Organizers of ‘Zeb Kweyol,’ a promotion for local herbal products, have said the event held at the Old Market Square in Roseau on Saturday, was a huge success.
The event, organized by the Dominica Herbal Business Association (DHBA), attracted a number of Dominicans and visitors alike, as local herbal products were sold and promoted by local producers.
They include, Producer of herbal teas and herbal capsules Dr. Gail Defoe with Nature Fresh; Sonia Nestor Co-owner of Nestor Best who produces dried fruits and nuts; Cape Tranto owned by Anthea George producing a variety of coconut oils; Toulon Agencies owned by Anthony Toulon, producer of a variety of massaging oils including Oil of Ojas; The Caol Pot known for its range of soaps, shear butter, mud masks, massaging oils among other producers.
The DHBA has been hosting the event since 2006 and presently has set up a ‘Zeb Kweyol’ shop in the Old Market, which prides itself in offering only Dominican natural products that are packaged and labelled according to international standards. All products located in the shop are herbal-based.
“The activity has been successful over the years with this year standing out…and this year has been the best so far,” Owner of Nature Fresh, Gail Defoe told Dominica News Online (DNO). “This has been our best so far and I think we have decided to do it probably every Saturday starting in November, because we have had such a good turnout. We have had a good flow of people today.”
According to Dr. Defoe, presently she is devoting her time to developing healthy items because, “Dominica has so many healthy products.”
“There is no need for us to be suffering from diabetes and hypertension,” she stated.
She is also well known for her herbals teas and capsules which are sold at over 12 supermarkets across the island.
To Dr. Defoe the new packaging of her products is really making an impression, “so I think that is going to give us a big boost in the market.”
She stated that her company has been in operation for thirteen years so far and has also been producing coconut water and coconut oil.
“We did in all supermarkets…we had about 100 outlets in Dominica for coconut water and we exported it,” she explained.
However she said it is very challenging to get bottles for some of her products.
“So right now we are rethinking our packaging of coconut oil and coconut water, when we do we will be back,” she stated.
Meantime, Managing Director of Toulon Agencies, Anthony Toulon, told DNO that the event is seen as a multifaceted.
“Not like we are just selling stuff but we are actually looking for producers of raw material that we can buy from,” he pointed out.
Toulon continued, “We are looking at the business in dealing with herbs because in Dominica we need to create employment, I need to grow, I need to expand. We have to be strong and forthright in what we are doing to ensure that the packages meet standards…we have to meet those requirements,” he stated.
According to him, this kind of promotion is a means of showing people that the DHBA is growing.
Another participant at the event, Sonia Nestor, Co- Owner of Nestor’s Best products has said her company is growing from strength to strength but needs more marketing.
“We started off with the dried fruits, we also do natural juices. The company is growing from strength to strength, now at most supermarkets. We have been producing at Castle Comfort for over two years now. We need to do more marketing,” she explained.