The following article “International Partnership” describes the success of the strategic alliance between AgroBioTek and AIB International and the impact their joint training activities have had on fortifying the abilities of the food and agricultural industries in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. All these activities have been carried out in the context of the IQS Alliance Latin America, a partnership between AIB International and AgroBioTek
International Partnership Builds Strong Education Reputation
By Kerry Beach
Nearly 12 years ago, Humberto Cosenza and Jeannette Ayestas responded to a great need of the Honduran agroindustry for solutions to improve its processes. In 1995, they founded AgroBioTek, which began as a laboratory to provide practical, innovative and integral solutions that strengthen and grow the food, agricultural and veterinary industries. Since it began, the company has expanded its services to include inspecting and auditing food processing plants, hotel kitchens and restaurants; consulting for international HACCP certiﬁcation and ISO 22000; laboratory services; sale of diagnostic reagents, materials and equipment; and education and training. AgroBioTek’s client-base includes customers from the meat, ﬁsh, produce, dairy, grain, beverage and processed foods industries in private and government sectors.
What began as a small business created to meet a speciﬁc need has quickly become recognized internationally as a one-stop powerhouse, with locations in Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, integrated by multidisciplinary and highly professional personnel. As the food industry in the Americas, particularly the Central American region, has been impacted by today’s global market and by multi-lateral free trade agreements (North American Free Trade Agreement and the Central American & Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement), as well as bi-lateral agreements with Chile, Mexico, Panama and Taiwan, AgroBioTek realized the need to establish a strategic partnership with a company that already had a worldwide reputation as a ﬁrst-rate trainer of food industry personnel, in order to offer such services to the food industry in the countries they serve. In March 2001, AgroBioTek teamed with AIB International to offer a wide array of training opportunities. Since then, the partnership has offered a total of 48 seminars. With an average seminar attendance of 30 people,
an estimated 1,440 people have been trained thus far.
AgroBioTek and AIB have 33 seminars scheduled in six Latin American countries in 2007. Each course is a mixture of interactive lectures and workshops led by AIB’s renowned instructors. Seminars offered on the
2007 schedule include:
- Basic HACCP Workshop
- Advanced HACCP Workshop
- Food Plant GMP/Sanitation Workshop
- Principles of Inspecting and Auditing Food Plants
- Maintenance Fundamentals
- Integrated Quality Systems
- Developing and Implementing a Sanitation Program
- Developing and Implementing a Chemical Control Program
- Developing and Implementing an Allergen Control Program
The main goal of AgroBioTek’s training program is to support the Latin American agroindustry in enhancing its capacity to compete in today’s global market. Since the beginning of the strategic partnership between AgroBioTek and AIB, there has been a signiﬁcant improvement in the food safety practices of the companies they have trained. As the Latin American food industry continues to grow, a signiﬁcant number of food plants are seeking to be trained and many more have improved their food manufacturing practices. Together, AgroBioTek and AIB International proudly serve the food industry to continually improve the safety of the food supply.