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CONTACT Magazine (Vol.18 No.1 – April 2018)

The first issue of the rebranded CONTACT Magazine — with a brand new editorial and design direction — produced by MEP Publishers for the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce

transforming t&T Janet

transforming t&T Janet Bloom Fabres created the monthly UpMarket as an outlet for cooks, artisans and vendors unable to rent store space courtesy janet fabres Trinidad and Tobago cocoa estates. But chocolate production does not depend on owning an estate, as many local brands demonstrate: Cocobel, Ortinola, Mariposa, Gina’s, Brasso Seco. This initiative is being led by the Cocoa Research Centre, the rejuvenated descendant of the Imperial College of Agriculture at St Augustine which grew into the University of the West Indies. Most TTEC meters are bi-directional, so it should be simple to develop a net metering system. There is nothing to stand in the way of TTEC organising, promoting and utilising an alternate supply, like solar. Consider too that electric cars, to be recharged on household energy, are within ten years of mass production. Are we thinking ahead? Wealth from waste Three policy documents support a new enterprise: The Beverage Container Bill (1999); the National Environmental Policy (2006); and the Integrated Solid Waste/Resource Management Policy (2012). Is the iCare initiative going to industrialise waste recovery and help clean up the waterways? As an example, Sustainable Barbados is a private-public sector partnership recovering materials for re-use in Barbados. Similar waste recovery centres could be set up at Studley Park in Tobago and landfill sites in Trinidad. Materials recovered could be the basis of new inventions. From plant to plate It’s probably the most stable industry agriculture, agro-processing, agribusiness with the greatest scope for growth at every step from field to fine dining. In addition to pepper sauces, condiments, beverages, baked goods and catering services, here are just a few examples of innovation that are working: • The Green Market Santa Cruz is an experiment in direct marketing of agri-products to specific communities. The example has been picked up by the NAMDEVCO weekend markets which now move produce into communities. The relationship between producers and consumers helps with appreciation of, and access to, healthy food. It teaches us about the use and value of specific crops, such as the role of local honey, honeybees, and honey farmers in agriculture. Innovations in food production and marketing, especially in areas with limited land space, can grow into one of the most productive areas of rejuvenative enterprise. • Our Moving Table a pop-up feast made from local produce is successfully demonstrating new ways with food, and finding dining rooms around the country in garden settings like Ajoupa Gardens and San Antonio Nurseries. Growers are experimenting with hydroponic and vertical systems as well as looking into the composition and health of soil, scientifically increasing yield and managing multiple crop cycles. • Cocoa. The demand and world price has stirred revitalisation of some of the old “Edutainment” tourism Visitors to Tobago and Trinidad in the “active tourism” sector learn something every time they visit, whether they are returning residents or first-timers, whether they are here for festivals or business. Ask the guides at the Asa Wright Centre who are constantly teaching about the birds, animals and plant life and learning too. Ask the turtle protectors at Grande Riviere, the Main Ridge Rainforest guides, or Ali Baba’s Sea Breeze and Tours in Castara. Tobago’s more active visitors want to learn to dive and explore the ocean, to bicycle round the island, and to meet Tobagonians where they live. There is much scope for a visitor market that is curious about TT lifestyle, festivals, food and the natural environment. The Environmental Research Institute of Charlotteville (ERIC) is tapping in to locals and visitors who are eager to understand and conserve the marine reserves around northeast Tobago. Buccoo Reef has long been a site of active tourism, a source of revenue for fisherfolk and tour operators, in spite of the failure to update management practices. The Nariva and Caroni wetlands, turtle nesting beaches, El Tucuche and Aripo, can all bring revenue to small and diverse communities. All that’s needed might be the infrastructure and safeguards that the government provides; and a continued flow of arrivals by air and sea. 26 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine

We need to tap the natural initiative of our small communities Conservation business Enterprises can be built on conservation and the wise use of resources. Erle Rahaman- Noronha has developed his farm in central Trinidad on permaculture principles. Wa Samaki now houses the El Socorro Wildlife Centre for rescued wildlife. And the Wa Samaki crew has been commissioned to rehabilitate the Walker’s Reserve quarry in Barbados. Our extractive industries oil and gas, quarrying and mining have to begin turning to sustainable practices. By partnering with proactive conservation enterprises, or including a conservation division in their operations, they can prepare for the “end of life” of the resource being exploited in order to evolve a rejuvenative enterprise. The quarries in the Arima valley, Matura forest and Aripo ought to be sites for re-foresting or conversion to parks. Neglected or actively used as a dump, the ocean itself holds the greatest potential for future food, recreation, education, and research and development. It is a resource waiting to be explored not exploited for what it might teach us about life on earth. For further reading Sustainable Innovation: the Rejuvenative Enterprise by Joss Tantram, available from Amazon. Below left Shari Cumberbatch is a fashion designer and owner of the Caribbean brand SHOP SHARI. Her business started online and now has a retail outlet. Below right In 2003 Alana Steuart and her husband created the world famous Bertie’s Pepper Sauce courtesy shopshari.com Russel Dos Ramos courtesy Bertie’s Pepper Sauce www.chamber.org.tt/contact-magazine 27 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

CONTACT Magazine (Vol.18 No.2 – September 2018)
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Caribbean Beat — July/August 2018 (#152)
Caribbean Beat — May/June 2018 (#151)
GASCO News (Volume 24, November 2013)
About MEP Publishers (Trinidad & Tobago, Caribbean)
ENERGY Caribbean newsletter (April 2014 • Issue no. 72)
The Caribbean Review of Books (New vol. 1, no. 19, February 2009)
Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2016 — 25th Anniversary Edition
Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2017 (#28)
Caribbean Beat — January/February 2017 (#143)
Caribbean Beat — 25th Anniversary Edition — March/April 2017 (#144)
Caribbean Beat — May/June 2017 (#145)
Caribbean Beat — July/August 2017 (#146)
Caribbean Beat — September/October 2017 (#147)
Caribbean Beat — November/December 2017 (#148)
Discover Trinidad & Tobago 2018 (#29)
Caribbean Beat — January/February 2018 (#149)