Bridgetown, BARBADOS, May 28, 2014. The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) hosted the launch of three programmes focused on food safety in the agro-processing and specialty foods sector at the Hilton Barbados today. The launch included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the CARICOM Regional Organisation of Standards and Quality (CROSQ), the opening of a Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety for CARIFORUM agro-processing firms to receive financial assistance and, finally, the launch of the Agency’s new regional online Food Safety Portal. Present at the event was Mr. Zissimos Vergos, First Counsellour, Head of Social Development, Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mrs. Pamela Coke Hamilton, Executive Director Caribbean Export, Mr. Gregg C. E. Rawlins, representative of IICA, Mr. Russell Franklyn, representative of CROSQ, and keynote speaker Dr. Beverley Wood, Project Coordinator, National Agriculture Health and Food Control Programme, Ministry of Agriculture representing the Minister of Agriculture.
Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, opened the morning’s proceedings with an informative address on the history and context of the Food Safety Preparedness Programme;
"Today’s signing of an MOU with CROSQ and IICA is significant as it sets the platform for cooperation to take place with the aim of ensuring that fresh foods and agro-processed products are produced under standard quality control conditions within the CARIFORUM States so that they meet the sanitary and technical regulatory requirements of the international marketplace."
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards joins the global community to mark World Metrology Day on Tuesday 20th May. This year's theme is “Measurements and the global energy challenge.
In a joint release, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) stated, that, “the world is facing a growing global energy challenge over the coming decades. The crux of the problem is the growing energy demand, particularly from the emerging nations, coupled with the need to limit or reduce greenhouse gases. Add in the desire to have diversity and security of supply and the increasing costs to extract fossil fuels, and we see the trend is for a greater mix of energy sources, including renewables. Diversification, combined with demands for improvements in efficiency of energy generation, transmission and use, mean that technology is constantly being pushed to the limit."
The accreditation of the Bureau of Standards' Chemistry Laboratory to ISO/IEC 17025 — the international standards for testing labs — will allow Jamaica to exported tested foods to 69 countries across the world without hassle.
The lab last Wednesday received its certificate of accreditation from the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) at a ceremony held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
Like JANAAC, the 69 countries to which Jamaica can now export foods are signatories to the Mutual Recognition Arrangement of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation.
State minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, who presented the certificate to the BSJ, hailed the accreditation of the chemistry lab as a "green light for exporters" and a milestone for Jamaica.
"The accreditation of this food testing facility is of conspicuous significance to the country as the BSJ certifies a number of food products for sale in the local and export market. This accreditation is therefore, a milestone for Jamaica," she said.
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards will launch a programme for the verification of measuring instruments used in the health sector as part of the SLBS mandate to protect health and safety.
The verification programme targeting that sector is critical to ensuring that doctors and other health professionals are using reliable equipment in doing their jobs.
Blood pressure meters will be the focus of this phase of verification. Blood pressure monitoring is a routine exercise in health protocols and the accuracy and reliability of results are important to diagnosis and treatment.
Saint Lucia is grappling with treating an expanded problem of hypertension and support for improved efficiencies in blood pressure interventions can only strengthen Government Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Policy.
The one day consultation will see the participation of medical doctors in private clinics and hospitals, public health facilities, private nurses in private care and other health officials.
The Antigua and Barbuda Bureau of Standards (ABBS) in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and the International Cooperation of the German Metrology Institute -Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) hosted the 2nd CALIDENA methodology workshop on 11 – 13 February, 2014 in Antigua & Barbuda. The goal of the CALIDENA Methodology is to strengthen the Quality Infrastructure (QI) services that are needed to support a specific value chain. The workshop’s objectives were to:
- Undertake a rapid participatory diagnosis of quality requirements needs for the Jams and Jellies Sector against the current supply of quality infrastructure services being provided in support of the Sector.
- Identification of bottlenecks and opportunities to strengthen local supply of QI services in a demand oriented way
- Elaborate and agree an action plan to upgrade the QI services for the Jams and Jellies Sector.
CROSQ ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN
The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) has, at its Twenty-Third Meeting of the Council and Eighth Annual General Meeting held in Barbados 18 - 20 November 2013 elected a new Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council to serve for the period 2013 - 2015.
The newly elected Chairman of the Council is Barbados represented by Mrs. Anthea Ishmael - Director (Ag) of the Barbados National Standards Institution. Mrs. Ishmael has been the Barbados representative on the Council since 2006 and chaired the CROSQ Human Resource Committee for two successive terms, 2009-2011 and 2011-2013. She replaces Mr. Ezra D. Ledger of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Bureau of Standards who did not seek re-election.