Hot peppers (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) are popular in the Caribbean among growers, consumers, agro-processors. CARDI has been conserving and developing the Regional Capsicum germplasm. The Institute selected the first commercial cultivars such as the West Indies Red and CARDI Green which are being planted in many countries. Over the recent past the Moruga Red has been purified, stabilised and commercialised in Trinidad and Tobago. Other selections derived from the Regional gene pool such as the Scotch Bonnet, Tiger Teeth, Red Congo and Cayenne were also purified and stabilised. The Scotch Bonnet was improved through a backcross programme implemented in Jamaica. The cross between Scotch Bonnet χ Bird Pepper resulted in two selections, Joyce and Phyllis, with yellow berries. As the hot pepper industry grew in CARICOM, CARDI led the way in also developing a sustainable commercial seed production system linking Barbados, Antigua and Belize. The positive impact made by both genetic improvement and the steady supply of high quality seed on the overall growth of the hot pepper industry, was briefly described. Emphases should be placed on breeding for resistances and the expression of hybrid vigour in future work.