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The 10 Jamaican food facilities, which export ackee to the United States, have been included on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ‘green list’.

This gives the entities exemption from detention of their products without physical examination and intensified surveillance, said State Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams, during her Sectoral presentation on Tuesday, June 25, in the House of Representatives.

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica has aided in the facilities making the FDA list, through significant efforts to assist producers/exporters under the National Food Safety Modernization Task Force, which is working to achieve compliance with the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The FSMA is an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. It provides a legislative mandate requiring a science-based preventative control across the food supply chain, rather than a reactive approach to food safety problems.

Mrs. Ffolkes Abrahams assured that the Task Force and Secretariat continues to provide guidance and support to food exporters to satisfy the requirements of the FSMA.

Meanwhile, the State Minister is encouraging food entities to take advantage of available financial assistance to improve their operations.

She informed that 20 food firms were approved for grant funding in October 2012 under Caribbean Export, which is the regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) group. regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group

Additionally, the EX-IM Bank approved/issued some $20.5 million in loans to two entities.

“This left a balance of $79.5 million in the EX-IM Bank’s FSMA total loan window of $100 million. I encourage more of our food firms to utilize this facility,” she said.

Mrs. Ffolks Abrahams said that the Ministry is working with a number of stakeholders to facilitate the line of credit.

These are the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), Ministry of Health, Veterinary Services Division, Plant Quarantine Division, Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Scientific Research Council, Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division, and the Jamaica National Agency of Accreditation (JANAAC).

Contact: Alphea Saunders