PRESS RELEASE – BREWERS create opportunities for the economy, the community and training. All these elements came together between April 19th and 22nd during the 57th Annual Caribbean Convention of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA), held at the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa, Cap Estate.
Over the four days, 120 participants from around the Caribbean, Central America, Canada, US and Europe reported on innovations in the industry, shared knowledge and expertise about their craft, attended training sessions and, of course, socialised and ,,,Saint Lucia’s unique sights, scenes and tastes, including Piton Beer.
MBAA District President Jeffrey Tito, who is also the Supply Chain Director for the convention host, Windward and Leeward Brewery Limited (WLBL), gave the Saint Lucia Convention an unqualified success.
He said exposure to new technologies in brewing is one of the great advantages of the MBAA Convention.
“The nice thing about these events is that it allows us to have speakers from all over the world. We have speakers from the US, Europe, and Canada giving us some of the latest technologies and cutting-edge advances that we can make in our own processes. So from an innovation and quality standpoint this is great for us,” Tito said.
Tito also highlighted the benefits of the MBAA conferences for brewery workers, adding that they are opportunities for staff to increase their depth of knowledge.
“The benefit for us in WLBL is that we have been able to have our team members attend. Everybody in the quality, logistics, brewing and the packaging areas have been able to partake and learn,” he said.
The MBAA Convention final dinner was held on Saturday, April 21st where the Minister for Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, Honourable Bradley Felix attended as the Special Guest. He endorsed Saint Lucia’s hosting of the event through WLBL, saying such endeavours contribute to the development and enhancement of Saint Lucia’s manufacturing sector.
“We need to be more economically resilient and innovative in developing our manufacturing sector if our businesses are to survive in this globalized era with its rapid advances in information and communication technology. I must therefore commend WLBL for proactively engaging in research and development initiatives of economic value, particularly this convention, in making use of the research work available to enable the development of Saint Lucia’s beverage sector and, in effect, our manufacturing sector.”
The Minister also noted that the non-profit MBAA’s 131 years involvement in the advancement, support and encouragement of scientific research into brewing malt beverages continues to be of great value to the global beverage sector.
“The Association’s commitment to invest in research and development, as well as knowledge sharing has also enable breweries to develop globally competitive indigenous products which appeal to different geographical regions and consumer groups. I do hope that the pass few days of technical presentations and roundtable discussions will result in many of the breweries throughout CARICOM and the OECS region implementing the lessons from the new research introduced by the MBAA to improving their products, processes and procedures,” said Minister Felix.
Minister Felix also lauded WLBL’s long-standing corporate partnership with cultural events and communities in Saint Lucia. He said WLBL’s partnership was far-reaching, impacting all sectors of the society. He made specific reference to the recent installation of a water tank in Banse, Laborie.
Dinner’s night entertainment was spearheaded by Saint Lucia Songstress, Claudia ‘The Diva’ Edward.
The 58th MBAA Annual Caribbean Convention is slated for Miami, Florida, in 2019.