Barbados has a new facility geared at supporting the business of food science to boost the export capacity of local food manufacturers.
The International Food Science Center (IFSC), an initiative of Export Barbados (BIDC), was officially launched on Monday, November 28. Its initial focus is the manufacturing of sauces and condiments for local producers. The center is currently pursuing the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification and upon receiving it, will expand its production reach by offering its services to the wider region.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, while delivering the feature address, stated the IFSC would help micro, small and even “nano” manufacturers to produce at scale, “reducing the cost of capital to them by giving them access through micro leasing, to facilities and equipment.”
Prime Minister Mottley added, “Small people, small countries require fairness and require solidarity, we do not succeed on our own. And this International Food Science Center is based fundamentally on that premise – that a lot of the people that you’re going to see here, if they each had to establish their own factory that complies at the level of international standards, and HACCP compliance, they don’t have the capital to do it. But when the government steps in and plays that entrepreneurial role, then all of a sudden, you start and create a platform from which people can grow from strength, to strength, to strength”.
Also delivering remarks, Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, Davidson Ishmael, noted that the Government of Barbados’ goal was to reach US$1 billion in exports by 2030. He said that the IFSC would help in reaching that target by revolutionizing manufacturing capacity and leveraging the export potential within the life sciences industry.
“Government, through Export Barbados has identified the life sciences industry as the next frontier for economic growth and diversification. This facility is situated at Newton Industrial Estate not by chance, but by design. This will in fact be the home of the soon to be established Life Sciences Park,” Minister Ishmael added.
The Minister also revealed that the Life Sciences Park will be a world class facility with scientific and pharmaceutical grade units, which will add $250 million in exports and create 3000 new high quality jobs.
Meanwhile, Export Barbados (BIDC)’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Hill, noted that at the heart of IFSC will be the production of health and wellness foods, not just for the Barbadian market, but the wider world. He further revealed that the IFSC will work with food designers and chefs to develop flavor profiles and products.
The IFSC will be supported by an international panel of experts on a Food Science Council, and will provide expertise in four strategic areas.
- Innovation – Small and medium manufacturers will receive assistance to innovate and develop new food products into profitable revenue streams.
- Quality – The Center will feature the highest international standards for food safety certification and food science lab accreditation, assuring regional and global markets that the IFSC’s products can be traded with utmost confidence.
- Export – The IFSC and the Food Science Council will assist clients in their business development plans, expanding their manufacturing capacity to meet international clients’ demands while complying with global food, trade and biosecurity regulations.
- Nutrition and Dietetics – With input from the Food Science Council, nutritional dietary and labelling requirements for IFSC products will be specified so that the products manufactured meet high nutrition and labelling standards.