I first came to Grenada 10 years ago on a family holiday and fell in love with the island, it’s truly the stuff dreams are made of. The turquoise sea, clear sunny skies, tropical downpours and my first sighting of monkeys were more than an island girl from 60° north of the equator could ever imagine.
I definitely wanted to come back to Grenada and spent many wet, windy afternoons pining for those crystal seas and lush rainforests. Growing up on a remote Scottish Island has given me a connection with the sea and island communities which I find hard to shake, so years later as a graduate filmmaker with a few part time jobs I was looking for something to do, somewhere to go, that would build my own portfolio as well as helping someone in the process. Grenada seemed like the perfect choice.
I googled charities in Grenada and came across The Grenada Goat Dairy. As someone who is passionate about the food movement, supporting small producers and growing my own. This seemed like an ideal project for me to get involved in with my video camera.
Volunteering for a worthy cause
The dairy, I seem to remember were delighted, and perhaps a little confused, as to how and why I’d stumbled upon them but were very welcoming of anyone that wanted to volunteer for their cause, a project that everyone involved in is very proud and protective of, and rightly so.
I arrived after a 10-hour flight from the UK, to a sweltering hot, sultry evening and was picked up by Thelma, the dairy’s processor and her partner. They drove me up over the Grand Etang and down the other side to the Rainbow Inn where I was to stay the week. I was alone and far from home, but never felt so welcome. The Inn was fantastic a hidden gem and the Goat Dairy’s staff kind and generous in sharing their stories and smiles.
I spent that first week following around the crew of The Grenada Goat Dairy as they explained what they were doing: milking; filtering; cleaning; rolling; chilling. I also had the chance to explore the island. A true fair-skinned Scot abroad I was duly bitten by sandflies, sunburnt and sweaty most of the time. But none of that could dampen what a wonderful adventure it was.
Drawn back to the Spice Isle
Since that first trip I’ve been drawn back to Grenada, the Dairy, and its mission – time and time again. This year, now my third time capturing their activity and enjoying Grenada’s hospitality, I came to thinking wow, someone should really make a film about all this. Why not me?
As the fireworks burst haphazardly over the bay at Petit Anse, and New Year 2015 greeted me in Grenada (the Year of the Goat according to the Chinese calendar) I decided it was time to take a leap and produce my own documentary about the project, looking at the wider issues of food security and accountability that we all need to address.
With 9 billion of us now on the planet, and already 870 million people going hungry every night, according to Oxfam GROW, we have to do something to address the way food is being produced. Islands, already vulnerable to dependence on imported food and feeling the effects of climate change that is reaping havoc on their own agriculture production levels, need to address these problems through a new approach, one which Grenada and it’s Goat Dairy is trying to achieve.
A local production through and through
I approached Brainstorm Productions, a local company, who were happy to come on board and co-produce the film which we intend for regional broadcast as well as touring the international film festival circuit by the end of the year. A local production through and through – except for me – we’ll use facilities and crew from within Grenada and launch it here at the end of 2015.
My hope is that this film will draw attention to the worldwide challenges and legacy that the industrialized food system have created, by focusing on the intimate efforts of people really trying to make a difference.
Grenada, is full of projects like this, trying to make a difference and change the way food is produced and viewed by consumers. This island is really championing a change in its ways, something that is unfortunately in desperate need given that 44% of the food consumed here is imported.
Grenada, making its mark on the world
I hope that the film will also raise awareness of The Goat Dairy so that people will come out in support of the project and help Grenada to make its mark on the world as an island that’s leading the way in the region and the world for taking a stand for its people, economy and its agricultural heritage in this way by supporting small-scale, green production.
I’m looking forward to returning to Grenada and my goat family to tell their story for the world to see. And make time to soak up a bit more of that Caribbean sunshine. The film is currently in pre-production, and will be going into the main production phase this Spring, check out our website and blog grenadandthegoats.wordpress.com to stay up to date.
To support the project, we’d love Grenadians at home and abroad to spread the word that the film is being produced on island and if they’re interested in being involved in the production to get in touch. We’re still on the lookout for local producers who we can feature. As well as a production assistant to join our crew as a trainee. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to us.
The film is almost financed, but we are still on the hunt for backers and sponsors. Any individuals, regional or local businesses interested in investing are encouraged to get in touch for a sponsors pack. Email Aidan – email@example.com and you’ll be supporting a local film, local business and the sharing of a hugely important story about the future of our world. You can also follow us via Twitter and Facebook.