Stiff Penalties for Non-Compliance with Sugar Labelling, Packaging Standards

Photo: Mark Bell Chief Executive Officer of the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA), Lorice Edwards Brown, is urging persons to ensure that they are in compliance with the labelling and packaging standards for sugar, which take effect on July 1. She was speaking at a JIS Think Tank on June 29 at the agency’s head office in Kingston.

Story Highlights

  • Persons could face stiff penalties for non-compliance with the labelling and packaging standards for sugar sold in the retail market.
  • Director at the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA), Orine Henry, said the Standards Act provides for a fine of $3 million and 12 months in prison.
  • Effective July 1, all sugar being sold to the public should be packaged, sealed, and labelled.

Persons could face stiff penalties for non-compliance with the labelling and packaging standards for sugar sold in the retail market.

Director at the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA), Orine Henry, said the Standards Act provides for a fine of $3 million and 12 months in prison.

She was speaking at a Think Tank held on June 29 at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) offices in Kingston.

Effective July 1, all sugar being sold to the public should be packaged, sealed, and labelled.

In addition, all pre-packers must be registered with the NCRA.

The move is in keeping with the revised mandatory standards for brown cane sugar, gazetted on December 30, 2016, which outlined the requirements for labelling, packaging and safety of sugar.

Chief Executive Officer, NCRA, Lorice Edwards Brown, is appealing for all stakeholders to ensure that they are in compliance by the deadline.

She called on retail outlets to remove all products from their shelves that are not labelled. Establishments that are not registered with the entity are also required to remove items.

Mrs. Edwards Brown is urging consumers to be vigilant and desist from buying products “where the scooping of the sugar is done from a bag and you cannot attest for yourself that the product was handled in a hygienic manner.”

Establishments interested in re-packaging and registering their product should contact the NCRA or the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ).

Mrs. Edwards Brown said that by June 30 a list of registered facilities will be completed and made available to the public.

 

Manager for Standards Development and Certification, BSJ, Karen Watson- Brown, informed that the revised standards for pre-packaged sugar were prompted by changes in the international market.

“There is an increased demand for food safety systems and so Jamaica must position itself to compete globally,” she pointed out.

As such, she said, it is necessary for the local industry to improve its systems and processes to produce better quality sugar in order to ensure a safe, high quality product for local and international consumption.

The revised mandatory standards requires the removal of some grain sizes; inclusion of more detailed labelling requirements; and that facilities preparing the sugar for sale must implement a food safety system.

It also states that sugar must not be packaged at the point of sale but must be sold in sealed, labelled packages; and that there should be no foreign matter in the sugar that may compromise food safety or may be hazardous to health.

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