LONDON – It was Jamaica Day on March 15 at the International Food and Drink Expo (IFE), being held at the Excel Centre in London.
Jamaica was the featured country on the ‘Meet the World’ stage with all-day cooking demonstrations by award winning United Kingdom (UK)-based Jamaican chef Colin Brown, while the story of Jamaican food was told by well-known storyteller, Joan Andrea Hutchinson.
Against the backdrop of pulsating reggae music and videos featuring the products, people and the landscape of the island, the audience was treated to mouth watering samples of local fare ranging from street food to haute cuisine.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, told JIS News that he was honoured by the focus on Jamaica.
“I am really happy to be here. It reflects the greatness of our little country and our objectives to get out into the broader markets of the world, to showcase the things we represent and to be very aggressive in expanding our products to all the markets of Europe. This is a massive, massive show and for Jamaica to get to the point where we are the focus of world attention on a stage like this, is really a great, great honour,” he stated.
He said the Jamaican companies participating in the IFE, have said that the response to their products have been very encouraging.
The ‘Meet the World’ stage was also used to promote the ‘Meet Jamaica 2012’ campaign, organised by JAMPRO and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ).
The campaign is aimed at increasing trade between Jamaica, the UK and the wider Europe by capitalising on the global brand platform afforded by the 2012 London Olympics.
JAMPRO’S President, Sancia Bennett Templer, who also expressed pleasure that the honour afforded to Jamaica at IPE, said that Meet Jamaica 2012 will showcase the spirit, vitality, resilience and energy of the Jamaican people.
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the UK, Anthony Johnson, in the meantime, urged the business people in attendance to look to Jamaica for investment opportunities.
“Your money your time and your effort are all safe if you invest in Jamaica,” he stated.
More than 15 Jamaican companies are participating in the four-day International Food and Drink Expo, which got underway on March 13.
By VIVIENNE SIVA