Section V - Packaging and distribution

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Table 2 shows the type of packaging and the quantities used for the export of mace and nutmeg from Grenada by the GCNA. It is planned to introduce the constant 137 lbs (62.5 kg) for shipping shelled nutmegs in jute bags.


MACE No. 1 - PLASTIC BAGS - 56 lbs (25.5 kg)
  No. 2 - PLASTIC BAGS - 80/88 Ibs. (36.5/40 kg)
  No. 3 - JUTE BAGS - 1101/2/112 lbs (50/51 kg)
FORMERLY: No. 1 - IN PLY BOXES - 160 Ibs.(72.7 kg)
  No. 2 - IN PLY BOXES - 200 lbs (91.0 kg)
  No. 3 - IN JUTE BAGS - 112 lbs (51 kg)
  SOUND SELECTED - JUTE BAGS - 140 lbs.(63.5 kg)
  DEFECTIVES - JUTE BAGS - 140 lbs.(63.5 kg)
  DRY IN SHELL - JUTE BAGS - 110 1/4 lbs or 112 lbs (50 Or 51 kg)
ESSENTIAL OIL The nutmeg oil distilled in Belgium is packaged in 45 gal. drums and is sold to Switzerland by the company Puressence.

For shipping to foreign ports containers (20 ft) are utilized and for nutmegs average capacities are 12 tons (240 bags) for dry nutmegs in shells, 16 tons (240 bags) for unassorted and 14 tons (224 bags) for detectives.

As a new nutmeg oil distillation plant for GCNA is about to come into operation in early 1994 nearly twenty years after initial experiments were undertaken in Grenada, it must be noted that nutmeg oil was produced commercially in Grenada from the year 1940 at Douglaston estate, St. John's. Using a copper still, crushed detectives nutmeg were distilled and the yield was about 7.5%. For the period 1945 - 1956 annual shipments of about 1-5 tons were made to the U.K. It was hurricane lanes in 1955 that gave a telling blow to this emerging nutmeg oil industry.

The Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association - (GCNA)

The Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) commenced operations on October 1, 1947. This was the culmination of a meeting of growers held on March 17, 1942 from which a spice working committee was set up and whose workings led to the passage of Legislation number 8 of 1946, the Nutmeg Industry Ordinance, which provided for the formation of the Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association.

The main objectives for the establishment of GCNA as the sole exporter of nutmegs from Grenada were:

- Securing of stabler producer prices by ending competition between local exporters; and

- providing producers with more of the profits of the industry by the exclusion of middle men and increasing demand for the nutmeg product by setting standards of quality.

The statutes of the GCNA states that the management of the business of the Association shall be by a Board called the Nutmeg Board. The said Board shall consist of not less than seven nor more than nine numbers. Six members of the Association are elected by ballot to be members of the Board in the month of May in each year at the annual general meeting for the ensuing nutmeg year (July 1st to June 30 the following year)

The elected members (delegates themselves) are chosen by delegates who were elected at area meetings by members of the Association resident in each area. One delegate is appointed for every hundred members in that area. So that even small farmers are adequately represented. Upon registration a producer automatically becomes a member of GCNA. The current membership (1993) stands at about 8,000 but from the inception date the membership will be in the region of 15,000.

At least one and a maximum of three members are nominated to the Board by Government. The current Board (1993-1994) has nine directors.

The Board elects a chairman. The running GCNA is compartmentalized so that at head officer there are the departments of accounts, shipping and administration. The Chief Executive Officer is the Manager who is supported by the Secretary (Treasurer), the processing stations are controlled by Managers while the receiving stations are managed by Clerk. Two Field Inspectors provide the link between headquarters and the stations, as well as being responsible for maintenance of standards, quality and pest control. The Association employs about six hundred (600) to eight hundred (800) workers. The GCNA is responsible for regulating and controlling the exports of nutmegs and mace and to promote, protect and develop the nutmeg industry. A major activity therefore, is the purchasing of products from the farmers and this is a continuous exercise (all year).

For produce delivered to the receiving stations, the grower is paid an "advance rate" which is fixed fortnightly by the Board. At the end of the year's operation the grower is paid balance (bonus or surplus) representing the difference between the advance rate and the net realized prices of nutmeg and mace obtained in the year's trading by GCNA.

GCNA exports procedure for its spice products to the export market of the world is by forward contracts on an indent basis with a commission paid on the f.o.b value of sales. Whereas is Europe sales are made through brokers, in the U.S.A and Canada sole agents or representatives are utilized. In the smaller markets a mixture of both practices obtains.

The world demand for nutmegs, like other spices is inelastic with current estimates being in the vicinity of 10,000 tons annually of which Grenada supplies about 25% and Indonesia 70%. In 1987 GCNA signed a marketing agreement with the Indonesia's Nutmeg Association (ASPIN), this resulted in increased market prices for both nutmeg and mace for the two years following the agreement, but by 1989 the Indonesian broke the agreement which resulted in slumped prices as shown in values for exported nutmegs and mace in Table 9 and fig. 8

Breaking with tradition the GCNA in February of 1993 appointed J.H.B International S.A of Belgium as the Sole Marketing Agent in Europe.

The activities of the GCNA are effectively charted by details in the tables and figures that follow.

Tables 3 and 4 and fig. 5 and 6 compare the production figures and export in pounds for nutmeg and mace for the period 1951 -1993.


Year Nutmeg (Equiv. lbs) Mace (cured) (Equiv. lbs)
1951 5257605 705471
1952 5212756 752556
1953 4362846 613427
1954 5185446 686107
1955 5087642 704979
1956 1398933 168517
1957 1529247 224881
1958 677587 102762
1959 1190885 197325
1960 1168243 188243
1961 1205575 194429
1962 1504961 225018
1963 1546316 227720
1964 1667555 252479
1965 1816347 289397
1966 2278846 334486
1967 2541973 394264
1968 2502452 351361
1969 3018134 417148
1970 3563142 490606
1971 4115129 552277
1972 3282608 412777
1973 4245321 567259
1974 3153096 399194
1975 5339720 769173
1976 4103968 534660
1977 6719400 923479
1978 4454405 568139
1979 5128778 625467
1980 5486294 647672
1981 5300836 532129
1982 6157754 502905
1983 4795991 330934
1984 5036065 433532
1985 4679472 365947
1986 5148799 474360
1987 6018669 680027
1988 6074555 741344
1989 6026773 634636
1990 6086904 606614
1991 5873244 528894
1992 5811907 367060
1993 5258177 229621

Source: Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association (GCNA)

Fig. 5 Production of Nutmeg and Mace (lbs) 1951 - 1993

Fig. 6 Nutmeg and Mace Exported from Grenada 1951 - 1993 (lbs.)


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