One of the high points in the development of Guyana’s manufacturing sector in recent years has been the emergence of a growing number of small and medium scale agro-processors whose products have secured increasing levels of consumer acceptance on the local market. In this regard, some local brands have made landmark inroads, taking pride of place on supermarket shelves which, up until recently, were almost entirely dominated by foreign brands. Food seasonings, jams and jellies, beverages and packaged spices have led the way.
However, entrepreneurial growth ambitions that extend to regional and international markets have had the effect of baring limitations in the local agro-processing sector which must be overcome if those external market ambitions are to be fully realised.
Recent agro-processing fairs and exhibitions staged by both government and the private sector have exposed the limitations in packaging and labelling which, as is widely accepted, can compromise the marketability of agro- produce otherwise considered to match imports in their substantive product quality. Contextually, what the emergence of the so-called ‘up market’ local food outlets and the attendant importation of packaged foods from developed countries (as well as some CARICOM territories) has done is to offer a yardstick with which to measure the standards that are expected of local agro-produce if they are to make an impact on the global market…..