For Immediate Release
Dominican Republic Ambassador Dr Federico Cuello Camilo Nominated for Grassroot Diplomat Award for Increasing Agriculture
London, UK – April 20, 2016 – His Excellency Dr Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo, Ambassador of Dominican Republic to the Court of St James, has been shortlisted from over 100 government nominations this year for the 4th Annual Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises outstanding politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. Ambassador Cuello has been nominated for his work on increasing export of exotic fruit and vegetables into the European market.
Ambassador Cuello has been instrumental in connecting UK importers and investors with Dominican exporters since assuming position in 2011. For the Ambassador, Dominican Week is a crucial series of events promoting trade opportunities through soft power approaches—social, cultural and political—showcasing all aspects of his country, including its creativity, its biodiversity and its love for the good life while working hard to eradicate poverty.
Ambassador Cuello brings yearly Dominican business delegations from all sectors, including agriculture, successfully signing numerous deals. Through his hard work and lobbying efforts, the Ambassador has helped his country to consolidate its position as the top exporter of organic and fair trade bananas, the top exporter of bananas from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, the top exporter of fair trade and organic cacao, the second exporter of avocados and the third largest exporter of exotic vegetables to the UK. As a result, he has seen exports grow by over 24% since he arrived in London back in 2011 and by 2015 the UK had become the top European destination for Dominican exports.
Because of the logistics provided by charter and regular flights for UK tourism in the Dominican Republic, Dominican fresh produce arrives daily, ripe and ready to market. Moreover, with the best geographical location of any Latin American or Caribbean country, maritime connections allow for deliveries to UK ports within less than 10 days. The Ambassador is very active in sharing such connectivity hubs to outside investors and works closely with all members from the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) in promoting Dominican products.
New Dominican delegations will visit London this year, both for the events scheduled for 6-10 June during the 5th Dominican Week—including the 3rd London Produce Show— as well as for the Salon du Chocolat in London (October 2016) where the embassy is sponsoring a reception, hosting a delegation of conventional and fair trade cacao exporters as well as the numerous boutique producers of high quality British chocolates, which rely on the best Dominican fine and aroma cacao, thus helping improve the standard of living for over 15,000 families locally. This, in addition to the similar impact of fair trade bananas, means that growth of Dominican sales in the UK have a direct and positive impact on the lives of thousands of Dominican smallholder cooperatives and the labour they employ.
In meeting the requirements for fair trade labelling, all workers involved in the process—no matter their nationality—are guaranteed to meet core labour standards as defined in the fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva. And because it is the Caribbean economy most open to foreign trade, all surrounding countries—whether from the rest of the Caribbean, Central or South America—are able to rely on Dominican infrastructure for trans-shipment or on Dominican producers for final processing before exporting to the any other country in the world, including of course the UK.
Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Executive Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “All too often, we hear stories of our governments not representing our needs but Grassroot Diplomat looks upon selfless individuals in a position of power, who work tirelessly for their communities. The award seeks to create a culture of positive role models within our governments which encourages others like them to follow suit. Grassroot Diplomat winners go beyond their job descriptions and those shortlisted for the award should be proud to be recognised this far.”
As a Creole country, the Ambassador is very outspoken about his desire to advance the recognition of Creole culture and develop Creole nations through trade negotiations and alliances, and will continue to balance outcomes that is favourable for smaller countries on the international scene.
Join Ambassador Federico Cuello Camilo and other government nominees for the gala dinner at The May Fair Hotel, London on Wednesday 20th April, 2016. For ticket information please visit: http://www.grassrootdiplomat.org/book-tickets or call 07511 816689.
Further details about the awards can be found on: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/annual-awards
About Grassroot Diplomat
Grassroot Diplomat is a non-profit diplomatic consultancy with the mission to build trust and strengthen relationships between governments and civil society. As an independent agency, Grassroot Diplomat shows no allegiance to a solitary government but will act in the interest of the people, no matter where they are or what state their country is in. We focus on improving public diplomacy activities by engaging government officials on sustainable social campaigns and investment projects that offers a positive rate of return for their people.
Embassy of Dominican Republic
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 727 6285