Market Development Highlights
January 15, 2008
Market Development Ramps Up in Caribbean Market
Northarvest has hired consultant Jois Alaby, a native of Brazil, to represent Northarvest in the Caribbean region. Alaby represented the former National Dry Bean Council, now the U.S. Dry Bean Council, for ten years in Brazil.
In March of 2007, Northarvest president, Gary Paur, participated in a Caribbean trade mission along with Randy Duckworth, USDBC executive director; David McClellan, USDBC Marketing Representative; and Steve Brown, General Manager, Jacks Bean Co. They met with over 19 trade representatives and visited local factories, wholesale centers and marketplaces.
In Jamaica, the group met with Oral Richards, divisional supply chain manager and Andrene Clarke, product manager with Grace Kennedy & Co.
In Jamaica, most beans are sold out of 100 lb. bags in small shops and local markets. Consumer-packaged beans are only sold in modern supermarkets. The primary means of wholesale distribution is via the Coronation Market which serves as a wholesale market in early morning hours and as a retail market during the latter hours of the day. Representative samples of everything from imported rice and beans to locally produced peppers and marijuana can be found at this market.
In Jamaica, most beans are sold out of 100 lb. bags in small shops and local markets.
In the Dominican Republic, the group met with Angela Familia, general manager of Almacenes Familia in Santo Domingo. The company imports 50,000 cwt of beans annually and packages them in 1 and 2 lb. bags. Their representative says supermarkets are gaining market share over traditional food stores, increasing demand for packaged legumes.
Almacenes Familia in Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic, imports 50,000 cwt of beans annually and packages them in 1 and 2 lb. bags. Their representative says supermarkets are gaining market share over traditional food stores, increasing demand for packaged legumes.
In Haiti, pinto beans are the preferred imported bean type (called pois Miami or Miami peas), followed by Great Northern beans, black beans and pea beans. Haitians prefer locally produced black beans because they cook quicker than imported black beans. Most beans are imported through informal channels, unloaded at secondary ports that are not under the control of the government customs agency, then trucked to Port-au-Prince or other destinations, or smuggled to the Dominican Republic.
The group was told that the Haitian government will soon be taking back control of these secondary ports and will collect customs duties through SGS offices there as they are currently doing in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitian. If this happens, the advantage will shift to shipping product directly to Port-au-Prince, and to formal importers with efficient distribution networks such as Haiti Chemical Supply and HIT.
Northarvest Commits to Aggressive Nutritional and Industrial Programs
Northarvests 2007/08 budget includes a new line item for nutritional and industrial research. These funds will work to identify non-food uses for dry beans, and also serve to strengthen nutritional messages about the health benefits of consuming dry beans.
Identifying Non-Food Uses
Northarvest has formed a relationship with the National Center for Agricutural Utilization Research to carry out three primary goals in identifying non-food uses for dry beans.
" Increase understanding of dry edible beans biochemical composition.
" Develop partner relationships and technology to facilitate technology transfer.
" Use those relationships for the development of dry bean-based value-added products.
University of North Dakota Marketing Department faculty Bill Lesch and Robert Tangsrud will fill a liaison role in project implementation.
Scientific Health Advisory Council
A body of experts will advise Northarvest in the development of a research strategy into the links between human health and the consumption of dry edible beans.
The Council will be hosted and supervised by Dr. Gerald Combs, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Center and will include experts in the areas of cardiovascular, cancer, obesity/weight management/diabetes, hind gut metabolism, FDA regulation and health claims/labeling standards and procedures, nutritional and functional attributes of beans.
Dr. Bill Lesch, Chairman, Department of Marketing, University of North Dakota will be the project liaison.
Northarvest will benefit from this effort by improving its health communications leading to FDA-approved statements to consumers in making healthier choices to include edible beans in their daily foods.
Dr. Maurice Bennink of Michigan State University will conduct a review of published literature connecting dry edible beans to health benefits, and a Health Research Project Fund will be established to support the most critical lines of research important to consumer choice.
This aggressive project was developed through coordinated efforts by the Northarvest Research and Promotion Committees. What were first discussed as possibilities beginning in 2004 are now in the realm of possibility.