U.S. Embassy Supports Food Safety and Agricultural Sustainability Program for CARICOM region

Port of Spain June 22, 2015:  A two-day workshop on Food Safety and Agricultural Sustainability Training (FAST) began today at the Radisson Hotel in Port of Spain.  The workshop is designed to deliver practical ways for the Trinidad and Tobago food complex to access the U.S. market by building knowledge regarding food, animal and plant safety requirements under the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The workshop will lead to the development of a Train-the-Trainer project to build local capacity supporting Trinidad and Tobago’s value chains, export of food to the United States, and compliance with rules the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued when implementing the FSMA.  The training will include capacity for both the government and private sector to strengthen the food safety component of food exported to the U.S.

The U.S. Embassy’s Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Alex Delorey, in his remarks at the opening ceremony said: “The strong public and private sector partnerships forged by this program will allow us to achieve tandem objectives that benefit producers and consumers in both Trinidad and Tobago and the United States – economic development and food safety.”

The Caribbean FAST program evolved from a CARICOM request during bilateral Trade and Investment Framework (TIFA) discussions with the United States.  The program, developed through collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agriculture Service (USDA/FAS); U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA/CFSAN); and the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI), is being implemented with support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA).