The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) – Welcoming innovation

written by BVC April 16, 2021

The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI)

Welcoming innovation


Business View Caribbean profiles The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) for our focus on Best Practices in the Food & Beverage Sector

The Food and Beverage Industry in Trinidad and Tobago is key to the economic wellbeing of the country. It is a key source of employment for many and has the potential to be a major foreign exchange earner.  The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the importance of the industry intensify as many of those affected by job loss gravitate towards food manufacturing and food service related activities.

The local Food and Beverage Industry is characterized by a large number of small enterprises and a few large operations. The country is still heavily dependent on food imports and Government is aggressively seeking to reduce the expenditure on imported food.  As Government seeks to diversify the manufacturing base there are a myriad of opportunities for existing and new participants.

The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute plays a vital role in the development of the Industry, providing a wide spectrum of services that support micro, small, medium, and large enterprises serving both the local and international markets. Through our Caribbean Food Safety Centre, our modern international accredited laboratories, our Biotechnology Unit, and our pilot processing facilities the Institute can assist stakeholders throughout the value chain in the Industry.

Food safety is of paramount importance for the domestic market and in meeting the requirements of regional and international markets. The Caribbean Food Safety Centre and the Biotechnology Unit works with entrepreneurs to ensure that they follow best practice in food manufacturing and service. This includes training of personnel, food safety audits, and development and implementation of internationally recognized food safety management systems.

The Biotechnology Unit assists enterprises in product development and improvement, process development and optimization, technology assessment, packaging, and labeling to ensure conformance with regulations and other support intended to improve the efficiency of their system while ensuring that safe products are provided to consumers.

Through its internationally accredited/certified laboratories, CARIRI provides both microbiological and chemical analyses of food and beverage products. This allows producers to ensure compliance with regulations such as those related to use of preservatives and labeling of products. The analyses also facilitates the printing of nutritional facts on labels, which, while it is not a legal requirement at this time, is extremely useful for consumers.

Persons with ideas, or start-up companies, need to be supported if they are to successfully enter and grow in this sector. CARIRI welcomes persons with innovative ideas in the sector. Through the Idea Advisor Services, they can work with such persons, or enterprises, to take these ideas through the journey to commercialization.

The Food and Beverage sector is a sleeping giant that needs to be catalyzed to realize its full potential.  An enabling environment that includes technical support is essential to this catalyses. It requires a collaborative effort of the stakeholders in the ecosystem. CARIRI has a key role to play in this process.

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The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI)

What: A globally recognized centre of excellence, leading and serving through innovation and technology

Where: University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, Trinidad


April 2021 Issue Cover of Business View Caribbean
April 2021 Issue

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