry-Wilson, pointed out that the agency is undertaking various initiatives to develop and strengthen the sector, including repairs at some of the craft markets and training in languages, sales and product development.

“We have to look at the craft products themselves and what is marketable, because the demand has changed and that is another issue which has stymied the earnings from the craft industry,” the Chairman highlighted.

She explained that integral to the whole operation of the industry is the licensing of the craft vendors and certifying the locations.  Mrs. Henry-Wilson pointed out that in order for a craft vendor to be licenced, he or she must be at a certified location.

The Chairman said that TPDCo plays an integral role in preparing craft vendors to obtain their licence.

“It is the parish councils who provide the final end-product of the licence, but we (TPDCo) do the interviewing and make sure that they meet the requirements,” she noted.

“We have to do the documentation on the demography, and what they are selling. You try to ensure that the locations have different types of products, because you do not want them to be competing with each other, and you have to make sure that there is a source for the items they are selling,” Mrs. Henry-Wilson said.

She pointed out that the agency also works with the craft vendors in terms of pricing, quality of the products and interface issues, such as the approach to potential buyers.

“We help them with issues relating to how the craft market is operating…we usually have somebody who is like the President of the craft association, who is responsible for the governance and organisation and hopefully at some point, the collection of the fees,” Mrs. Henry-Wilson added.

The Chairman said that the markets are not so self-sustaining, so once anything happens, “we have to find money to repair the markets, pay utilities…so we have a lot of issues that we have to settle to make the industry viable and lucrative.”