When next you go shopping, you have the option of adding another beverage to your shopping cart, following the appearance of B&S Green Fields Pasteurized Sugar Cane Juice on the market. The attractively packaged product is one of the more recent manifestations of the continuingly impressive growth of a local agro-processing industry that is now bursting at the seams with export potential.
If there is nothing uncommon about sugar cane juice served from roadside stands where the lengths of cane are ground by ancient looking mills, and the juice served instantly, the proprietors of B& S Greenfields lay claim to a breakthrough in the ‘manufacture’ of the juice, through a pasteurization process that enables a shelf life of up to several weeks.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, B&S Greenfields is one of a host of agro processing companies —it was registered less than a year ago in May 2018, in the names of Samuel Blackman and Odetta Nedd-Blackman and its trading address is 130 Nelson Street, Mocha, East Bank Demerara. That, however, was not the origin of Mr. Blackman’s encounter with cane juice as a commercialized beverage. More than forty years ago, his now deceased father, Colin Blackman, a one-time employee of the Guyana Power and Light Company, had launched his own small business as a cane juice vendor, offering the dark syrupy beverage on Water Street and at the Bourda vendors’ arcade. Samuel had watched his father produce the cane juice and even helped with the marketing, never mind the fact that the limited shelf life compromised the commercial value of the product…..