- Posted by: Robin Ruquet
Post-COVID-19 recovery – Building stronger linkages between agriculture and tourism: the key role of SMEs and businesses
Post-COVID-19 : Building stronger linkages between agriculture and tourism: the key role of SMEs and businesses
7th October 2021 – 10:00-12:00 (EST)
Tourism is among the industries that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. The indirect effects are significant due to backward and forward linkages between sectors such as agriculture. The reduction in tourist arrivals across developing nations is relatively consistent, mostly between 60 and 80 per cent. Of the 20 most tourism-dependent small economies in the world, 13 are in the Caribbean. Tourism is an important source of income accounting for 50 % of total exports for many small economies, particularly Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). As a major economic sector, tourism has a particular socio-economic importance, as it employs many women and young people and provides a livelihood to many informal workers. On average, the tourism sector accounts for almost 30% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the SIDS. This share is over 50% for the Maldives, Seychelles, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada. It is expected that for many SIDS, the COVID-19 pandemic will directly result in record amounts of revenue losses without the alternative sources of foreign exchange revenues necessary to service external debt and pay for imports.
Read more here.
7th October 2021 – 10:00-12:00 (EST)
10:00-10:10 Introduction and Moderator: Ena Harvey, IICA Representative, Barbados
10:10-11:00 Panel: Experiences from businesses
Moderator: Isolina Boto, Head of Networks and Alliances, COLEACP
- Shadel Nyack Compton, Managing Director, Belmont Estate Group of Companies, Grenada
- Rachel Renie, Co-founder, D’Market Movers, Trinidad and Tobago
- William Thompson, Treasurer, Nevis Growers’ Co-operative, St Kitts and Nevis
- Dane Saddler, Founder and Executive Chef, Caribbean Villa Chefs
11:00-11:25 Insights from partners and experts
This session will include inputs from experts representing policy-makers, research and
- Rhea Simms, Global Program Manager, Planeterra Foundation
- Sandra Carvao, Chief, Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO
11:25-11:50 Q&A session
11:50-12:00 Way forward and closure
- Jeremy Knops, General Delegate, COLEACP
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.
Sandra CARVAO – Chief, Market Intelligence and Competitiveness, UNWTO
Sandra Carvão is Chief of Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since June 2018. Before that, she was Chief of Communications and Publications for 8 years until May 2018 where she was responsible for UNWTO’s strategic positioning. Between 2007 and 2010, Sandra was Deputy Chief at UNWTO’s Market Trends, Competitiveness and Trade in Tourism Services Department. During this period, Sandra coordinated the Tourism Resilience Committee created by UNWTO to address the impacts of the global economic crisis 2008-2009 on tourism. Prior to joining UNWTO in 2003, Sandra held a position as market manager in the Portuguese National Tourist Office in Lisbon. Sandra has a degree in International Relations, Economics Branch, by the Institute of Social and Political Sciences/Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, and a postgraduate degree in Marketing by the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.
Ena HARVEY – IICA Representative, Barbados
Ena Harvey is the Agribusiness Specialist in Agrotourism with IICA (InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture) and from May 2002, she is the IICA Representative in Barbados. Prior to joining IICA, she held the post of Food Technologist with the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad from 1982-1987 assisting private sector with commercialisation of small-scale processing operations. From 1987 to 2002, she worked as a private consultant to several regional and international agencies, Trade Promotion agencies, Government Ministries, and NGOs on projects covering trade, export competitiveness, food security, education and training, sustainable agroindustrial development and agro-tourism. During this time, she also served as the Caribbean agro-industry expert to the Centre for the Development of Enterprise/ Centre for the Development of Industry (CDE/CDI) (Brussels) for 5 years, and regional agro-industry expert under a 4-year Canadian funded CIDA-CPEC (Canadian International Development Agency – Caribbean Program for Economic Competitiveness) Human Resources Development (HRD) programme on economic competitiveness, supporting private sector development in Jamaica, Suriname, Barbados, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Belize.
Jeremy KNOPS – General Delegate, COLEACP
Jeremy holds a Master’s degree in Business Engineering from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM). Prior to joining COLEACP in 2009, he was involved in Guatemala with the daily operations of a farmers’ cooperative exporting loquats to the EU and the US. He started to work for COLEACP as an expert in charge of matters related to private standards and certification for ACP producers and exporters of fruit and vegetables. Jeremy is an accredited coach for leadership and professional development. He has been appointed as General Delegate of COLEACP in June 2019.
Shadel NYACK COMPTON – Managing Director, Belmont Estate Group of Companies, Grenada
Ms. Shadel Nyack Compton is the owner and Managing Director of Belmont Estate, a fully functional historic plantation and premiere attraction in Grenada. She has designed a unique business model merging history, e-commerce, organic agriculture, tourism, chocolate production and community responsibility. Belmont Estate has been recognized domestically and regionally in the areas of entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship, organic agriculture, and community outreach. Ms. Nyack Compton current focuses on steering Belmont Estate through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening its organic agriculture farming practices, manufacturing and international export sales. An attorney by profession, Ms. Nyack Compton holds a Juris Doctor and Masters in International Law and Agribusiness. She takes joy in service and presently serves as the Honorary Consul for India to Grenada. She previously served in several national boards, committees and non-profits such as Director of the Grenada Organic Agriculture Movement, the President of the Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers’ Co-operative Society Ltd., Chair of the Grenada Board of Tourism, and on the Fiscal Responsibility Oversight Committee of Grenada.
Rachel RENIE – Co-founder, D’Market Movers, Trinidad and Tobago
Rachel Renie co-founded with partner in business and life David Thomas D’Market Movers in 2009, an online distribution company specialised in the delivery of fresh produce, groceries, meats, dairy, fruit baskets etc throughout Trinidad & Tobago. In 2016, Rachel and David received the Ernst & Young “Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year” award from the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Before creating the first online market in Trinidad and Tobago, Rachel and David worked together at a banking institution and started pairing fresh fish with seasonings selling it to their colleagues. Rachel has a degree in International Relations, and created and designed the company’s first website and e-commerce platform. She is a mentor at the Youth Business of Trinidad & Tobago which helps support the development of budding entrepreneurs throughout Trinidad & Tobago.
Dane SADDLER – Founder and Executive Chef, Caribbean Villa Chefs
Dane Saddler is a national award winning chef with over 15 years’ experience in fine dining cuisine throughout the Caribbean. He is the founder and Executive Chef of Caribbean Villa Chefs, a company offering private chefs for villas, private homes and businesses in the Caribbean region. Dane has appeared and hosted several cooking shows in Barbados and he has been a featured chef in local food festivals in Barbados for the past years. Dane has taken personal interest in health and wellness, offering his clients tasty and healthy cuisine. He has extended his culinary reach and partnered with local farmer both traditional and organic in accessing and offering fresh ingredients Caribbean Villa Chefs offers healthy convenient options to the health conscious market. Dane works with The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados Inc., the Barbados National Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) Commission and the Ministry of Health and Wellness in Barbados to promote and educate the public on making food choices beneficial to their health. He has partnered with the Organic Growers and Consumers Association (OGCA) in Barbados to promote organic produce and the benefits of healthy eating.
Rhea SIMMS – Global Program Manager, Planeterra Foundation
Rhea is a nonprofit professional with experience working across diverse countries, cultures and industries. As the Senior Program Manager for Planeterra, she leads the global team to provide community training on enterprise development, manage grants, and mediate relationships between the travel industry and communities to ensure long-term success of the programs. Rhea and her team launched the Global Community Tourism Network in 2021 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support communities virtually through practical resources, training and peer-to-peer support. With Planeterra, Rhea has led the development, from start to finish, of eleven successful community tourism projects. Through the years, Rhea has mentored and supported enterprises from over 40 countries, primarily in Asia and the Middle East. Rhea has a Masters in Development Practice and began her nonprofit career working for several years on livelihood development and healthcare programs for women in flood-affected communities in Pakistan with Community World Service – Asia. Rhea is passionate about the intersection of livelihood development programs with the travel industry as it leads to long term results, celebration of culture, uplifting of vulnerable groups and the protection of local environments.
William THOMPSON –Treasurer, Nevis Growers’ Co-operative, St Kitts and Nevis
William Thompson is the Treasurer of the Nevis Growers’ Co-operative which was incorporated in 1991 and operationalize in 1992 with only nine fruit and vegetables farmers who locally supplied the newly built 5 star Four Seasons Resort in Nevis. Since then, the cooperative has grown to 40 farmers and is cultivating approximately 70 acres. The cooperative uses the eco-friendly approach of mixed crops, blending tree crops with other fruit and vegetable crops, with minimal land preparation and increased crop diversity. The President of the Nevis Growers’ Co-operative, Emontine Thompson, is a successful farmer of Brown Hill, Nevis. Since its creation, the Nevis Growers’ Co-operative has established a strong agrotourism linkage with its members supplying produce to a specific market-led system. As part of its response to the economic upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NGA granted a $15,000 contribution to thirteen farmers in 2020.