- Posted by: Zuzana Majeska
Agriculture Trade : opportunities for SMEs and businesses in export markets
Agriculture Trade : opportunities for SMEs and businesses in export markets
Thursday 31st March 2022 – 10:00-12:00 EST
The economies of the Caribbean face several challenges. In relation to the agribusiness sector, some challenges include a lack of economies of scale in production of goods and services exacerbated by small populations, narrow internal markets and scarce capital, which limit the economic gains from self-sufficiency. However, the agrifood sector offers opportunities for trade and employment and has the potential to boost incomes for farmers, processors and other agricultural value chain actors. In this regard, more emphasis should be placed on building export capacity and facilitating trade.
Generally, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a crucial role in the economic development of Caribbean economies. Collectively, they generate about 60-70% of the Caribbean’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). They constitute over 70-85 per cent of companies in the Caribbean and account for 50% of employment. In addition, women own 40% of businesses. However, only about 13% of these SMEs export. This suggests that on average the region is not utilising its potential to generate gains from international trade. In addition, Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) SMEs that do export tend to sell only a few products to a very small number of markets. These patterns not only stifle the potential for growth among LAC SMEs that could be attainable through gains from trade; they also render SMEs more vulnerable to domestic business cycles.
Read more here.
10:00-10:05 Introduction: Allister Reynold Glean, Technical Specialist, International Trade and Regional
Integration Programme / Representative in Barbados, IICA
Moderator: Roxanne Waithe, Technical Specialist, IICA
10:05-10:40 Experiences from businesses
- Roy Newell, Managing Director, Tijule, Jamaica
- Daphne Miaoulis, Managing Director, Abaco Neem, Bahamas
- Roderick St. Clair, Managing Director, Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association, Grenada
Moderator: Isolina Boto, Head, Networks and Alliances, COLEACP
10:40-11:25 Insights from importers, experts in finance and analysts
This session will include inputs from experts representing importers and distributors into the EU market and experts from research and finance.
- Christophe Sureau, CEO, SURAL-SACICC sas, France
- René Noordam, Owner & Director, René Noordam Group, Netherlands/Poland/Dominican Republic
- Leo Williams, SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund, IDB
- Koen Vanderhaegen, Market Insights Manager, COLEACP
11:25-11:50 Q&A session
11:50-12:00 Way forward
Isolina BOTO – Head of Networks and Alliances, COLEACP
Isolina Boto is the Head of Networks and Alliances at COLEACP, a non-profit association of private sector operators in the agrifood sector active in the European Union (EU), Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) regions. Isolina has more than 25 years of experience in agricultural development. She started her career with the European Commission and has also worked with various ACP embassies and NGOs in areas related to food security, rural development and trade. Before joining COLEACP, she was the Manager of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) Brussels Office (2004-2020) implementing policy initiatives related to the ACP-EU cooperation in the field of the agrifood sector. She has led agribusiness projects in support of capacity development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and farmers organisations across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and developed agrotourism aimed at linking agriculture and tourism sectors.
Allister Reynold GLEAN – Technical Specialist, International Trade and Regional Integration Programme / Representative in Barbados, IICA
Allister Glean is the Representative (Acting) of the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in Barbados. He spent the last 5 years as the International Specialist in Agribusiness and Value Chains, stationed with the St. Lucia Delegation. Allister has worked extensively in the agricultural sector for over 20 years with experience working in agricultural research and development, agribusiness development, food and beverage processing as well as development financing for agribusiness. Allister has lectured on a part-time basis at the tertiary level for over 16 years in the areas of marketing, strategic planning and business ethics. While trained in management and marketing, he also possesses post graduate qualifications in international relations and agribusiness development. He is also a qualified attorney at law. Allister tends to have a particular interest in governance, market development and trade facilitation. Allister has a passion for working with micro, small and medium sized business with emphasis on women, youth and producer groups. In fact, he is himself also a small farmer producing food crops on a 2 ½ acre plot.
Daphne de GREGORY-MIAOULIS – Managing Director, Abaco Neem, Bahamas
A Bahamian citizen born in Kingston (Jamaica), Daphne worked in Paris (France), Venice (Italy), and in the Bahamas. She is trained in cosmetology, as well as a licensed yoga instructor and real estate agent. Throughout her professional career, Daphne worked in real estate sales, as Sales & Marketing Manager for Sun Tee, as Purchasing & Retail Manager for Nassau Cruises group of companies and run her own yoga center in downtown Nassau. Daphne currently leads with her husband, Nick Miaoulis, Abaco Neem Limited, the only certified organic farm in the Bahamas which produces over 23 different neem health and beauty products. Over the past ten years, the product line has grown in popularity within the Bahamas and in the Caribbean, North America and Europe. The consistent high quality of their products, in particular of the pure certified organic neem oil, led both Daphne and Nick to expand their farm expertise as consultants to a 32,000 acre farm in the Chaco Region of Paraguay. They are both proud to participate in the expansion of Bahamian agricultural business by producing a value added product that contribute to the well-being and culture of the country.
Roy NEWELL – Managing Director, Tijule, Jamaica
Roy Newell is the Managing Director of the Tijule Company Limited, an agro-processing manufacturer located in Palmers Cross, Clarendon, Jamaica. Tijule is a family owned business founded in 1982 by Roy’s aunt, Dr. Juliet Newell, a well-known Jamaican nutritionist and food scientist. The company began exporting in 1984 and presently 95% of its output of sauces, condiments, baked bammy (a traditional Jamaican cassava flatbread), etc. is sold to international markets. Roy is an engineer by profession having achieved qualifications in Toronto, and successfully worked in related industries in Canada before returning to Jamaica to run the family businesses. He also carved out viable niches in agriculture by offering equipment rental and other independent businesses. Over the past eight (8) years, Tijule has grown significantly under Roy’s management in terms of its manufacturing capacity and capabilities; increased use of raw agricultural materials to diversify into new products; enhanced corporate social responsibilities to multiple stakeholders including at-risk youths in the communities where Tijule’s workers lives and the business operates.
René NOORDAM – Owner & Director, René Noordam Group, Netherlands/Poland/Dominican Republic
René Noordam is the Founder and Director of the René Noordam Group. René was raised in a farming and trading family in the Netherlands. With this background, he moved in 2005 to Poland to start his own agricultural business. In 2009, he started importing Dutch fruit and vegetables to Eastern Europe. Due to the increasing demand for exotic fruit and citrus, René started importing these products in 2012 to Europe. In 2017, René discovered the potential of the Dominican Republic and started a company with a local partner to export exotic fruit directly to the customers. In 2020 René became a shareholder in a Dominican organic banana company found by 12 banana producers and became responsible for the sales. Today the René Noordam Group is located in the Netherlands, Dominican Republic and Poland to sell high quality fruit and vegetables from all over the world directly from the source to the final client.
Roderick St. CLAIR – Managing Director, Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association, Grenada
Roderick St.Clair, is an Agribusiness specialist with focus on marketing and value chain development. He worked for over two decades in the agriculture business sector in Grenada mainly in fresh produce marketing as a Senior Manager at the Marketing & National Importing Board. In 2019 he entered the spice sub-sector as the General Manager of the Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association. The former high school science teacher also contributed as a newspaper columnist and was the host/producer of agriculture radio programs, TopSoil and Caribbean Agriculture Forum which were distributed beyond Grenada. Roderick possesses a BSc degree in Total Quality Management, MBA with a focus on International Business, plus diploma Enterprise Development through Value Chain and Business Service Markets. He developed and maintain strong network with global actors and experts in the sector. In October 2020, Roderick received his instruments to represent the interests of farmers and fishers as their Senator in upper house of the Grenada Parliament.
Christophe SUREAU – CEO, SURAL-SACICC sas, France
Christophe Sureau is the CEO and the majority shareholer of the SURAL-SACICC sas, a French company created in 1958 which imports certified organic food products from different world regions, such as Sri Lanka, Denmark, Ecuador or Colombia, to supply major retailers in France (Carrefour, Auchan, Cora, Intermarché etc.). Christophe is also the CEO and the majority shareholer of the Guyanese company AMAZON CARIBBEAN GUYANA Ltd which harvests and packages organically grown (picked) hearts of palm from Guyana. As a French national naturalised Guyanese, Christophe is been appointed by the French Prime Minister as the Trade Advisor for France in Guyana. He is also the President of the French National Union of Specialised Grocery Traders (Syndicat National des Négociants Spécialisés de l’Epicerie) and the Administrator of the French Federation of Food Importers (Fédération des Importateurs des Produits Alimentaires, FIPA).
Koen VANDERHAEGEN – Market Insights Manager, COLEACP
Koen Vanderhaegen is a Bio-Science Engineer with specialisation in tropical crop production. He joined COLEACP in 2019 after his studies and research experiences in Ecuador, Ethiopia and Uganda and became the Market Insights department manager. Together with his 6-person team and strengthened by a large network of external experts, Koen provides quantitative and qualitative information on the ACP fruit and vegetable trade and markets to the COLEACP members and stakeholders. Additional to these market intelligence services also business support is provided by the Market Insights department under the form of B2B match making, marketing support etc.
Roxanne WAITHE – Technical Specialist, IICA
Roxanne Waithe is the Technical Specialist for the IICA Office in Barbados. She provides expertise in the field of training and certification for persons at all levels involved in the agrifood sector, has proven experience in developing and managing national and regional projects, and also works with agrotourism and climate change programmes. Roxanne has a PhD.in education (2017) from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, with a focus on technical and vocational education and training; a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management (2006), and a Bachelor in Education Degree (2005).
Leo WILLIAMS – SEAF Caribbean SME Growth Fund, IDB
Leo Williams is the Managing Director of this new private equity fund in the region. Mr. Williams is a seasoned investment professional with 25 years of experience in Investment and Business Consulting in the Caribbean and in the USA. Prior to joining SEAF, he founded Williams & Associates Investments, an investment advisory firm focused on raising capital for firms in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region. He is a former executive and International Business Development Manager of Jamaica Money Market Brokers Ltd., integral in the establishment of JMMB in the Dominican Republic and a former Director of the Jamaican Stock Exchange. Mr. Williams has also led several divisions within General Electric USA and Spain and was a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Fluent in Spanish and possessing expert knowledge of Latin America and the Caribbean region, Mr. Williams has assisted companies to launch and grow globally, including into non-English speaking markets. He holds BSc. Engineering from Princeton University (USA), an MSc. Engineering and MA International Studies and an MBA from Wharton School of Business all from the University of Pennsylvania (USA).