Shared from the 4/14/2022 Jamaica Observer eEdition

Caribbean Fragrances ready to expand further in overseas market

CariBBEan Flavours and Fragrances (CFF), the Kingston-based producer of a host of flavours and fragrances used in the manufacturing process, is now ready to launch into the dominican republic and the US.

Ian Kelly, chief financial officer of CFF, told the Jamaica Observer that the aim is to have the entity earning more than half its revenues outside Jamaica “within the next five years.” Currently, CFF generates 20 per cent of its revenues outside Jamaica.

“We have partnered with manufacturers in Jamaica and we are now moving within specific areas of the Caribbean,” Kelly told the Caribbean Business report. “Jamaica has only three million people. We are looking for opportunities to broaden our revenues,” he added.

CFF last year recorded revenue growth of seven per cent to $637 million. Profits were, however, three per cent lower than the prior year at $79 million as the company like many others faced the brunt of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying supply chain issues which emanated.

However ,with things looking more positive even with the pandemic, the company is looking to go on the offensive for growth.

“We [are] looking to expand the sales of our flavours in the region,” added Derrick Cotterell, the managing director of CFF.

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Caribbean Flavours and Fragrances offices and plant in Kingston. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

“We have some customers already in the region in countries like Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and the Dom Rep. We want to do more in Dom Rep. We think its a good market. There’s tremendous opportunities there. The manufacturing sector in that country is about 20 times the size of the sector in Jamaica,” Cotterell continued.

Kelly said the plan to expand the number of manufacturers purchasing flavours and fragrances from CFF in the Dominican Republic will take place this year. “It will give us foreign exchange as we are moving into a bigger market. For example, the Dom Rep market is over 10 million people and more than six million tourists. If we can be consistent in growing that market and start to avail our products to at least the manufacturing community there, we will see growth in that market even faster than how it is in Jamaica.”

Cotterell and Kelly, who both also run CFF’s parent company, Derrimon Trading, said $60 million worth of investments have been made in CFF to improve its laboratory and to train staff since buying into the company in 2014 and then expanding that footprint in 2017. Derrimon Trading currently owns 75 per cent of CFF. The flavours and fragrances company also has a safe quality food (SQF) certification.

“What we bring is modern technology in a scale that the Caribbean can manage,” Cotterell said.

“The technology we have is normally found in the big international firms, but we as a Caribbean company can bring it to scale for manufacturers in the region.”

He said with the investments, CFF has grown the fragrances side of the business tremendously and has also expanded the fragrances side of the business. The production of ingredients for the food and household chemicals sector was also developed.

“We are also pushing to get more into the extraction part of the business to extract oils and oleoresins (essential oils) from products like ginger and coffee,” Cotterell pointed out while adding that the company is still in the experimental stage with extracting oils from Blue Mountain coffee. “There are also other Jamaican products we are looking at to see if we can extract the oil and oleoresin to get that uniqueness of the Jamaican flavour.” Apart from ginger and coffee, CFF is also extracting flavours from sorrel with the US market being the target for all three products, either oil or oleoresin.

“We going after the US market, we started with sorrel there and ginger. We will start with the diaspora and move over to the mainstream with products like ginger because it is not just a diaspora product.”

Cotterell told the Caribbean Business report that the company sampled ginger grown in more than 30 countries around the world and found none was a good as the variety grown in Jamaica.

He said other Caribbean markets are being targeted but said those will not be divulged at the moment.

However, he said Jamaican manufacturers will be able to participate in a seminar next month — May 18 and 19 — which will teach them “about new technology, new products and new ways to use our products,” indicating that even though the regional market is firmly in sight, the Jamaican market is not being neglected.

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