TERMS OF REFERENCE
Background: The purpose of the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) is to drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth through greater competitiveness and innovation in the private sector. One instrument the CCPF uses to accomplish this mandate is Clusters and Support to Value Chains. The value of clustering for the Caribbean’s small and medium private sector organizations lies in the opportunity to become more competitive through cost savings, cost sharing, co-branding and innovation. The combined efforts of networking and strategic alliances can lead to a stronger international profile. Ultimately, business clusters tend to generate employment and revenues for the SMEs involved within and across value chains. Research suggests that clustering upgrades the sophistication of diverse stakeholders involved such as suppliers, wholesalers, regulatory bodies, government/NGOs, as well as university and training institutions.
Under CCPF’s Regional Cluster Capacity Building Program for Business Support Organizations (BSOs), which uses a learning-by-doing approach, training provided required each BSO to mobilize relevant private and public stakeholders across government agencies to apply the cluster methodology in the design of Cluster Development Plans (CDPs). These CDPs/cluster projects were pitched live before the Investment Panel (IP) on July 26th 2019; of these, this cluster project was deemed suitable by the IP for funding from CCPF for implementation.
Honey production and exports presents a viable economic option for most of rural Saint Lucia population. This traditional sub-sector has remained largely under-exploited, and utilizes traditional methods of extraction and limited use of technology. However, the raw/natural honey produced by the beekeepers is a much sought out commodity in the Specialty markets and by conscious health consumers. The sub-sector is made up of micro and small producers that supply mainly to the direct customers and niche health stores in Saint Lucia. There are a number of constraints that currently hinders the expansion and increased competitiveness of that sector, which includes certification of plant and of product, difficulties getting into marketing channels and distribution networks in order to expand to new markets, and limited access to technology in primary production and processing.
The main objectives of this Cluster project is to position saint Lucia’s honey in the niche export market through the development of a cluster model, that aims to increase the competitiveness of each stakeholders in cluster. The objectives include differentiating Saint Lucia’s honey through identification of its unique characteristics (geography, forage), taste and quality. This
will be maintained by a continuous process of quality assurance and certification of producers and their operations. The project also seeks to build the capacity of local industry stakeholders and new entrants to drive the expansion of the honey sub sector, including the support services organizations. The marketing efforts and support of an international Marketing firm will assist the cluster in developing the profile of St. Lucia’s honey, and ensure that it reaches the most discerning of consumers in best bet markets.
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