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Pushing boundaries with peanuts

Youth-led company optimistic about breaking into new markets

Published:Tuesday | May 2, 2023 | 12:44 AMAsha Wilks/Gleaner Writer
Damani Johnson, brand manager of Green Earth Peanut Company Limited, and Shenisea Francis, business development officer, show off come of the company’s products at the 2023 Expo Jamaica at the National Arena in St Andrew last Friday.
Damani Johnson, brand manager of Green Earth Peanut Company Limited, and Shenisea Francis, business development officer, show off come of the company’s products at the 2023 Expo Jamaica at the National Arena in St Andrew last Friday.

Green Earth Peanut Company Limited, a Jamaican company operated by a group of young adults, is happy with the prospects of breaking into regional and international markets.

The company was founded six years ago by entrepreneur Akeem Edwards, who had the goal of supplying locals with peanuts and peanut-derived products while also bolstering the industry.

Speaking with The Gleaner last Friday at the Expo Jamaica show, Business Development Officer Shenisea Francis stated that the company started out solely offering raw roasted peanuts.

Recently, Green Earth began producing peanut brittle – a traditional Jamaican snack of candied nuts shaped into long rectangles or broken into short bite-sized squares, which is also available in coconut flavour.

The company’s product line now includes raw redskin peanuts, dry-roasted peanuts, and peanut brittle bites. The products, which are distributed by Massy Distribution (Jamaica) Limited, are available in supermarkets and pharmacies islandwide.

As the young company looks to expand its horizons, Francis said that the interactions with potential buyers and partners at the expo were a “very positive” experience as many individuals indicated a desire to purchase and bring the product overseas to their respective homes.

“The reviews that we’ve been getting are pretty good, so we are very optimistic that in the very near future, we will be exporting. We will be partnering with Massy to export as well and they already have their connections set up, so it shouldn’t be that difficult for us,” she added.

“I spoke to someone in Grenada, and she is saying that it is better than their version of the snack, but she can’t get it because you know they also want to support [their] local brands as well because it wouldn’t make sense to bring in our product and they’re already making the same thing, but people really do like it and want it and we’re very excited to represent brand Jamaica,” Francis said.

Damani Johnson, area sales manager at Massy and brand manager for Green Earth, said it was the company’s vibrancy and youth-led culture that caught his attention.

“The products that they carry are excellent. It’s a light peanut brittle; it’s not like the sticky peanut brittle that will stick in your teeth, and we noticed that once people take a taste of it, they want to have more, so we’re very excited about the product,” he told The Gleaner.

He praised the Green Earth team for coming up with coconut-flavoured peanut brittle, which he had never heard of before.

Johnson added that Expo Jamaica was a great way to get exposure as people who visited the Green Earth booth during the four-day trade show were enthusiastic about helping to spread the word about the product and assist with distribution.

“We’ve made some good linkages here and we hope to translate that into some hard numbers for them,” he added.

It is Green Earth’s short-term goal to obtain farmland to build out its production by planting more of the legume crop.

“We wanted something sustainable,” Francis said, noting that the expansion would also help to create more employment.

“We want to export one day and inspire some other young persons to get on board and focus on brand Jamaica, building Jamaica and being innovative here,” she added.

asha.wilks@gleanerjm.com

How to make contact

To get in touch with Green Earth Peanut Company Limited, visit the website https://www.greenearthpeanuts.com/ or locate them on Instagram @greenearthpeanuts.