At a glittering ceremony held on 20 September 2014 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, the Jamaica-based Caribbean Poultry Association launched their Caribbean Poultry Hall of Fame to recognize and honour industry pioneers and those persons who have contributed significantly to the development of the industry over the years. The launching was an integral part of a two-day Technical Symposium entitled Delivering Food Security and Customer Value Through Innovation & Progress held to Celebrate 50 Years of the Caribbean Poultry Industry.
The symposium and awards ceremony were held at the Radisson Trinidad Hotel located in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
The Caribbean Poultry Hall of Fame was launched at the awards ceremony held on the evening of 19 September 2014. The first three inductees into the Caribbean Poultry Hall of Fame were:
- Mr. Robert Earle Levy (Jamaica)
- The Late Mr. Bridglal Jai Ramkisoon (Trinidad & Tobago)
- The Late Mr. Alphan Mohammed (Trinidad & Tobago)
The ceremony was chaired by Mr. Patrick De Groot, President of the Caribbean Poultry Association. Mr De Groot is Executive Chairman of the Guyana-based Bounty Farm Ltd. The Feature Address at the ceremony was delivered by Mr. Richard Oliver, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Food Production, Government of Trinidad & Tobago. Mr. Oliver was standing in for the Minister of Food Production, Senator The Honourable Devant Maharaj, who was attending to parliamentary matters.
Mr. Oliver presented the awards to Mr. Levy and to Mr. Jaabir Muhammad & Mr. Syam Ramkissoon, the sons of the late Mr. Mohammed and the late Mr. Ramkissoon respectively.
Mr. Levy who is still Chairman of the Jamaica Broilers Group of Companies led the Group for fifteen years during which time, the Group became one of the most advanced and diversified agricultural producers in any developing country with operations in Jamaica, the USA and Haiti. Mr. Levy recognized the need to focus on quality products and high levels of customer service. Among his many initiatives were the establishment of co-generation facilities for poultry processing, building the Best Dressed Chicken brand to become one of the most recognizable in Jamaica, introducing environmentally-managed farm houses for broilers and establishing the subsidiary, Wincorp International in Miami, FL., to become a major supplier of inputs, housing and hatching eggs to the Caribbean poultry industry.
Mr. Levy had argued for the need for a regional association to represent the regional industry and was a founder-member of the Caribbean Poultry Association in 1999. He was the CPA’s second President.
The Late Mr. Mohammed was the largest poultry wholesaler in Trinidad & Tobago before assuming leadership of the Supermix/Arawak Group of Companies, now one of the largest poultry companies in T&T and the Southern Caribbean. Mr. Mohammed recognized early the need to introduce efficiencies at the back end of the poultry industry. To achieve this, he introduced environmentally-managed poultry housing, an area in which the company is the undisputed leader in Trinidad & Tobago, a new hatchery with state-of-the-art technology and in ovo vaccination. The late Mr. Mohammed was pre-occupied with making agri-business seem to be modern and contemporary as any other modern business. To this end, he ensured that the company’s premises at Arima be pleasing, attractive and well laid out.
Mr. Mohammed passed away on 18 October 2012.
The Late Mr. Ramkissoon was truly a poultry pioneer in Trinidad & Tobago. Starting with growing a few broilers in rudimentary houses in the early 1960s, he quickly saw and appreciated the need for integration as a benefit to the consumer. To this end, he established businesses in feeds manufacturing, a hatchery and breeders to produce hatching eggs. Seeing the need for port facilities to handle grains, he was the first agri-business to establish facilities at the newly-established Point Lisas Port in Central Trinidad which was set up to handle energy-related business. He acquired three ships to move grains from the USA to Trinidad, the first poultry producer in Trinidad to make such a move. The late Mr. Ramkissoon acquired the Arawak Company in 1984 and grew the Arawak brand to become the most recognizable broiler brand in Trinidad & Tobago. He was responsible for making the Supermix/Arawak Group of Companies into one of the largest poultry companies in the Southern Caribbean.
Mr. Ramkissoon passed away on 03 April 2010.