TRAINING HAS begun for the first batch of a total of 60 persons who will be employed at the RainForest SeaFoods facility at Calliaqua which is slated to open towards the end of October this year.
Last week Thursday August 26, the Fisheries department held an opening ceremony to welcome the first 10 trainees who are being exposed to training in fish handling and fish processing.
Chief Fisheries Officer Jennifer Cruickshank- Howard, said the Fish quality and Product Development Unit within the Fisheries Division is conducting the training that would run for six weeks; each week accommodating a group of 10.
“The fishing industry is a very lucrative business, but one has to be determined to be a part of the development,” Cruickshank- Howard said.
Minister of Agriculture forestry and fisheries Saboto Caesar, also speaking at the ceremony, expressed delight that many young persons, most of whom are from non-fishing communities, have taken up the opportunity to be trained for employment within the fishing industry.
The ceremony which was held at the Fisheries Division’s conference room coincided with the presence on the island of a management team from RainForest SeaFoods Jamaica, who made a site visit to the processing site at Calliaqua where work is continuing, and also met on August 27 with more than 50 of the persons who will be engaged in training to work at the processing plant.
Minister Caesar speaking last Friday, emphasised the importance of the Argyle International Airport to the exporting of fish and moreso, this new investment by Rainforest.
Highlighting the opportunities and the possibilities that are opening up in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the minister said,”there are always business men and women in the Caribbean who are looking for possibilities,” and the Jamaica company has capitalised on one of the available opportunities deciding to approach the private sector and the government.
CEO of Rainforest Benjamin Jardim, said the establishment of the processing plant is a fantastic venture for St. Vincent and the Grenadines noting that the possibilities are endless.
He pointed out that the company, which was founded in 1995 as “a humble seafood retailer,” has grown offering a range of products with primary production locations in Jamaica and Belize, and soon to be, mainland St Vincent.
“We’re a family at Rainforest and everywhere we go we treat it as such,” Jardim said.
“The goal is not just to sell but to add value, since in a competitive market within the seafood industry you must stand out whether it is through the quality of product or variety,” he added.
The facility at Calliaqua will be processing live and frozen lobsters, sea cucumber, conch, and a wide range of fin-fish.