PROFILE Dr André Gordon: Food technology industry titan
TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS Limited’s (TSL) managing director is Dr André Gordon. He is also the chief executive officer/principal consultant of TSL Technical Services Limited (TTSL), a consulting company. Both are located at The Trade Centre at 3032 Red Hills Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica.
Dr Gordon has over 30 years of experience in providing solution-oriented technical assistance to various players in the food industry as well as SME, private-sector and support institutions in Jamaica, the Caribbean, Canada, Western and Southern Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU).
A former deputy general manager of technical services for GraceKennedy & Co Ltd, Dr Gordon managed all the research and development and quality assurance activities for GraceKennedy for three years. During this period, the rate of new product introduction surpassed any other in the company’s history at the time. He conceptualised and built the Grace Technology Centre, a First-World technical and R&D facility which he then managed.
In 1996, he led a management buyout of the operations and formed TSL, which is the only private sector-owned organisation of its kind in the Caribbean. The new entity operates an ISO 17025-certified laboratory, which was the first laboratory in the region to have been ISO 9002-certified from 1997.
Dr Gordon has led the development of over 80 commercially successful new products and has provided technical service support to well over 200 companies in agricultural, food, foodservice, hospitality and manufacturing businesses in Jamaica, the Caribbean, North America, Europe and Africa. Through TSL and TTSL, Dr Gordon continues to train and work with persons within the food, agricultural, food service, distribution and manufacturing sectors, governments, regional and international organisations.
André Gordon is widely recognised as the leading expert in food safety and quality systems training and systems implementation in the region by bodies such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centre for Development of Enterprise and regional Bureaux of Standards, among others. He is also recognised as a thermal process authority by the US FDA and has routinely trained in, and developed, thermal processes accepted by the FDA since 1996. He has successfully designed and led market-access initiatives in several areas of the agri-food sector and has worked extensively throughout the Caribbean region, which has given him a unique perspective on the region, its businesses and their potential. He has also worked extensively with businesses and countries, helping them to develop their capacity to access export markets.
While initially specialising in the food, agricultural and food service industries, a major area of Dr Gordon’s expertise is in the sphere of small business development and work with organisations that support small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). For the last 20 years, he has worked to improve the sustainable competitiveness of privatesector firms in Jamaica and the Caribbean, through various approaches, to enterprise upgrading and strengthening value chains, among others. This includes actively working with MSMEs in the implementation of cluster-based programmes.
Dr Gordon has also worked to build private-private and private-public partnerships in achieving national and regional goals. He was instrumental in the implementation of the very successful USAID-funded Small Business Export Development Programme, which saw many firms in the SME sector successfully entering the exporting arena or expanding their exports. In addition, he has worked with firms in several regional and extraregional countries, which are now successfully exporting to new markets with significantly upgraded systems and facilities.
A professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists and a member of the International Association for Food Protection, Dr Gordon has served on several national boards, including the National Commission for Science and Technology, a body which he helped to establish. He was involved in the development of Jamaica’s National Industrial Policy and continues his involvement with policy development and implementation through various fora.
He is a past president of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association, a former deputy chairman of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, and has been a director of the Scientific Research Council, JAMPRO, the National Council on Education, the University Council of Jamaica and the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, among others. He is a director of Spur Tree Spices, a small manufacturing company, a founding director of the Jamaica Agro-processors Association, founding chairman of The Competitiveness Company and, most recently, founding chairman of the Cannabis Licensing Authority, a body established to pioneer the development of a legal medical marijuana and hemp industry in Jamaica.
He has contributed to the development and implementation, at various levels, of the national export strategies of Jamaica, Dominica and Grenada, and has also worked to strengthen the export sector of several other Caribbean countries. In this regard, he has worked extensively with various Caribbean Bureaux of Standards.