The Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) will be hosting a virtual forum on June 9, to commemorate World Accreditation Day 2020, under the theme ‘Accreditation: Improving Food Safety’.
The event will be streamed live on the JANAAC Facebook page and the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) website, Facebook and YouTube pages, starting at 9:00 a.m.
“Accreditation has an important role to play in food safety by ensuring competent and impartial inspection, certification and testing services, and we hope to examine this during this year’s World Accreditation Day Forum,” Chief Executive Officer, JANAAC, Sharonmae Shirley, told JIS News.
Ms. Shirley noted that the event will have a panel discussion and will explore how local entities can become accredited and improve their operations in the food industry.
Panellists will include State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Hon. Floyd Green; Director, Trade, Investment and Innovation, United Nations (UN), Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento; Chair, International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), Etty Feller, and Chief Executive Officer, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), Deryck Omar.
Last year, the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division became the first local food inspection body to be accredited by JANAAC for successfully complying with the standard of ISO/IEC 17020.
“Accreditation confirms the technical competence, integrity and impartiality of these conformity assessment activities using international standards as the criteria,” Ms Shirley noted.
She highlighted that the annual World Accreditation Day commemoration is essential in reminding stakeholders and policymakers of the importance of accreditation in several engagements, including food safety, trade, consumer protection and healthcare.
“Sensitisation is key, so we are encouraging stakeholders to participate and learn more about the importance and benefits of becoming accredited to improve food safety,” Ms. Shirley said.
World Accreditation Day is a global initiative that is jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the ILAC to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation.
Accreditation determines the technical competence, integrity and impartiality of organisations providing conformity assessment services, such as testing, calibration, certification and inspection based on international standards.