Invest Jamaica Conference & Updates
Updated: Nov 2
Bamboo Bioproducts International: Jamaica Project
In recent years, Jamaica’s economy has experienced many economic shifts. As such, Jamaica is looking to continue building its economic infrastructure through a variety of projects in multiple industries, including Logistics, Special Economic Zones, Global Digital Services, Agribusiness, Manufacturing, and Tourism; all of which will create jobs and stability for local communities.
One of the initiatives in which the government plans to continue diversifying the economy is through bamboo bioproducts’ cultivation and production of bamboo. Senator Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, himself, says he is welcoming the investment, as this project is being used as a model to continue the build-out of Jamaica’s bamboo industry.
“The Government is very pleased [about this project], and we want to ensure that it is done as quickly as possible. I’m very optimistic about it and the Government is committed [to making] this project a success,” he said at an event commemorating the pre-launch of bamboo bioproducts (BBP) in September 2022.
Other long-standing supporters of the project include JAMPRO, an Agency of the Government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.
Diane Edwards, President of JAMPRO, is hopeful that the bamboo industry will offer an opportunity to scale and eventually replace the sugar industry which has experienced a decline in recent years. Discussing the project at the bamboo bioproducts’ pre-launch, she explained:
“So you are going to see a huge economic impact, a logistics impact and you are also creating a proof of concept for people who want to focus and centre their products on Jamaica and distribute to the world."
The industry will see Jamaica exporting bamboo pulp to major multinationals worldwide producing paper. “So you are talking about exponentially impacting Jamaica’s exports and foreign exchange earnings,” she shared.
Related Article: Jamaica Looks to Bamboo to Diversify its Economy
JAMPRO most recently invited David Stedeford, Founder and CEO of BBP to speak at their event in November, Invest Jamaica, which focused on opportunities and projects promoting economic growth in Jamaica.
This two-day, high-level investment conference took place in Montego Bay and showcased various investment projects while allowing participants to have impactful face-to-face engagements. BBP was among the 40 industry leaders in attendance that spoke on various sectors investing in the Jamaican economy in upcoming years. 400 investors were specially selected from across the globe to listen in on these business opportunities and updates from leaders around the world. JAMPRO’s encouragement to attend Invest Jamaica offered BBP a platform to showcase the project’s progress, which promises sustainable employment, for a sustainable industry, producing sustainable fibre.
Read on to learn more about this project that ticks all the boxes…
Bamboo is an up-and-coming resource that, due to its fast growth and regeneration properties, is a viable option to solve some of the most pressing global issues today. This is due to its ability to restore land, support economic infrastructure, combat climate change, and support local communities through its sustainable nature. Bamboo has been gaining even more traction in recent years due to environmental interest in this fast-growing woody grass.
Our world needs alternative non-wood fibres to survive. At BBP, we believe our bamboo pulp and by-products will help support a circular economy and therefore, a sustainable future. Bamboo is the only fibre that satisfies all the requirements of tensile strength and softness necessary for development of viable tissue and hygiene products. Creating a sustainable pulp that can be a fibre alternative to traditional tree pulp will be possible whilst also creating thriving rural communities through job creation and educational infrastructure.
As a market-driven company, bamboo bioproducts’ vision is to contribute to the creation of thriving local communities whilst producing a sustainable pulp that can be a substitute for wood in paper industries. So why Jamaica? Here are 3 key reasons:
Jamaica has the right climate, being that it is a tropical island. It is otherwise known as the “land of wood and water” and is rich in environmental resources, many of which are beneficial for bamboo cultivation and processing.
Jamaica has the right type of bamboo– Bambusa vulgaris var. vulgaris. This is the preferred clumping bamboo variety for tissue fibre production and will be farmed by bamboo bioproducts. BBP will be working with the land, rather than against it, by using this variety of species that already exists and thrives in the area. This will allow for a cultivation process that is non-invasive.
Jamaica is a strategically located hub for export. Jamaica is attractive to U.S. exporters due to its geographic proximity and access to shipping lanes, relatively large English-speaking market, stable democracy and strong commercial and cultural affinity; and ever-improving business climate. Jamaica also has strong trade partnerships with China, Brazil, Japan and Turkey.
BBP will be the first bamboo Global market pulp mill producing Bleached Bamboo Sustainable Kraft (BBSK) pulp for the Global consumer tissue and personal hygiene industry. BBSK will be developed from renewably-sourced bamboo and processed using the best available technologies. We will prioritise bringing the finest quality pulp to our industry's global partners and support the communities we work in.
What’s in it for Jamaica? Discover Bamboo Bioproducts’ Commitment to Jamaica
We are committed to utilising our bamboo raw material as efficiently and diversely as possible. Bamboo is a biomass material with great potential as a bio-energy resource.
The lack of education and training necessary for earning a sufficient income is a key challenge in many local communities. At BBP, we are committed to providing various programmes, vocational training and scholarships to help support development of education and training in order to improve this .
At BBP, we plan to address local economic concerns, including the lack of job opportunities and farming contracts - by offering sustainable employment.
At BBP, we are committed to the welfare of local vulnerable groups. We aim to partner with local businesses and schools to implement programmes that focus on literacy, entrepreneurial training, job readiness, and job placement - amongst other initiatives. Aiding the health and infrastructure of local communities is integral to our practices.
Updates and Project Timelines
BBP’s initiatives in Jamaica are set to close financing and kick off in 2024. The Jamaican government says that it looks forward to the opportunities created through the start of this project and is excited to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. BBP will be bringing the best available technologies and sustainable practices to the market, and will propel Jamaica’s economy forward through employing a proven sustainable business model endorsed by experts and governmental officials.