About a year ago around this time, I was living in Terrier Rouge, Haiti, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the ISCA representatives to join us in Haiti for poultry and jam training. Meeting the team in Port-au-Prince after an overnight bus ride was exciting and there was lots of work to be done!
Fast forward to today, and I now cherish what I have left of the Rhum Punch Jam that I brought home from Haiti, and the occasional WhatsApp calls from the members of the jam group, Onz Manman, to remember my time there.
On ISCA’s visit in April 2017, the members of Onz Manman were brought to visit a local bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer in nearby Ouanaminthe. While tasting chocolate samples, the women learned about the importance of consistency, beautiful packaging, and marketing techniques. The members of Onz Manman can be proud that their jam sits next to these chocolates in boutiques around Cap Haïtien, and hotels including Mont Joli and Auberge du Picolet.
When I returned to Haiti for a vacation in August, I was pleased to see that stores are enthusiastic about our new 1.5-ounce jars, which are beautifully packaged into threes. The redesigned label includes the Haitian flag, making the jam a perfect gift for tourists to bring home after their travels. The jam has also caught the eye of store owners in the Cap Haïtien airport, the ideal location to sell.
I hope that Christmas brings in more jam sales for the members of Onz Manman. Even with the progress, there are hurdles ahead. Accessing jars, fruit, and labels is a logistical challenge. Bringing the jam to Cap Haïtien to sell and consign jars makes for an exhausting day. With continued efforts of ISCA and the members of Onz Manman, this initiative can help to supplement their income.
Blog entry written by ISCA Haiti intern Marie Dumont