Barbados currently imports USD $325 million in food, accounting for approximately 90% of all domestically consumed food. There is a national push to reduce this bill by supporting local climate smart practices and re-energizing the local producers for both domestic and international markets.
In 2004, the Barbados National Standards Institute (BNSI) adopted organic standards based on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s CODEX Alimentarius guidelines for organic farming. However, no system for the delivery of this standard had been developed, and there was no established methodology for inspecting or certifying these products as organic. Sustainable agricultural practices are slowly being adopted by farmers, however, there still is a lot to be done for them to enhance these efforts. There has been a significant push to develop the agribusiness sector and to connect local producers with local businesses.
The compounded issue of access and viability of a local food sector is a key area of focus of the BECT. We aim to support projects working towards the mainstreaming of sustainable agricultural practices, stronger farm to table connections and public education surrounding the issue of sustainable agriculture.