Seven companies from Trinidad and Tobago have been already identified as potential partners in the Global Business Innovation Corporation’s (GBIC) drive to move Caribbean products from regional distribution to supermarket shelves in North America.
This development follows the launch of the Caribbean Food Business Innovation Revolution initiative at exporTT headquarters in Port of Spain last week.
The GBIC initiative, with its expertise in the four competencies of shepherding, open innovation, food design and communications, aims to significantly increase high value Caribbean food and beverage exports, drive the profitability of individual enterprises, and generate foreign exchange for regional governments.
“We met our objectives to inform key stakeholders about the revolution,” said GBIC Director Dr. Owen Carryl, an experienced product and technology development executive and innovation strategist with more than 20 years of diverse research and development experience in the food and beverage and consumer healthcare industries.
“Following an interview process with several companies, we have already identified seven potential food and beverage exporters,” Dr. Carryl disclosed, adding that other companies in Trinidad and Tobago which did not attend the launch may also qualify.
Next steps, Dr. Carryl noted, include confirming the companies’ formal participation in the initiative along with the funding sources to propel the revolution forward.
“We see huge potential gains for Trinidad and Tobago as the initial Caribbean partner for this regional initiative,” said regional management consultant and GBIC Director Dr. Basil Springer who explained that the goal of the program is to “assemble 20 Caribbean ambassadors (food and beverage entrepreneurs) to form a critical mass to implement the initiative initially.”
With low oil prices expected to slow down the rate of economic growth in Trinidad and Tobago, diversification is important now, Dr. Springer cautioned, although he is optimistic that local stakeholders are “getting their back yards in order.”
Dr. Springer thanked Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications and exporTT, the National Export Facilitation Organization of Trinidad and Tobago, for their vision to help an expanding number of food and beverage manufacturers quickly gain access to North American markets.