Caribbean Agricultural Enterprises To Get Expert Advice on Reaching New Markets

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, March 18th, 2016 – Small agricultural enterprises in the Caribbean have a lot of offer. From sauces and chocolate to organic teas and honey, entrepreneurial enterprises are working hard every day to offer unique, local products in the marketplace. However, bringing agricultural products to market these days means more than just working the land. That is why the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) have joined together as part of the Intra-ACP Agricultural Policy Programme (APP) to present a three-day workshop designed to practically help agribusiness enterprises in bringing their products to a wider Caribbean market, and even to the world.

“Essentially, a lot of small and medium enterprises have unique products with great potential but more often than not, they are not packaged, labeled and presented in such a way that they can enter mainstream markets in the region and internationally”, says Gregg Rawlins, the Representative in Trinidad & Tobago and Co-ordinator, Regional Integration Caribbean Region, IICA.

Participants of the Product Development, Marketing, Food Safety and GMP for SMEs Workshop will include owners of small agricultural enterprises in the Caribbean, with a specific focus on woman and youth business owners. Industry experts will facilitate interactive and informative sessions on marketing, packaging, design, labeling, food safety and regulations, as well as good manufacturing practices.

Following these sessions, participants will be given the unique opportunity to receive one-on-one expert advice, seeking answers to assist them with their specific, daily challenges in reaching broader markets. Taking a tour of a leading Caribbean supermarket chain will also be an important part of the workshop, giving a practical, hands-on perspective.

To ensure that participants receive the greatest value for their time they were asked to create a profile of their business prior to the workshop. Business owners provided information on their product, typical consumers, competitors, current marketing efforts and future goals for manufacturing and distribution. The workshop was designed with these things in mind.

“Participants will get the opportunity in a very practical sense to look at ways in which they can improve what they already have. They won’t just be receiving general information but rather specific feedback on their products”, said Mr. Rawlins.

The workshop will take place at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, in Port-of- Spain, starting on Monday March 21st and running through to Wednesday March 23rd.

Accommodation, transportation and meal costs will be covered for participants as part of the APP programme and in conjunction with CARDI and the IICA. The APP is funded by the 10th European Development Fund.