Fortified Caribbean Pastas
Create sustainable agricultural development by using locally farmed roots and tubers (sweet potatoes and cassava) to produce pastas.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Slimdown 360 Ltd
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Trinidad and Tobago
Location(s) of impact
Country 1: Trinidad and Tobago
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Trinidad and Tobago is in a foreign exchange crisis. With oil revenues low and imports greatly exceeding exports, our situation is becoming akin to Venezuela. We lack food security as most of our food is imported. Shelves are gradually becoming empty as foreign exchange becomes more scarce. Even food that is processed here is usually made of imported ingredients. We must find ways of creating all local products or we will one day starve.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
By producing an all local version of pastas, a staple in our diet, using sweet potatoes and cassava, we're putting money into the hands of Trinidad and Tobago farmers and creating sustainable agricultural development. We currently import millions of dollars in wheat yearly, these new pastas will allow us to not only import less but also provide us with an export ready product capable of taking on specialty markets, generating higher revenues for farmers through the value added process.
Instant Mashed Provisions replaces instant mashed potatoes. We do not grow potatoes in Trinidad and potatoes are another staple in our diet. Sweet potatoes and cassava spoil within 2-5 days of harvesting. This instant mix will extend the shelf life to at least a year and provide a quick and convenient meal option to career individuals.
Year to date we've bought over 22tonnes of produce from locals.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
1. We're creating a sustained demand of produce from farmers. As demand for the pastas grows, we in turn are able to buy in higher volumes from farmers. They are then able to provide sustainable employment to farm workers who would have been previously only employed part time basis. Over 22 tonnes of local produce has been bought year to date. One of our farmers is only 21 years old and uses the money to pay for his education.
2. Through our interactions with foreign stakeholders, we've been able to gain expertise and pass on to farmers. This helps them to increase the safety, quality and yield of their produce.
3. Through exports, we're hoping to be able to create an improvement in the national balance of payments and earn valuable foreign exchange that our country will need to survive. Agriculture is a powerful tool in the sustainable diversification away from oil and gas.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
This project has been solely funded from earned income. Slimdown 360 started off as a producer of low calorie healthy meals. Money earned was put into funding the new pasta project. This model was designed so that it can be employed sustainably in other developing regions without any dependence. The biggest risk to financial stability would be raw material supply. Temporary backup sourcing from alternate regions will help mitigate this risk.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
We are the only producers in the world, producing these types of pastas, farm to table, large scale
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
I grew up in an agriculture area that use to farm sugar cane, my house was surrounded by it. Closure of the sugar industry caused thousands of job losses. Farmers, truck drivers, factory workers, mechanics, everybody in the area lost their jobs. I wanted to help out agriculture in some way. They work so hard and are unappreciated. I thought that if I could find innovative and alternate uses for agricultural produce I'd be able to improve the demand and create jobs. One day I was making pasta and thought there must be a way to replace this wheat with sweet potatoes. It took me 4 years of experimenting but one day, I finally got the idea right. I have struggled, faced financial burden, cuts scrapes and bruises just to get it to this point.
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?