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Monday, July 17, 2006 

IICA's Caribbean Pavilion showcases regional products

Web Posted - Mon Jul 17 2006

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agri-culture (IICA) and the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) is bearing fruit. The two agencies initialled the MOU last October in St. Kitts for joint collaboration on the promotion of agro-tourism linkages.

Under the theme, 'Staging the Caribbean Experience'. IICA, with financial support from the Caribbean Development Bank, hosted a Caribbean Pavilion showcasing pro-cessed foods, and botanical and craft products from 20 companies around the region.

The Pavilion was designed as a Caribbean Village by Rosemary Parkinson (artist and world famous author of Caribbean Culinaria) and Maurison Randall (event planner).

The centrepiece of the Village was a typical Rum Shop, where delegates were amply supplied with Angostura 1919 and 1824 Special Rums and Carib-bean Club rum punch (in four flavours), as well as Cockspur and Cavalier Rum. Angostura also supplied Angostura Bitters, as well as jerk and spicy sauces and marinades.

A Cook Shop featured samplings of jerk chicken and beef, accompanied by an array of Barbadian hot sauces, which included A.M. Enterprises, Kibaazi, Native Treasures, Windmill and Jays. Aunt Mays Sweet Tings featured rum cakes from Bakers Choice and Tortuga RumCakes, as well as Bucanneer rum cake of Jamaica, and cookies and crackers from WIBISCO.

Anne Marie Whittaker of Native Treasures displayed versatility in showcasing traditional confections (chocolate rum balls, fudge and jujube) for turndown service, along with her sauces and tenor pan playing. The Barbados Invest-ment and Development Corporation (BIDC) expedited delivery of items by having their US office ship the items to Miami for the show.

The Herbal corner featured The Herbarium's line of natural Caribbean skin and body products from Trinidad. Caribbean Ex-port provided samples of Spa Exotiques by Carib-bean Blue, as well as craft from Earth & Fire and Art Utile.

Visitors to the booth included Berthia Parle (CHA); Sue Springer (Executive Vice President, Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association); Dr. Hudson Husbands (former Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Authority); Ed Bushell, Barbados Consul in Miami; and Minister of Tourism, Noel Lynch.

At the panel discussion on linkages, chaired by CHA outgoing President Berthia Parle, Ena Harvey, IICA Representative in Barbados, indicated that for the Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference (CHIC) 2007, her wish list is that the Caribbean Pavilion would be placed at the entrance to the show and that the Taste of the Caribbean chef and bartender competitions would feature 100 per cent Carib-bean food products, and would be sponsored by the major food processing companies from across the region. She also announced that a Directory of Caribbean food and herbal products and services will be launched by IICA in time for CHIC 2007.

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