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Jamaican roasted breadfruit on shelves in the USA

When Anne and William Saunders decided to retire in Jamaica's northeast parish of Portland, they bought a fruited property that had more than 100 breadfruit trees.

They quickly realised that much of the breadfruit was going to waste and thought of ways to change that reality.

"My parents have always been industrious, and although they never had a background in food manufacturing, they looked at it and said, 'We can't have all of this breadfruit wasting'," Annakaye Saunders-Tucker said.

"So, my mother used to roast the breadfruit and vacuum-pack it on our kitchen table and freeze it, and whenever we had friends or relatives coming to visit, or whenever we travelled, we would always pack the breadfruit [to take overseas]," she added.

After much encouragement from friends and family, what started out as an effort to avoid food wastage was transformed into a full-fledged agro-processing business. Linga Ya Farms Limited was born.

The business supplies fire-roasted, vacuum-packaged breadfruit to the domestic and export markets.

Saunders-Tucker, who is the company's managing director, said that Linga Ya Farms, located close to the border of Portland and St Thomas, is certified by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica and the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Saunders-Tucker, in an interview with JIS, said that not only are their products in supermarkets islandwide, but they are also on shelves overseas.

For persons interested in getting into the manufacturing and export market, Saunders-Tucker advises that "it is not a sprint, it's a marathon".

"If you are expecting to go into manufacturing and export and make huge profits immediately, then it is not the business for you. It will take some time for your business to grow; it will take some time to find the right mix of customers and distributors," she said.