- Posted by: Zuzana Majeska
Ensuring food quality and safety in the Caribbean: The key role of SMEs
Ensuring food quality and safety in the Caribbean: the key role of SMEs and businesses
9th December 2021 – 10:00-12:00 (EST)
The agrifood sector remains very important for the Caribbean region in terms of employment, food and nutrition security. Ensuring high levels of food quality and safety remains critical in a COVID-19 context, for export but also for local and regional markets. High Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and stringent standards are requested by high-value formal markets, as well as by consumers very concerned about health issues and aware about the consequences of food borne-related illnesses. SPS measures protect human, animal, and plant life and health. They support national and regional food safety, food and nutrition security and agrifood trade. Factors contributing to potential hazards in foods include improper agricultural practices, poor personnel hygiene and lack of preventive controls at the various critical points of the food chain. Other factors include chemical misuse, contaminated water supplies, contaminated raw material and waste material. Toxic residues in agricultural products, as well as contamination that can occur during harvesting, packaging and storage processes, pose a real and potential danger to consumers’ health.
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9th December 2021 – 10:00-12:00 (EST)
10:00-10:05 Introduction and Moderator: Ena Harvey, IICA Representative, Barbados
10:05-10:15 Opening remarks
- Jeremy Knops, General Delegate, COLEACP
- Escipión J. Oliveira Gómez, Assistant Secretary General, Structural Economic Transformation and Trade, OACPS
10:15-11:00 Panel: Experiences from businesses
- Tania Lieuw-A-Soe, CEO, SURIVIT N.V., Suriname
- Rita Hilton, Managing Director, Carita Jamaica Ltd, Jamaica
- Theophilia Stoute, Founder and Managing Director, O’s Inc., Barbados
Moderator: Isolina Boto, Head of Networks and Alliances, COLEACP
11:00-11:25 Insights from partners and experts
This session will include inputs from experts representing policy-makers, research and finance.
- Gavin M.H. Peters, CEO, Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA)
- Theodora Morille, Global Food Safety & Quality Executive & Board Director
- Cletus Joseph, Executive Director, National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) Ltd
11:25-11:45 Q&A session
11:45-12:00 Way forward and support services
- Janet Lawrence, Agricultural Health, Food Safety and Quality Specialist – Caribbean/ 11th EDF SPS Project Manager, IICA
- Rachel Renee, Co-founder, D’Market Movers, Trinidad and Tobago
- Morag Webb, Head of Science and Policy, COLEACP
This series of bi-monthly events aims to develop a more sustainable and resilient agriculture sector in the Caribbean region and to showcase successful Caribbean actors of the agrifood business sector.
- SURIVIT N.V., Suriname
- Carita Jamaica Ltd, Jamaica
- O’s Inc., Barbados
- Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA)
- Global Food Safety & Quality, Theodora Morille
- National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) Ltd
- Agricultural Health, Food Safety and Quality Specialist - Janet Lawrence
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.
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.
Rita HILTON – Managing Director, Carita Jamaica Ltd, Jamaica
Rita Hilton is a lady of multicultural background, born in Kenya with Kenyan and Jamaican heritage. After a 20 years-teaching career in Jamaica, she founded Carita Jamaica Limited, formelly Incorporated Marketing Developments Limited, in 1984. Rita Hilton has made a name for her company in the export industry in Jamaica and globally, mastering the process and systems from order to sourcing to delivery in the short time required for fresh produce export. Carita Jamaica Limited is an exporter of fresh products and processed foods from Jamaica which grows but also sources produce from farmers across Jamaica, thus supporting local rural communities. Carita Jamaica Limited has achieved many export awards and was named Best Import/Export Company at the ActionCOACH Regional 2018 Business Excellence Forum Award. Rita Hilton is passionate about rural communities and entrepreneurship and so branchrd out into the industry of Product Development and Innovation.
Cletus JOSEPH – Executive Director, National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) Ltd
Cletus Joseph has been the Executive Director at the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) for eight years. He has 16 years of experience in agricultural development, specifically in the banana industry in Dominica assisting farmers to meet market requirements, and finance. He also has over 10 years’ experience in governance within the Credit Union movement in Dominica, a financial institution providing services to enhance people’s quality of life in line with cooperative principles. Cletus Joseph holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with Merit from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Science in AgriBusiness & Management with Honours from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Jamaica. He is also a post-graduate in Finance from the University of Wales, United Kingdom, and has a diploma in Project Cycle Management and Community Development.
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.
Janet LAWRENCE – Agricultural Health, Food Safety and Quality Specialist – Caribbean/ 11th EDF SPS Project Manager, IICA
Janet Lawrence is an Agricultural Research and Development professional, as well as a trained Entomologist with considerable technical and administrative experience working in the agricultural sector in the Caribbean region. She currently serves as the Agricultural Health and Food Safety and Quality Specialist for the Caribbean at IICA (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture). As a technical professional, Janet Lawrence worked primarily on developing sustainable crop production systems and crop protection strategies for a wide range of cropping systems. In addition, she has implemented capacity building actions to strengthen Agricultural Health and Food Safety systems that ultimately contribute to greater Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) compliance by CARIFORUM (Caribbean Forum, a subgroup of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States) countries. Janet Lawrence currently manages regional projects which span CARIFORUM countries and the Greater Caribbean, including the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) SPS Measures Project which is funded by the European Union and the Greater Caribbean Safeguarding Initiative (GCSI).
Tania LIEUW-A-SOE – CEO, SURIVIT N.V., Suriname
Tania Lieuw-A-Soe grew up as the daughter of an agriculturist and poultry farmer and has been an entrepreneur since 1990. In 2004 she founded SURIVIT N.V., a company which produces juices from organic grown exotic fruits and supplies hotel chains, restaurants and catering companies. As the CEO of SURIVIT N.V. Tania Lieuw-ASoe strives to contribute to sustainable food and nutrition security, economic growth, value chain development and promotion and employment opportunities in Suriname with the specific focus on rural women. Tania Lieuw-A-Soe is also the founder and President of the first women agriculture cooperative in Suriname, Agro Cooperatie Wi! Uma Fu Sranan, which was created in 2013. This cooperative is an organization in which women with the same passion for agriculture production are joined to empower and support towards a common goal: the strenghtening of Suriname’s agriculture sector to pursuing poverty alleviation with entrepreneurial zeal, innovative business methods and courage focused on the local and international market. The cooperative has 38 members.
Theodora MORILLE – Global Food Safety & Quality Executive & Board Director
Theodora Morille is a renowned food safety and quality expert with leadership roles at two Global Food Industry leaders, Kellogg, and Kraft Foods. She is currently the founder of Theodora Ventures Consulting LLC. At Kellogg, where she retired in 2020 as Global Food Safety and Quality Vice-President, she created cultures of food safety and science-based decision making across 150+ Kellogg facilities and key suppliers. She developed and maintained risk-based global audit systems and tools that measured adherence to company standards and applicable regulations including US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and other global regulatory bodies. She is the past president and member of SSAFE, a global non-profit member organization that works to strengthen food safety and improve human, plant and animal health and wellbeing by creating vital partnerships with industry and local government to help develop food safety systems in multiple regions. She is passionate about utilizing her extensive Quality an Food Safety (QFS) experience to contribute to the continued development of food safety culture for the Caribbean. Theodora Morille has a Master of Science in Microbiology from Long Island University, USA, and is a graduate of the Kellogg/Harvard Leadership Academy, USA.
Escipión J. OLIVEIRA GÓMEZ – Assistant Secretary General, Structural Economic Transformation and Trade, OACPS
Escipión Oliveira joined the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) in July 2020 as Assistant Secretary-General in charge of the Department of Structural Economic Transformation and Trade. Prior to his appointment and since 2011, he was the Deputy Executive Director of Caribbean Export Agency. Escipión Oliveira is a national of the Dominican Republic with over 20 years of experience in the development, management, supervision and evaluation of multi-donor programs and projects for the creation and strengthening of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and intermediary organizations in developing countries. Escipión Oliveira holds a master’s degree in business administration with a specialization in finance and has a graduate degree in business from Catholic University of Leuven (UCL), Belgium, as well as a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Santo Domingo Institute of Technology, Dominican Republic.
Gavin M.H. PETERS – CEO, Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA)
Dr. Gavin Peters is a veterinarian and presently the Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA), an institution of CARICOM (Caribbean Community) based in Suriname since April 2021. Immediately prior to that he was the Animal Health Specialist at the Agency. Dr. Peters has a Master of Science Degree in Agricultural Diversification specializing in Animal Production and a first degree in Veterinary Medicine. He has previously worked in two Member States (Guyana and St. Vincent & the Grenadines) and two Associate Members States (Turks and Caicos and British Virgin Islands) of CARICOM, within the Veterinary and Environmental Health Departments. He is a citizen of Guyana.
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.
Theophilia STOUTE – Founder and Managing Director, O’s Inc., Barbados
St. Lucia born Theophilia Stoute is the founder and Managing Director of O’s Inc., a Barbadian family-run agroprocessing company in which manufacturers gluten-free products. O’s Inc. has developed a brand of products such as flour from sweet potato, cassava, breadfruit and coconut, as an alternative to wheat and gluten filled meals. It also produces virgin coconut oil among others. All products are all-natural preservative and additive free. O’s products help develop and maintain a healthier lifestyle and offer a security of eating meals that are healthy. O’s Inc. received the Best Booth award at the 2013 Barbados Manufacturers’ Exhibition (BMEX), and the Minister’s Award for Innovation and Technology by the Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce of Barbados at the Small Business Week 2018.
Morag WEBB – Head of Science and Policy, COLEACP
Morag Webb is Head of Science and Policy for COLEACP, a non-profit Association of private sector operators in the agrifood sector active in the EU, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) regions. She has specialist expertise in market access, sustainability, food safety and plant health and has worked for the organisation since 2003. Prior to this she worked in industry as well as the UK public sector, and then spent 15 years in research, managing projects financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in South America and Africa. Morag now oversees COLEACP research and innovation activities, and leads the sustainability programme. She also provides technical advice, and engages with regulators and standard setters to lobby and advocate on behalf of the ACP horticulture sector. She holds a Bachelor in Environmental Science and Applied Ecology from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, and a Master of Science in Integrated Pest Management from Imperial College, London, United Kingdom.