Minister of Agriculture Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs the Hon. Clay Sweeting has given his full support to the upcoming Nassau Cruise Port and Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation Authentically Bahamian Trade Fair which is scheduled to be held in the Grand Ballroom, Convention Center at Atlantis, Paradise Island on Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12, 2021 from 10am to 6pm.
The trade fair will showcase a variety of high-quality Bahamian-made products designed and produced by Bahamian artisans. The fair will connect the entrepreneurs who will populate Nassau Cruise Porter’s Authentically Bahamian Marketplace with suppliers and producers of Bahamian products. It will also facilitate networking and engagement opportunities between artisans, market entrepreneurs and wholesale producers from the hotel and cruise sector with owners and operators of tour companies and attractions, restaurants and the like.
Mr. Sweeting made an appearance during a press conference held at BAIC’s Training Room on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. At that time the announcement was made about the upcoming Trade Fair and the formation of the Authentically Bahamian Advisory Committee. Mr. Sweeting commended Nassau Cruise Port Ltd and BAIC for coming together to host this authentically Bahamian trade fair and he called for the involvement of artists and artisans from throughout the Family Islands to showcase their unique Bahamian-made products.
In attendance at the press conference were: Mr. Leonardo Lightbourne, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Marine Resources and Family Island Affairs, Mr. Rocky Nesbitt, General Manager along with Ms. Vernita Rhodenwalt, Assistant General Manager, Human Resources and Mr. Kervan Culmer, Financial Controller at BAIC.
Also addressing the press conference was Ms. Amanda Freedman, a member of the advisory committee representing the Nassau Cruise Port Ltd, who gave an overview of the Authentically Bahamian Trade Fair.
Executive Chairman of BAIC Mr. Leroy Major noted that since 1999, the Handicraft Development and Special Events Department at BAIC has played a pivotal role in training thousands of Bahamians in workshops and seminars in straw craft, shell craft, coconut shell craft, conch shell carving and soap making. Mr. Major said he looks forward to seeing some of those artisans displaying their creative handicraft items at the Authentically Bahamian Trade Fair.
The Authentically Bahamian Advisory Committee is headed by Ms. Pam Burnside, President of Creative Nassau. Also on the committee are: Mr. Ed Fields of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd, Ms. Debbie Strachan, Sr. Deputy General Manager at BAIC, Suzanne Pattusch of BHTA Tru Tru Bahamian, Samantha Rolle of the Small Business Development Center Access Accelerator, Mr. Kirk Deleveaux and Ms. Eldena Cartwright of Festival Place Association, Ms. Janet Johnson of Tourism Development Corporation and Ms. Bernadette Bastian of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation. The committee has been mandated to develop, implement and maintain organizational infrastructure including operational guidelines, protocols, quality and authenticity standards to ensure that the authentically Bahamian marketplace showcases the best representation of home-grown Authentically Bahamian offerings and depictions.