Business

Spur Tree increases Australia exports

BY KARENA BENNETT
Business reporter
bennettk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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Spice manufacturer Spur Tree will later this week send off its largest shipment of seasoning to Australia.

In fact, the 40-foot container, which is currently being packed for export to the country that is known for its unique animal species like the kangaroo and duck-billed platypus, will be the largest shipment from Jamaica.

Statistics from Trading Economics shows that up to 2016, Jamaica's export to Australia totalled US$1.21 million while imports from the country totalled US$13.61 million in 2017.

Spur Tree is supplying Australia with roughly 458 cases of its hot pepper, jerk and barbeque sauces. The rest of the container is filled with products from J Wray and Nephew, Juliana, Sunrite, Island Spices, among other local processors.

“About three or four years ago, we were approached by an e-commerce Australian company called Jamaican Products - Australia and since then Spur Tree has been sending small shipments to Australia,” director of Spur Tree Dennis Dawkins told the Jamaica Observer.

“But a few days ago we got a call that the company was going into potentially big business with a new commercial customer. It involves the company putting together a container-load of not just Spur Tree products, but products from other local food manufacturers,” he continued.

The e-commerce platform, Jamaican Products Australia is owned and operated by Hope Kidd, a Jamaican who has been living in Australia. The company, which was started in 2005, aims to bring the flavours of Jamaica and the Caribbean to Australia.

Kidd sells Jamaican-made products ranging from sauces and spices, beverages, pastry, flags, hair products, artworks and memorabilia.

The container is being consolidated by provider of transportation and freight brokerage service, JETCo, for shipment to Sydney, Australia, later this week.

“We hope this is the start of a long and expanding commercial relationship with this new Australian customer,” Dawkins said.

Currently, exports at Spur Tree accounts for 85 per cent of revenue, but the company is bullish about covering more ground in the United States. Domestically, revenues over the manufacturing company has increased, driven by sales of its new and economical 'one-pot' sachets in curry, oxtail, brown stew and jerk BBQ seasonings.

Today, Spur Tree produces jerk seasoning, curry seasoning, crushed red pepper sauce, crushed scotch bonnet pepper sauce, old time pepper jelly, oxtail seasoning, spice it up sauce and reggae table sauce.

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