JIS News

Jamaican exporters are presently working in earnest to meet changes that will be required under international Hazard Analysis and Control Points (HACCP) agreements as of January 1, 2006.
Agri Business Coordinator with the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA), Ainsworth Riley explained to JIS News that Jamaican Exporters had always been able to adhere to international export regulations and were ready and prepared to meet the January 1 HACCP requirements.
“We have our own local regulatory bodies, for example the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, and they assist in terms of the whole regulation process.and of course once a member of the HACCP Codex, it ensures the exporters products are safe. In addition once the product is coming from Jamaica with the Bureau’s approval on it, it shows that product has met certain standard requirements,” he explained.
HACCP is contained within the Codex, a universal standard governing food safety used worldwide and will be implemented by the European Union (EU). The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of international food standards that have been adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Codex standards cover all the main foods, whether processed, semi-processed or raw.
Codex provisions concern the hygienic and nutritional quality of food, including microbiological norms, food additives, pesticide and veterinary drug residues, contaminants, labelling and presentation, and methods of sampling and risk analysis.
Mr. Riley pointed out however that a challenge in meeting the requirements has been the cost. “Its very costly so you find that maybe there are a lot more persons who would be able to get into export or who want to go further in terms of their operations but because of some of those challenges they are not able to do so.its more or less the medium to large firms that are able to exploit some of these opportunities,” he explained.
To further assist exporters in meeting internationally required export standards, the JEA has created a pesticide control programme, which has a number of components including capacity building, good company practices, training and ascertaining the maximum residue level for crops.
“We are also targeting the middle men who buy for the exporters. The supply chain in Jamaica is quite varied, you have exporters who are farmers and you have exporters who buy directly from a farmer and those who buy from middle men, so we are targeting exporters,” Mr. Riley outlined.