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Senator the Honourable, Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, affirmed the Government’s commitment to support and undertake initiatives that will develop the local poultry industry during the Keynote Address at the Caribbean Poultry Association’s (CPA) Dinner and Award Ceremony. The event which took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain on May 16, 2024, marked the culmination of the Association’s Seventh International Technical Symposium and Exhibition titled ‘Sustainability & Resilience in the Caribbean Poultry Sector’ which began on May 14, 2024. The Symposium and Exhibition served as a platform for advancing the poultry industry through the sharing of knowledge, exploring innovation, and addressing challenges.

Minister Gopee-Scoon underscored the importance of the poultry industry to the Caribbean region which she said is the single largest agribusiness sector in the region, supplying more than 82% of the region’s animal protein dietary needs according to CPA.  She applauded the resilience of the region’s poultry farmers as they overcame challenges and adapted to changes in the global landscape particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, thus resulting in business continuity.

As the poultry industry continues to develop, the Trade Minister called on the industry to place emphasis on innovation and technology. She said, “We must revolutionize the way we produce, process, and distribute poultry products. By embracing innovation and adopting cutting-edge technologies, we can enhance efficiency, quality, and profitability throughout the value chain.” Additionally, in an era defined by environmental concerns and climate change, she encouraged stakeholder to also adapt sustainable practices that will minimize its ecological footprint whether through improved waste management or renewable energy initiatives.

Minister Gopee-Scoon acknowledged the initiatives being implemented by the CPA for the development of the industry and also highlighted some of the initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to support the industry. These include the establishment of an International Certification Fund which will aid in the production of safe and healthy food for export and import substitution, by covering up to one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of obtaining international certification for eligible applicants. She further added that as part of the National Quality Policy of Trinidad and Tobago 2018-2030, the government has also developed a number of voluntary national standards to assist local producers to improve quality and safety in the agriculture sector and assist in raising the competitiveness of local producers.  Among these include, the Good Manufacturing Practices or GMP which establishes processes and procedures that ensure food products are produced according to set quality standards.

In fostering a brighter future for the industry, Minister Gopee-Scoon emphasized the importance of unity and collaboration to realize the Sustainable Development Goals and urged stakeholders to remain committed to excellence, integrity, and sustainability not only for the poultry industry but also for the Caribbean region as a whole.


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