JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Product packaging can make the difference in determining whether or not an entity achieves successful market entry
  • Packaging which conforms to global standards, is equally important
  • Jamaica must “adhere to global packaging standards"

Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, is underscoring the importance of effective product packaging in strengthening the competitiveness of the country’s exports.

Speaking on Tuesday’s (September 10) opening day of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) inaugural two-day packaging exposition and conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Mr. Hylton argued that product packaging can make the difference in determining whether or not an entity achieves successful market entry, penetrates new ones, or is able to introduce new products to existing markets.

The Minister noted that the onset of globalisation has resulted in consumers becoming “highly sophisticated”, and “growing in their awareness” of the importance of standards and technical regulations. He argued that consumers demand, and have the right to know that products they consume are compliant with established global standards, hence the importance of packaging. He further said that packaging which conforms to global standards, is equally important to the manufacture/distributor or exporter as it is to the consumer.

“Proper packaging also effectively communicates to the target market, details about the product, its expected shelf life, instructions for use, and contact information for the supplier. It also carries information on the standards to which the product conforms, which, in an environment of increased competitiveness, is essential,” the Minister stated.

Mr. Hylton stressed that packaging, as a “value-added” activity, is “not a simple matter”. He noted that from a commercialisation perspective, “product packaging may be even more important than the products themselves.”

“An effective product packaging strategy is especially important for a company seeking product acceptance from the early adopters, who play a critical role in the launch of new products. The right packaging with the right message can push your product above the competitive landscape,” he stated.

The Minister added that the significance of product packaging is further heightened by the dynamics of changing global standards, which dictate whether products will be able to successfully enter markets.  In this regard, he insisted that Jamaica must “adhere to global packaging standards that meet the needs of the consumer, if we are to implement an effective export strategy.”

JEA President, Andrew Collins, in describing the expo’s staging as a “milestone” achievement for the organisation, pointed out that it is one of the channels through which the entity seeks to ensure that local exporters can respond to the challenges of an “increasingly demanding and discriminating marketplace.”  This, he added, is consistent with the JEA’s mission to drive national development through exports.

“Just as important for exporters are the labeling and packaging standards that must be satisfied, including the declaration of nutritional content as well as ingredients, the utility of the product, manufacturer’s contact detail, and country of origin or manufacture,” Mr. Collins explained.

In this regard, he contended, “this is why we thought it was not necessary to host this conference, as we believe that Jamaica has the opportunity to significantly increase its export earnings, especially in sectors which are becoming more established internationally.”

The JEA President stressed, however, that to do this, exporters must ensure that “the products we are selling on the global market conform to global specifications and can appeal to global consumers.”

Close to 20 suppliers of packaging material are participating in the two-day expo, being held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel under the theme: ‘Outside the Box and Beyond the Label’.

The expo aims to provide a forum where local firms will gain awareness of the range of packaging suppliers and material available within Jamaica and the region, through displays.It will also facilitate information sharing through workshops on packaging standards and trends, as well as consultations between specialists and exporters.

The expo concludes on Wednesday, September 11.

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