Increasing the supply of Sheep and Goat Meat Products for Caribbean Consumption
EDUCATING AND EQUIPPING SMALL RUMINANT PRODUCERS AND PROCESSORS TO ENSURE FOOD SAFETY AND INCREASE PROFITS IS THE FOCUS OF A WORKSHOP SUPPORTED BY THE EU-FUNDED APP PROJECT
Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines November 11, 2016 – There are over 6 million sheep and goats being raised on farms across the Caribbean and meat from these small ruminants is a highly desirable commodity. From shoulders, shanks and loin chops to burgers, sausages and black pudding, there are a lot of nutritious and delicious options being prepared from small ruminants for Caribbean dinner tables. As such, during the farm to table process, safe and proper handling of these meats for human consumption is of utmost importance.
It is estimated that as much as 75% of meat from small ruminants in the Caribbean is processed in unofficial butcheries. This practice can lead to unsafe food handling practices and that risk needs to be addressed. As noted on the Caribbean Agribusiness website there is also a need for other improvements in the industry including, an upgrade of the systems used for slaughtering, meat handling and waste disposal, standardisation and grading of meats along with adequate labeling, an improvement in cuts and quality, and enhanced product presentation to support better marketing.
Richard Rampersaud is a Technical Coordinator with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), working on the Caribbean Action under the Agriculture Policy Programme (APP). “The ECS small ruminant industry is small”, he says, “but has a lot of potential for expansion, contribution to food security, economic development and poverty alleviation.”
It is in light of all of these factors that CARDI will be hosting a regional training workshop for the Eastern Caribbean States (ECS) on Small Ruminant Meat Fabrication, Value Added Products and Marketing, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on November 14th and 15th, 2016. This training workshop is a key activity under the APP, which is a programme supported by the European Union (EU) under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
During the expert-led workshop sessions, butchers, meat processors and farmers from Eastern Caribbean States, including women and youth, will be equipped with the important knowledge, techniques and practical skills required to properly process sheep and goats before they go to the public market.