Catco's Experience in Export Agriculture - Strategies for the Future

The Caribbean Agricultural Trading Company (CATCO) was established in 1982 as a subsidiary of the Caribbean Food Corporation (51%) and the Private Sector (49%). The Company traded initially in intraregional produce and input supplies with disastrous results. Management has been provided under three contracts from 1982 to March 1990. Local personnel are now in direct control of the Company. After attempting to trade in winter vegetables for two seasons the company stressed extra regional trade of non-traditional crops primarily to the ethnic niche markets in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe and to a lesser extent in North America. Efforts will be made to expand the small market base which has been established in North America. Volumes and value of trade have increased by over 60% per year from 1986 except in 1989/1990, when the ravages of Hurricane Hugo and a shortage of working capital prevented the company from reaching its targets. A new injection of funds and cooperative programmes with the Governments of individual member states should provide sufficient finance and produce to increase trading by the historical 60% in the short term. Whilst many problems have been solved and difficulties overcome, the company must still conquer many constraints. It is anticipated that CATCO will cover its cost of operations by 1991/1992.

Issue Date:
Apr 04 1990
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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