Regional Agro Processing Industry Gets International Support
REGIONAL AGRO PROCESSING INDUSTRY GETS INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
The region’s agro-processing industry got another boost through the coordination and execution of the European Union funded project – Promotion of the Agro-Tourism sector in the Caribbean Region. Technological Solutions Limited, in partnership with Madrid-based firm, Prysma, led on this project, with Dr. André Gordon being Team Leader.
Valued at approximately Euro 181,500, the programme was designed to provide support over a ten (10) month period to the Caribbean Agri-Business Association (CABA) (the body established to support the regional Agribusiness industry), as well as ten (10) beneficiary companies. Under the project, the 10 small exporting firms in the sauces and spices, baked goods, produce, seafood and processed vegetables sub-sectors from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago received support to enable them to improve their food safety systems in order to enhance their exporting opportunities, with two of the beneficiary companies attaining certification to GFSI standards.
A significant activity of the project was the hosting of a workshop and buyer/seller forum where buyers, primarily from Europe, North America and selected regional distributors and hotels and restaurant buyers met with the beneficiary companies in one-on-one buyer/seller discussions.
The primary beneficiary under this project, CABA, coordinated the support to strengthen the agribusiness firms’ ability to export through improved systems and capabilities. TSL’s Managing Director Dr. Andre Gordon noted that the regional food industry continues to make positive strides globally and any initiative to strengthen the sector and open opportunities for the manufacturers is welcome. Two of the firms, Tijule and Island Packers, both from Jamaica, achieved FSSC 22000 and SQF certification, respectively.