MARKETING BOARD BACK IN BUSINESS

The St. Lucia Marketing Board (SLMB) reopened its doors today Wednesday after the entity was shut down in March by the government.

The SLMB is one of a few statutory bodies earmarked for closure and or restructuring by the government.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet during his budget address in 2017 claimed the government agencies were not profitable and were deemed liabilities to taxpayers.

Established in 1968, The Saint Lucia Marketing Board was created to address food marketing deficiencies which existed at the time.

Its primary purpose was to encourage agricultural production and facilitate the distribution of farm produce from local farmers to the consumer.

Over the years the influx of supermarkets and farm produce purchasing and distribution companies, coupled with direct interactions between hoteliers and farmers have caused the role of the Marketing Board to become somewhat obsolete.

Cabinet took a decision to review and restructure the operations of the government agency rather than handing it over to a private entity.

Mr Amatus Edward has been named the new manager of the SLMB.

According to Minister Joseph, the restructured Marketing Board will also focus heavily on exporting local produce with the support of TEPA-the trade export promotion agency

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