TWO consecutive roundtable initiatives to develop a steering committee for the creation of a roadmap for the baking industry in Saint Lucia were undertaken last week. Participants from the north and south of the island benefitted from presentations from various industry stakeholders, in an effort to add value to the proceedings, before nominations and voting.
The primary objectives of this Steering Committee is to provide support, guidance and oversight to its members, prepare a road map which will aid in the transformation of the industry, network with service providers including Caribbean Grains Limited, Vancouver University, Puratos, and S.A.L.C.C, represent its members and keep all members informed of all initiatives.
Participants received a presentation from Martin Barnett, a retired professor at Vancouver Island University in Canada and a member of the Baking Association of Canada currently in Saint Lucia to develop a Pastry Certificate Programme with the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. He focussed on the varied strengths of the team members and the need for a Pastry Certification Programme at a time where most employees in the industry have experience but lack certification.
Additionally, consultant Melvin Edwards presented the baking industry as a growing entity and outlined the priorities that the Baking Steering Committee would be responsible for once formulated.
According to Mr. Edwards, “The Committee would be created to build capacity through training of existing personnel in the industry, create a leadership framework, set up a functional secretariat and be driven by an active body to ensure the strategic goals materialise for the benefit of the entire industry.”
He further added that the Steering Committee might result in the formulation of a cooperative or association, which can become an active voice for the industry with prospects of displaying Saint Lucian baking talent in regional and international events, soon to be a reality.
Director of Sales and Marketing of Caribbean Grains Decosta Pierre welcomed the progress made in the individual sessions and expressed the further commitment of the company to continue providing support through its own Baking Academy and work jointly with the new entity to enhance the baking industry.
All participants were invited to a one-day workshop held on March 17th 2019, at the newly renovated bakery at Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.
Elected members on the southern Steering Committee are Meshach Alexis, Cyril Saltibus, Aloysius Hippolyte, with alternates Andrew Martelly and Esther St. Brice. Elected representatives in the north are Lera Walker, Sylvia Cadasse, Anthony Boquest with alternates Adriana Thomas and Edward Dujon.
The newly formed Steering Committee announced its commitment to working alongside the industry partners to help develop the baking industry. Its first official meeting for the year is slated for next month.