Brussels, 21 September 2016/ CTA/ ACP: A policy briefing kicks off today focusing on innovative opportunities for food tourism and the link between sustainable tourism, agriculture and cuisine in small island states.

This Briefing will be held in Brussels at 09:00-13:00 on 21st September 2016 at the ACP Secretariat (Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels), organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission / DEVCO, CONCORD and the ACP Secretariat.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are characterised by their small size, narrow range of resources, excessive dependence on international trade, high transport and communication costs, and vulnerability to environmental shocks and climate change. The consumption of cheap, highly processed, low nutrition foodstuffs has a negative impact on national budgets, on the health and welfare of the population – leading to some of worst rates of obesity being found in SIDS – and on local businesses, who do not enjoy the economies of scale that allow for price competition against cheap foreign food imports.
A considerable opportunity for ACP small island economies to address these problems is through supporting agribusiness to access tourism markets. Tourism is the biggest wealth generator for many SIDS economies, and linking agribusiness to tourist markets provides a proven avenue for diversification and trade growth. For their size, the island-states of the Caribbean are more dependent on income from tourism than that of any other part of the world. In 2012, tourism contributed to 10.7% of the Pacific region's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with this figure expected to continue growing.
To improve information sharing and promote networking, ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (CTA), the DG DEVCO from the European Commission, the ACP Secretariat, Concord and various media organise since 2007 bimonthly briefings on
key issues and challenges for agriculture and rural development in the context of EU/ACP cooperation.
The Briefing will promote exchange of views and experiences around:
(i) the lessons learnt from successes in linking agribusinesses to the tourism markets in small island economies;
(ii) the key role of Chefs as drivers of change for the development of food tourism;
(iii) the needed policies and drivers for agritourism development and new opportunities in tourism-related markets.
This Briefing builds upon work done by the organisers in collaboration with other partners across the ACP small island economies in support of agritourism and agribusiness development. It targets more than 120 ACP-EU policy-makers and representatives of EU Member States, embassies of ACP countries, civil society groups, research networks and development practitioners, and international organisations based in Brussels.
Available material Input and comments before, during and after the meetings will be included in the Briefings blog:
A short report and a Reader in printed and electronic format will be produced shortly after the meeting.



9h00-9h15Introduction and Opening of the Briefing:Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office

Introductory remarks:Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary General of the ACP Group of States;Matthew Brooke, Expert Private Sector Development,Europeaid, European Commission;H.E Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa, Coordinator of the ACP SIDS Platform;Michael HailuDirector of CTA

9h15-10h45 Panel 1: Development of Agribusiness and tourism linkages in SIDS

This panel with provide an overview of the current status of agribusiness in ACP SIDS, and rationale for linking to tourism markets.

Chair:H.E Dr Pa’olelei Luteru, Ambassador of Samoa, Coordinator of the ACP SIDS Platform


– Linking agriculture, tourism and health though Agritourism policy-setting
Howard Aru, Director General of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Vanuatu

– Towards an agritourism strategy for Samoa: strengths and opportunities
Papali’iSonja Hunter, CEO, Samoa Tourism Authority and Chair of the SPTO

– Best practices in agritourism across the Caribbean
Ena Harvey, Expert in Agritourism, IICA, Caribbean

– Linking agribusiness to tourism-related markets through quality iconic products
Winston Stona, Managing Director, Busha Browne/Walkers Wood Caribbean Foods, Jamaica

10h45-11h00Coffee Break

11h00-13h00Panel 2: Linking agriculture and tourism though collaboration with Chefs

This panel will look at specific examples of successful Chefs who promote local food to tourism markets and are ambassadors of the local and regional cuisine.

Chair:H.E. AmbassadorVilma McNish, Ambassador of Jamaica


– Linking farmers to the tourism markets and promoting Pacific cuisine
Robert Oliver, Chef, Author and Television Presenter, The Pacific

– Opportunities in supporting the local industry and promoting agritourism
Charlotte Chan Mow, Chef,The Orator Hotel, Samoa

– Celebrating Caribbean cuisine and culinary skills for youth
Peter Edey, Executive Chef, Barbados

– Promoting local food and rich Haiti’s gastronomy
Stephan Berrouet-Durand, Executive Chef, Culinary by Design, Haiti

– Foodscape and food tourism in the Caribbean
Rosemary Parkinson, Culinary Author & Contributor, the Caribbean

Concluding remarks

13h00Networking Lunch