CARIRI Primes Arawak for McDonald’s

With the expert technical support of the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), Arawak and Company Limited recently enhanced its status as a supplier to international quick service restaurant McDonald’s in Trinidad and Tobago.The local poultry supplier contracted CARIRI in 2012 to provide technical assistance for its implementation of the McDonald’s Supplier Quality Management System (SQMS). Arawak is a major supplier of chicken to the McDonald’s brand, and as such is mandated to comply with the SQMS.

From l to r: Sharon Peart-Rose, Food Technologist, CARIRI; Petrina Mokool-Mohammed, Co-ordinator CFSC, CARIRI; Jameela Mohammed-Ali, Arcos Dorados Trinidad and Tobago Country Manager; Ezack Ali, Operations Manager, Arawak; Michael Cipriani, Executive, Corporate Accounts, Arawak; Gerard Manick, Head of Quality Assurance, Arawak

During the past year, CARIRI food technologists/food safety auditors have worked hand-in-hand with an Arawak team, developing a framework and implementing the necessary requirements to adhere to McDonald’s stringent SQMS. This has enabled Arawak to improve its standing in McDonald’s supplier rating scheme.

An upshot of this contract resulted in CARIRI’s training of 20-plus Arawak employees in two areas: Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Introduction to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), which focuses on prevention of hazards rather than inspection of finished products. Several key areas were covered, such as personal hygiene, basic food microbiology, raw material control, preventing cross-contamination, process control, pest control, traceability, record-keeping, packaging and labelling.

The CARIRI food technologists also trained three employees in GMP Auditing Techniques.

Commenting on Arawak’s compliance with its SQMS, Arcos Dorados Trinidad and Tobago Country Manager, Jameela Mohammed-Ali stated, “Arcos Dorados, the operator of McDonald’s TT and other restaurants throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, is proud to support local suppliers, it is one of our key policies. We want only the freshest ingredients that use the highest standards of safety and quality for our menu items. One way to ensure those standards are met is to work with reputable local suppliers,” Mohammed-Ali said. “We have strict process controls in place all through the production of our products, from suppliers to the finished product handed over to the customer. That’s why we maintain rigorous, science-based standards and evaluations in critical areas throughout our entire food and supply chains. Our Supplier Quality Management System includes food safety and quality system expectations for all our suppliers globally, and we are pleased that Arawak has complied with our standards of excellence”, Mohammed-Ali added.

MICROSOFT Innovation Center


The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) and Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago have partnered together to form the Microsoft Innovation Center, the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. 

On Thursday 15th May 2014 at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre, the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) took place with the CEO of CARIRI, Mr Liaquat Ali Shah and Country Manager of Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago, Ms Frances Correira together with the Chairman of CARIRI, Mr Hayden Ferreira.

With the support of Government, CARIRI, having recognized the critical importance of Innovation to the country's economic survival and growth, has taken up the mantle to lead the charge in the creation of an innovation driven economy and, in this regard, has initiated efforts at building capacity for Innovation in both the public and private sectors. This is one of the major reasons why CARIRI has partnered with Microsoft Trinidad and Tobago.  It attests to the recognition by Microsoft that moreso than any other agency in the country, CARIRI now has in place at the Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) at Freeport, state of the art ICT infrastructure necessary to contribute substantially to the achievement of the goals and objectives of the Innovation Center.

The Innovation Center is intended to assist developers, independent software vendors, entrepreneurs, researchers and students to develop and deploy innovative software solutions based on Microsoft technology. The services provided are designed to boost ICT technology development and foster the growth of sustainable local software economies through skills and professional training, industry partnerships and innovation. The Center therefore accommodates stakeholders such as Academic Institutions, Industry and Government.

CARIRI is cognizant of the critical importance of  networks/networking in the Innovation process and is open to working with key stakeholders, viz. Public sector organizations, Universities, Private sector companies/organizations, Research and Technology Organizations (local and foreign) and Regional and International Organizations, to advance the national Innovation agenda.

CARIRI and its new Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) are in a unique position to contribute to the overall development of the nation and are committed to ensure that the right partnerships are formed to further economic and social growth.

i2i Exhibition

On March 17, twenty-six  beneficiaries of the i2i (Idea to Innovation)  Programme exhibited their projects at CARIRI’s Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) in Freeport.

This Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development.  It is managed   by the Council for Competitiveness and Innovation. i2i Exhibition Formal- Opening

In CARIRI’s capacity as  technical, administrative and developmental partner on the programme, the Institute organized this expo to enable recipients  of the 2012 cycle to showcase their works, which have progressed from idea to commercial stage.

Guests, including potential investors, were quite impressed with the array of remarkable exhibits, which carried  the following project titles:  Fin Ray Aquatics; Hydroponic Farm; Project Green Office; Smaks; Print House; Glitz Glamour and Goodwill; X-Press Pastelle Maker; Farmer’s Friend; Cre84Good; Carnival GPS: Mobility; DTATTI (Developing the Art Form Through Technological Innovation); Lagoon Animation Studios; SEA Math Master; WI Books; The FELICITAS Project; V Toria Rhonda Vineyard & Winery; Teaching Through Theatre and Technology; Tjé Dou Bon;   The Automated River Cleaner; Tassa Mobile App; Battery Déjȧ Vu; Caribbean Rum Cake; T.R.I.N.I.T.E; Nursery Seeder; JW Bykemower Exercise Apparatus and Multi-Functional Screw Drill.
The exhibition was formally opened by Dr Hon Bhoendradatt Tewari (Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development) with assistance from CARIRI Chairman Mr Hayden Ferreira, Permanent Secretary Ms Arlene Mc Comie, WAITRO Secretary-General Dr Rohani Hashim, WAITRO President Dr RK Khandal and Mr Liaquat Ali Shah, CARIRI Chief Executive Officer.


WAITRO-CARIRI Forum Held in Trinidad

“Increasing Competitiveness Through Innovation and Public-Private Partnerships”  was the title of a two-day  Networking Forum, which  took place  in Port of Spain on March 19 and 20, 2014.

CARIRI organised this event in collaboration with WAITRO (the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations).   It was held at the HiltonWAITRO2014 Feature Address Trinidad and Conference Centre.

Speakers at the formal opening were Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, Senator Dr The Hon. Bhoendradatt Tewarie;  WAITRO President, Prof RK Khandal; CARIRI Chairman, Mr Hayden Ferreira and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Liaquat Ali Shah.

The Plenary Session themes were: Fostering an Enabling Environment for Innovation and Public-Private Partnerships;  Models of Innovation and Public-Private Partnerships;  Policy Framework for Innovation and Public-Private Partnership;  and Caribbean Initiatives in Innovation and Public-Private Partnerships”.    Remarkable presentations were delivered by organisation representatives from  Argentina; Barbados; Chile; China; Denmark; India;  Jamaica; Kenya; Malaysia; Mexico; Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago.

Preceding this event, WAITRO held its 72nd Board meeting on March 18, followed by the 13th Regional Focal Point Meeting.     

CARIRI is a founding member of WAITRO, which is currently headquartered in Malaysia.