PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Jan. 15)—Renewed hope for the region’s agricultural sector is on the horizon, with the launch of a global initiative to transform the Caribbean’s food and beverage industry.

The U.S.-based Global Business Innovation Corporation, comprising business partners from the United States, the Caribbean and Brazil, launched a “Caribbean Food Business Innovation Revolution” in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, this week. The group aims to boost Caribbean economies through increased agricultural, agri-business and food and beverage exports.

“We believe the Caribbean food industry can become a world leader in promoting innovative business models,” said GBIC’s director and spokesperson for the initiative, Dr. Basil Springer.

The regional management consultant explained that GBIC is proposing that the industry embrace a year-round, export-driven thrust to complement the gains already achieved through other initiatives. Over the past few months, the GBIC team has been developing the strategy, which is focused on food design, innovation, shepherding and communications to help the region’s manufacturers penetrate the global marketplace.

“This Caribbean Food Business Innovation Revolution is designed around a three-pronged, coordinated approach: governmental investment in manufacturers to boost economic growth; investment by the business community in manufacturers, aimed at enhancing profitability and community development; and the engagement of manufacturers to support this incredible opportunity,” Springer explained. 

The GBIC team also includes U.S.-based Guyanese-American Dr. Owen Carryl, a product and technology development executive and innovation strategist. Previously, Carryl served in executive leadership positions with Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo.

The Mexico-based Brazilian native Diego Ruzzarin, an industrial designer, leads GBIC’s food design strategy, having established the food design group at PepsiCo. He subsequently assisted the Brazil and Singapore governments with their food and beverage development thrusts.

Springer will spearhead shepherding services for the manufacturers.