News Date: April 03 2018
The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) has been working with local farmers, in an effort to strengthen the linkages between tourism and agriculture, and to see more local produce being utilised in the tourism sector.
Word of this has come from Rudy Grant, CEO of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association. Whilst lending support to the Barbados Culinary Team, ahead of the highly anticipated Taste of the Caribbean 2018 event to be held in Miami, Florida in the USA later this year, Grant spoke to the efforts being made to strengthen these linkages.
“I am happy to report that at the BHTA, we are collaborating with the farmers. There is an IDB Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) Project that is being undertaken and that project has been created to strengthen the linkages between tourism and agriculture, and to facilitate a good quality consistent supply of products, from farmers to the hotels and to restaurants. We are extremely happy that the project has been progressing well,” Grant remarked.
“We are looking to expand the number of hotels that are participating in that activity, but it signals in a very significant way, that if you are strengthening the linkages, then you can certainly effect a win-win for everyone. A win for the hoteliers and the restaurateurs, a win for the farmers and a win in terms of ensuring that there is less foreign exchange used, in terms of the importation of goods,” Grant further commented.
He meanwhile had high praise for the Barbados Culinary Team, headed by manager Henderson Butcher, for the work being done so far to make a mark on the international stage and for efforts to also use local produce, in the dishes presented overseas.
“Last year when we went to the Taste of the Caribbean, I was blown away with the manner in which the team used Barbadian ingredients, in order to display the delicacies that they did. I remember when we were going up, the manager said to me that he was going to take up some red herring and I said, red herring? Red herring is something that has a really strong smell and I really wondered how he was going to utilise that red herring. But on the night when the red herring was served, it was very delightful, it was very tasteful and the manner in which it was presented was truly exotic, and it is amazing to see how the chefs are able to take our local produce and display it in the way that they do,” Grant pointed out.
He added, “Of course there is an even stronger message that the team is displaying when they go to the competitions and utilise Barbadian products – It is the strong linkages between tourism and agriculture”.
“There has been a significant amount of reference to our foreign reserves and the reality is, if we are able to decrease the number of imports which we have, we can effect less foreign exchange going out of the country,” he said of the use of more local goods.