Regional

Barr's Spice 'flavours' JIE

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Barr's Spice, a new spice-making company based in Maroon Town, St James, was one of the nearly 300 participants in the recent three-day 2019 Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters' Association (JMEA) Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in the parish.

According to CEO of the one year-old spice company, Winston Barr, the predominant ingredient in his products is annatto, but others include turmeric, pimento, dandelion, and a host of natural herbs and spices, which all promote healthy lifestyle.

“ We came here to really introduce natural herbs and spices. Our main product is annatto, [it has] been around for centuries… we are just trying to reintroduce a healthier lifestyle,” a proud Barr told the Jamaica Observer West.

Annatto is an orange-red condiment and food colouring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree. It is often used to impart a yellow or orange colour to foods, but sometimes also for its flavour and aroma.

Barr, a double-amputee, who disclosed that he has planted several acres of annatto, outlined some of the health benefits of the product.

“Annatto improves your digestion and as a result takes care of acid reflux. It is good for the bones, the heart, a lot of potassium in it and we use it to prepare just about anything you looking about. Your chicken, your fish, you can make tea with it, you can cook your rice with it…,” said Barr.

Barr's Spice, a family company, was one of four western Jamaica-based micro-manufacturers which were sponsored by the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) at the JIE.

The others were the Hanover Java Farms, Maroon Pride and Hanover Bee Farmers' Cooperative.

President of the BPIAJ, Gloria Henry said her organisation sponsored the small businesses to give them visibility.

“We sponsored these SMEs [small and medium-seized enterprises] in the productive sector to be part of this even, to give them the visibility and the opportunity to connect with buyers, but also to connect with agencies such as JAMPRO [Jamaica Promotions Corporation], and SDC [Social Development Commission] and other agencies that can help them to take their businesses to another level. They have great potential and they are supporting diversity in employment opportunities in the west,” Henry commented.

Barr insists that hard work and determination can be rewarding.

At age 19, an accident on a construction site left him without both hands, but that has not stopped the double amputee. When his disability made it difficult to find a job, he simply created one for himself, and others.

Prior to establishing the spice company, Barr was involved in the bottling of spring water and the manufacturing of a wide variety of bag juices.


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