Email Us:
September 9, 2022

Food se­cu­ri­ty and re­duc­ing the food im­port bill are among the main is­sues the Caribbean Su­per­mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion (CSA) in­tends to tack­le. Speak­ing at the CSA’s in­au­gu­ra­tion at Krave Restau­rant in Mara­bel­la yes­ter­day, CSA’s chair­man Ra­jiv Diptee ex­plained,

“The Caribbean Su­per­mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion is a pri­vate-led ini­tia­tive where we are seek­ing to find so­lu­tions with­in the val­ue chain to en­sure that food se­cu­ri­ty re­mains a crit­i­cal pri­or­i­ty and cre­ate im­port sub­sti­tute strate­gies for how we see a re­duc­tion in the food im­port bill.”

He said they are al­so work­ing to­wards mak­ing the prices of goods and ser­vices more ac­ces­si­ble, es­pe­cial­ly in the present sit­u­a­tion where they are fac­ing con­tin­u­ing chal­lenges with the ship­ping cost, for­eign ex­change and oth­er is­sues.

Diptee said in the in­ter­im they have as­sem­bled a team to work with the pri­vate sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tion, var­i­ous arms and min­istries with­in Cari­com.

Not­ing that the food im­port bill in Trinidad and To­ba­go is TT$5 bil­lion and US$6 bil­lion re­gion­al­ly, Vas­ant Bharath, vice chair­man, said there is a sig­nif­i­cant amount of for­eign ex­change leav­ing the re­gion and build­ing for­eign farms and farm­ers’ liveli­hoods.

While the Cari­com heads have com­mit­ted to strength­en­ing food se­cu­ri­ty, Bharath said there are cross-bor­der chal­lenges, in­clud­ing trans­porta­tion be­tween the is­lands, which need to be ad­dressed.

“I am very hap­py to be part of the Caribbean Su­per­mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion sim­ply be­cause it is a pri­vate sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tion that will con­tin­ue to light the fire and con­tin­ue to prod and probe to en­sure that gov­ern­ments meet the kinds of com­mit­ments that they are mak­ing.”

Ver­non Per­sad, CSA founder, said a cul­ture change in con­sumer con­sump­tion pat­terns is vi­tal to re­duc­ing the food im­port bill.

“We sell what the pub­lic de­mands. How­ev­er, if the taste pref­er­ence, the palate changes from salmon to ta­lapia or to some oth­er lo­cal fish then we will move the vol­ume of salmon off our shelves and re­place it with what the cus­tomer de­mand or what they pre­fer,” said Per­sad.

Diptee sug­gest­ed that they work on a cul­ture that takes in­to con­sid­er­a­tion nu­tri­tion, mar­ket­ing and mak­ing prod­ucts more ap­peal­ing to con­sumers.

Not­ing that land grab­bing, land threat­en­ing and prae­di­al lar­ce­ny are ma­jor is­sues in the coun­try, Diptee said, “I heard that from the farm­ers them­selves, in fact, they came up with a slo­gan arm the farm­ers. That’s some­thing that tells you just how se­ri­ous the prob­lems are with farm­ing in this coun­try, which has so much po­ten­tial.”

Read More

See more food service industry news, reviews and products at FSX, the Food Service Exchange, the commercial food service industry’s go-to source for purchasing overstock, discontinued, and scratch-and-dent equipment and supplies, and you will be shocked at how good our prices are (an average discount of over 50% of today’s market price).

The FSX online marketplace provides restaurants, caterers, schools and other food service facilities with access to a wide assortment of products. The exchange allows for direct sales between pre-approved sellers and buyers, ensuring a seamless, reliable, and fast timely transaction process. Whether it is a model from a previous year or an item with a slight imperfection, buyers can purchase anything they need from our extensive pool of pre-selected, certified top equipment manufacturers and dealers. With Food Service Exchange, customers can expect premium equipment and supplies, amazing prices, timely shipping, and consistent satisfaction. Find out more information today about FSX Food Service Commercial Kitchen Equipment and Restaurant Supplies at 20 – 50% off market prices, with a minimum 90-day warranty. Plus, 5-star customer service reviews, unmatched 90-day warranty, and always free shipping!