IICA-COLEACP Caribbean Agrifood Business Series: Ensuring food quality and safety

The fourth session of the Caribbean Agrifood Business Series, organised by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and COLEACP, focused on “Ensuring food quality and safety in the Caribbean: the key role of SMEs and businesses”. The online session on 9 December reunited 240 participants from the Caribbean and other parts of world, including 15 African countries.

Entrepreneurs, food safety and quality specialists, and experts on policy and finance highlighted the importance of food and nutrition security in the agrifood sector, and how food safety contributes to it. In the current COVID-19 context, high levels of food quality and safety are even more critical for the agrifood businesses supplying not only export but also local and regional markets. Strict sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and stringent standards are required by high-value formal markets, and by consumers whose awareness about health issues and the consequences of foodborne-related illnesses is increasing.

Three inspiring women entrepreneurs, Tania Lieuw-A-Soe, (CEO, Surivit N.V., Suriname), Rita Hilton (Founder and Managing Director, Carita Jamaica Ltd, Jamaica) and Theophilia Stoute (Founder and Managing Director, O’s Inc., Barbados) presented their business success stories about supplying safe and heathy food that contributes to food and nutrition security, as well as to employment and empowerment of local communities, especially of women.

You can view a recording of the session here:

In English:

In Spanish:

In French:

Food quality and safety is one of the main themes of COLEACP’s management of development projects in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) agricultural and food sector, financed by international donors (mainly the European Union) through the Fit For Market programmes. The overall objective of the current EU-ACP programmes is to reduce poverty, improve food security and food safety, and ensure sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the ACP agrifood sector. The specific objective is to enable smallholders, farmer groups and organisations, and MSMEs to access domestic, regional and international markets by complying with SPS issues and market requirements, within a sustainable framework.

This activity is supported by the Fit For Market SPS programme, implemented by COLEACP within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union.