PRO­FILE Dr An­dré Gor­don: Food tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try ti­tan

Jamaica Gleaner - - TECH SOLUTIONS LIMITED -

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.

RENOWN EX­PER­TISE

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.

NA­TIONAL/RE­GIONAL IM­PACT

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.

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