Local products shine at marketplace ‘Uncapped’ exhibition
Local producers were assembled at the Leonora Synthetic Track on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) on Saturday to participate in the Marketplace Uncapped exhibition organised by the Guyana Marketing and Services Association (GMSA).The expo featured some 40 local booths that took advantage of the platform to showcase enterprises in the areas of clothing, craft, jewellery, food products, and beverages among other things. Many producers indicated that they would have been engaged in other similar exhibitions that were held over the past months in order for their products to reach a wider range of consumers.Guyana Times caught up with some of the small and large-scale producers, who shared their journeys on some of the products which they would have created, such as cereals, breads, herbal oils, wines, dolls and candles.Mohamed Qamar of Mohamed Enterprise said his business has been in operation for 18 years, and it began in Berbice with items such as photo frames and modelled dolls which were made from wood shaving, corn husks, coconut fibres and banana leaves.Lisa’s Beauty Supplies owner, Lisa Gibson, explained that her products, made from coconut oil, are for hair growth and healthy skin and scalp.“This is a salon that manufactures hair and body products made with coconut oil. We have a hair and scalp conditioner which replaces your normal hair and it don’t have no petroleum or no lanolin. We also have hair growth oil that is based with coconut oil and promotes hair growth and moisturises your hair as well,” she explained.Meanwhile, Lisa’s Manufacturing is an enterprise which produces Guyanese snacks and specialties which are made from locally sourced ingredients. These include jams, chips and confectionery.“We bring to you the best in authentic Guyanese flavours. What we manufacture and bring to the Guyanese public is the carambola fruit. We’ve also added some confectionery and snacks, such as plantain and cassava chips (and) tamarind balls; and we recently started the pineapple and guava jams,” said Christina Isurdeen.She noted that this is the second time the entity is bringing its products to the ‘Uncapped’ stage, and she posited that it is a good atmosphere to increase sales and gain advertisement.Thirteen women’s groups were also represented by the Women’s Agro-processing Network Development (WAND). These groups come from both the hinterland and the coast.From Region One (Barima-Waini) come the production of cocoa sticks and coffee; peanut butter and Acai wine come from Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); jams, jellies and relishes come from the Hillside Farm in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica); while coconut products and chutneys come from Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice); and Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) produces farine and cashew nuts.Group member Denise Thomas-Spencer noted that the packaging of these products poses a hindrance to making batches larger, since packaging is difficult and requires large inputs of time and resources.“We’re looking to make a larger amount, but the only setback that we have so far is the packaging, (which is) difficult and very tedious. A lot of people don’t know about some of our products, so we are glad that we can advertise these great products,” Thomas-Spencer said.Additionally, service providers and sponsors were present to educate potential clients on some of the facilities which are being offered by their respective businesses. Some of the sponsors, who injected resources into the expo, included ExxonMobil, the National Milling Company of Guyana (NAMILCO), Banks DIH, and Republic Bank.Guyanese were encouraged to try the local products, which are of good quality and made from ingredients that are produced right in Guyana. Additionally, these products can be trusted, since they are registered and correctly labelled.