Food Producers Urged to Become Certified

Photo: Michael Sloley ISO Ambassador/Consultant at the ISO Quality Systems Division in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Reginald Budhan (left), in conversation with (from second left) Managing Director, Quality Systems Solutions and Initiatives (QSSI), Sheryl Anderson; and Chairman, QSSI Board, Major Hugh Blake. Occasion was the launch of the QSSI Training Institute on June 14 at the Pegasus Commerce Centre, Upper Waterloo Road.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging food producers, especially those involved in exports, to initiate work to become certified.
  • “This will enable our food-producing businesses to access export markets. Lack of certification could constitute non-tariff barriers to our exports. Our food-exporting businesses, therefore, have an obligation to the country to become certified,” Mr. Samuda said.
  • Mr. Samuda said that by becoming certified, these businesses will be able to increase access to markets, and thereby increase employment in agriculture.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging food producers, especially those involved in exports, to initiate work to become certified.

He cited the international standard, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification, as relevant to the food industry.

“This will enable our food-producing businesses to access export markets. Lack of certification could constitute non-tariff barriers to our exports. Our food-exporting businesses, therefore, have an obligation to the country to become certified,” Mr. Samuda said.

The Minister’s message was read by ISO Ambassador/Consultant at the ISO Quality Systems Division in the Ministry, Reginald Budhan, at the launch of the Quality Systems Solutions and Initiatives (QSSI) Training Institute on June 14 at the Pegasus Commerce Centre, Upper Waterloo Road.

Mr. Samuda said that by becoming certified, these businesses will be able to increase access to markets, and thereby increase employment in agriculture.

“We must rise to global standards in terms of the goods and services we produce for both the domestic and export markets,” the Minister stressed.

In addition, Mr. Samuda said his goal is to have ministries and agencies of government modernised by becoming ISO 9001:2015 certified.

The Minister said he expects his Ministry, as well as five other agencies, to become certified by the end of the 2017/18 financial year.

The ISO 9000 is a series of standards developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that define, establish and maintain a quality assurance system for the manufacturing and service industries. They deal with the requirements that organisations wishing to meet the standard must fulfil.

“In terms of the productive sector, the Bureau of Standards, under the chairmanship of Mr. James Rawle, will be increasing its work to help more businesses to become certified to ISO 9001:2015, HACCP and other relevant standards,” Mr. Samuda said.

He added that as a small island developing state, Jamaica has to ensure that its products and services are of the highest quality, in order to compete in the international market.

“The sustainable production of high-quality products and services will, therefore, lead to increased efficiencies, better employee morale and international recognition,” Mr. Samuda said.

Meanwhile, the Minister congratulated QSSI on the launch of its institute, which will enable micro, small and medium-size enterprises to access affordable internationally certified training, thus enabling them to become internationally competitive.

“In light of this likely increased demand for ISO 9001 consultancy service, we need more companies like yours with qualified and experienced personnel. Your training institute is well positioned to help in increasing the pool of trained personnel in the relevant standards,” he said.

For her part, Managing Director, QSSI, Sheryl Anderson, said the launch of the training institute is in response to requests made by clients over the years.

“You have been talking to us, you have been giving that feedback, and, in response, we are giving you the QSSI Institute,” Mrs. Anderson said.

The newly launched QSSI Training Institute provides training courses designed to improve competence and support the quality management or food-safety systems in organisations.

The Institute aims to provide training for quality professionals of all skill levels, fostering a culture of quality and building capacity and expertise in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

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