FOLLOWING the visits of the ministers of Labour and Commerce in the past few months, the Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development Dr. Gale T. C. Rigobert accepted an invitation to the Caribbean Grains Flour Mill in Vieux Fort on Tuesday 13th August 2019. The visit was part of sustainable development plans enacted by the company as it relates to the development of the baking industry. The Minister was accommodated by NooraniAzeez, Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Authority, Kurt Harris, Dean of the Division of Technical Education and Management Studies at SALCC, and the Project Manager of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Donnette Ishmael. The team took the opportunity to tour the state-of-the-art facilities led by members of the Caribbean Grains group, and meet with team members of the newly formed Bakers Association of St Lucia to discuss plans for the development of the baking industry.
As a full-service milling company producing non-bleached flour from its main operations in Vieux Fort, over the past few years Caribbean Grains has worked closely with the relevant stakeholders in a bid to advance the current baking industry in Saint Lucia. Through collaborations with the resident college and local bakers alike, the company has endeavoured to create a greater synergy between the methods of baking and the needs of the market, so the standard of the industry would be expeditiously upgraded in every area. Through baker training initiatives locally and abroad, consultation on baker programmes through SALCC and assisting the development of the new Bakers’ Association, the industry has begun to see measured results.
Minister Rigobert commended the efforts of the consortium present; Caribbean Grains, local bakers, representatives of SLHTA, SALCC and the Bakers’ Association of St Lucia, on a well thought out plan for the sustainable advancement of the baking industry. Pledging her ministry’s full support as it relates to the development of educational components through Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, she articulated that success of any programme would rest on a collaborative approach of all key stakeholders.
Minister Rigobert added, “We must forge forward as a unit to ensure the advancement of the baking industry of Saint Lucia, and consequently raise the standards of the industry as a whole. The collaboration among the various ministries and institutions is not only necessary but commendable as new milestones are being achieved with each engagement.”
Caribbean Grains Director of Sales and Marketing Decosta Pierre echoed the sentiments of the group and added, “Caribbean Grains is not simply in this business to produce and sell flour. Our mandate is to assist with the development of Saint Lucia’s baking industry through a collaborative effort with stakeholders and other persons of interest. We welcome the support of the various ministries especially the Ministry of Education as the driving force behind the training programmes at the SALCC and hope these programmes will be a success as envisioned.”
Caribbean Grains will continue its dialogue with the various parties as the new bakers programme offered through the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College is set to commence in the upcoming academic year.