Caribbean entrepreneurs get expert help on growing their agribusinesses
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, March 24th 2016: Agribusiness Entrepreneurs from around the Caribbean are heading back home from a three-day workshop armed and excited about growing their businesses.
“It was an awesome, awesome experience”, said Chavara Roker, a workshop participant from the Bahamas. “It is going to help me move my business forward; moving my product that I sell from the farm to the table.”
Thirty-nine agribusiness owners representing 15 Caribbean countries took part in the Product Development, Marketing, Food Safety and GMP for SMEs Workshop in Port-of-Spain in Trinidad & Tobago last week. The workshop was put on by the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) as part of the European Union’s (EU) Intra-ACP Agricultural Policy Programme (APP) with a focus on the Caribbean and the Pacific Regions, funded by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
“The EU’s interest is long term, knowing that trade and specialization will contribute to higher living standards in both regions,” said Ulrich Thiessen, program manager for the Delegation of the European Union to Trinidad & Tobago in his opening remarks. This workshop is just one part of one project that falls under the action of the 10th EDF. The goals of the action are to promote the development of small holders in agriculture through integration into local, national, regional and global markets.
Despite vast nature of the action however, the workshop itself was designed to equip small, up and coming Caribbean entrepreneurs to prepare them to take their uniquely Caribbean products to wider markets. Sessions addressed important issues such as marketing, labelling and food safety, as well as fostering networking amongst Caribbean business owners and food industry professionals.
Over the three days, participants were able to hear from experts and get advice about their particular products. They viewed samples of innovative packaging and attractive labelling and together, experts and participants toured a leading Caribbean supermarket chain to see first-hand what products look like that are getting to store shelves and ultimately to the consumer.