Rupununi nut butter producers looking overseas

Sonia Sears, Chairperson of the Aranaputa Processors Friendly Facility demonstrating some of the equipment. (DPI photo)

The Aranaputa Processors Friendly Society (APFS)  in the North Rupununi is now looking to international markets to sell their peanut butter, the Department of Public Information (DPI) said yesterday.

DPI recently visited the  Aranaputa Valley peanut butter factory and spoke to the facility’s chairperson, Sonia Sears who  said that the group is currently working on re-branding.

DPI said that the APFS  supplied schools in Region Nine with peanut-butter and cassava biscuits daily but the region’s administration terminated that project.

Sears said  that this decision has led to a reduced demand for the peanut butter hence the need to expand.

“In terms of expanding, we are looking at the export market, but at the moment …instead of using the plastic jars, we are looking at using bottles and (re)design the labels …Through a networking group we were able to get training in areas such as bookkeeping, recording and computer training” Sears explained.

Sears said that in 2010 a networking group was formed.

“From then on we started to go to GuyExpo and so you find that people got to know about us………… since then GMC has been buying and  we have an office in Georgetown and from time to time they will have mini exhibitions and people would order nut butter,” she said.

According to DPI, Toshao Adon Jacobus said that the move by the region to reduce the amount of peanut butter supplied to the schools has affected the farmers, who rely on the factory to purchase their peanuts.  “It is affecting the residents in the community, because if the factory has taken off a certain amount of peanuts from farmers, it has been reduced by a big margin because they are not supplying peanut butter by a large quantity anymore,” Jacobus said.

DPI said that the Aranaputa Processors Friendly Society in the North Rupununi was established by a group of women in 2005, when farmers in Aranaputa were struggling to find markets for purchase their peanuts.

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