(CMC) – A delegation from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Poultry Association (CPA) has met with officials from the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat to discuss how they could work together so as to benefit from the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the 15-member regional integration movement.
A CARICOM statement issued following the talks said that the CPA’s mandate is to promote the socio-economic development of the region through the development, growth and expansion of the Caribbean poultry industry and to create linkages.
“The meeting…was an opportunity for the CPA to share its vision, progress and challenges in the industry. The meeting was held at a time when the Secretariat is continuing efforts to broaden the conversation with the Region’s Private Sector to optimise the latter’s output and sustainability,” the statement noted.
It said that with much emphasis placed on food security, rural development and the reduction of the region’s four billion US dollar import bill, the meeting was timely for both parties.
“Poultry meat accounts for more than 80 per cent of meat consumed in the region. Most of the poultry meat and eggs consumed within CARICOM comes from CPA member organisations, with self-sufficiency hovering at about 67 per cent for meats and close to 100 per cent for eggs.”
The statement noted that the industry produces an estimated 243 000 metric tonnes of poultry, 122 million dozen eggs per year, accounts for the employment of more than 100,000 persons and annual sales of US$660 million.
The statement said that Monday’s meeting was attended by the CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Development, Joseph Cox, as well as the director of the CARICOM Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, Dr. Richard Brown, while the CPA representatives included its president David Reimer,of Belize; the organisation’s executive director, Dr. Desmond A. Ali, and Christopher Levy, the executive chairman of Jamaica Broilers Limited.
The CARICOM statement noted that as the region continues to augment sanitary requirements in the industry, the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) last October approved nine of the region’s processing plants for trade within the Caribbean.
The poultry plants in Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago were cleared to sell poultry products intra-regionally after they were assessed by regional risk assessments teams and met the sanitary requirements to enter the CARICOM market.