Orwin is making a better living for him and his family by selling fresh local produce to hotels for the first time. This is reviving farming skills, reducing imports and helping the environment as a result … As well as giving customers the real taste of the Caribbean!
St Lucia is a popular Caribbean destination for UK holidaymakers.
Agri-links in St Lucia
We partnered with Oxfam and Virgin Holidays to help develop stronger supply linkages between farmers and hotels on the island of St Lucia, where food is often imported rather than locally sourced. Hotels import as much as 87% of the fresh produce that they use.
The project educated hoteliers with the benefits of sourcing locally, and also helped farmers to understand the needs of the hotel industry so that they can better plan the produce they grow.
St Lucia schools project
The ‘Hoops’ (Helping Out Our Primary Schools) project, which had been part-funded by the Travel Foundation from 2009 to 2010, engaged 670 children and 29 teachers in growing produce. The project was run with two local partners - St Lucia Agriculture Forum for Youth (SLAFY) and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
Introducing the next generation of potential farmers to horticulture skills at a young age is especially important in the Caribbean, where an ageing farming population and a reliance on imports is putting pressure on the future of the agriculture industry.
Over the 12 months that the project ran for, three hotels and one restaurant purchased goods grown in the St Lucia school gardens.
As well as raising funds through the sale of their produce, some schools also saved funds by using the healthy, home-produced vegetables for school meals. Many reported that pupils involved in the project have since started their own kitchen gardens at home.