We need to fully exploit the Barbados brand, suggests Watson

Independent Senator John Watson believes the local agricultural sector can help Barbados to dig its way out of its current economic downturn.

However, he suggested yesterday that a lot more work needed to go into the development and marketing of an authentic brand of Barbadian products.

“Barbados has such a good name worldwide that we should use it as a brand on our products, so that when people see the name ‘Barbados’ attached to an item they
will associate it with the best quality,” Watson said in making his contribution to the debate on the Protection of Agricultural Products and Livestock Bill, 2017 in the Upper Chamber.

With the country currently faced with a high deficit of five per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), a national debt in excess of 100 per cent of GDP and dwindling international reserves of less than $600 million at the end of September, the independent legislator further suggested that the export potential of indigenous products, such as sugar and cotton, needed to be fully exploited.

“If we packaged our sugar as ‘Barbados Brown Sugar’ and promoted it as a healthy product, we could earn 15 to 20 times more for it on the European market than we do now,” he projected.

However, Watson, who was recently honoured by Government for his contribution to the small business sector, pointed out that “one of the problems we have with sugar and cotton is that we only produce the primary product, so other people make the money off the finished goods”.

Expanding on the topic of cotton, Watson, who was awarded a Silver Crown of Merit in this year’s national independence honours, said, “We must start the development process that takes us from just producing the lint, to producing the cordage, which takes it to the yarn stage, then weave it and produce our own.

“Now this cannot be achieved in a year, we will need a 15 to 20 year plan to truly implement this,” the founding president of the Small Business Association cautioned.

He also suggested that only authentic Barbadian products should be allowed to carry the country’s name, while arguing that champagne was not genuine unless it came from that specific region in France.

“Barbados was the first place to ever make yellow hot sauce, and I was shocked to see a product named ‘Bajan hot sauce’ that was made in another country. I am all for Caribbean unity, but we need to protect what is ours first,” the businessman stressed.

6 Responses to We need to fully exploit the Barbados brand, suggests Watson

  1. Trebor Retsof December 8, 2017 at 9:59 am

    You ought to go back and read stuff presented by Sen. Philip Goddard back in the early 90’s. His party didn’t listen to him then.

  2. Stevenson Holder December 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Sometimes it is very difficult to find Barbadian products in New York Supermarkets where most Carribean people and their descendants work, live, and shop. A better marketing program needed to be established similar to the ones used in the tourist industry.

  3. Alex Alleyne December 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Barbados Black Belly Sheep (of which we selling off as fast as rabbits can breed). Bajan Road Tennis , of which the rich folks refuse to sponsor, and Miller Pepper sauce. Can’t
    say put Mount Gay Rum in the mixed cos we don’t grow enough sugar so we import plus the company sold off . The “brown sugar’ is sold to Europe down to the last grain, unless we change lately.

  4. jrsmith December 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I agree with many things Mr Watson said , living in the UK very few shops sells Barbados products , I remember rushing to a shop to find a bottle rum find this cock spur made in Scotland , very expensive but i could see why they wasn’t selling , a total insult to Cock Spur………
    But since then I introduce a small local supermarket , to our nation paper , hot sauce and aunt may product …… I saw banks beer once at the super market , as why their are not stocking banks beer any more , was told its easier to get to the moon…….

  5. Helicopter(8P) December 8, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    I will agree to having a Logo Stamp but having Barbados as a multi product name is not quite what I would like to legally wish. Product satisfaction and ingredents are at customer’s liking. If a product bearing the name Barbados and it makes a consumer break out with an allergy it could cause misrepresentation as a brand name Barbados. I would agree to a stamp logo bearing the name Barbados.

  6. gary jones December 9, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    What you need to do is find out what small part of the Barbados brand is left. The island used to have a reputation as an elegant place to winter and now folks know it as a disfunctional mess on the way to disaster. So first, clean up your own act – deal with your garbage, choked roads, pollution, criminal drug element and permanently preserve the landscape you have left. Then people might find Barbados sufficiently attractive again on a scale that can support your tourist industry in the future.

    Just a tip from a former fan of the island.


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