JIS News

Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) have until next January to access grant funding under the Quality Jamaica Project (QJP), to implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 and 14000.
These quality management systems are considered to be the global standard for product quality and safety. They contribute to making the development, manufacturing and supply of products and services more efficient, safer and cleaner.
“The deadline to catch us is January 2007 .we are encouraging businesses that are currently trying to put any of these systems in place to contact us so as to access grant funds of up to $250,000 (US$3,750)”, said Sheryl Mullings, Manager for QJP’s Match Grant Funding programme.
“As you know, it is getting more and more difficult to penetrate markets such as Europe without the requisite certification,” she pointed out.
Ms. Mullings said that a few weeks ago, 10 small and medium-sized companies, mainly from the food processing sector, received grants. Among them are Spike Industries, Pioneer Meats, Tijule Company Limited, Jam Guy Food Processors and McLas Foods Limited.
She informed that in order to qualify for grants, “you have to have started putting one of the three systems in place. Each company must be a legal entity registered in Jamaica, must have no more than 100 employees and annual sales should be less than US$3 million.”
Meanwhile, she indicated that some 46 companies were implementing quality systems under the Quality Jamaica Project. Of the number, she said, “22 are implementing HACCP food safety system, 14 are implementing ISO 9000 and 10 are implementing ISO 14000”.
The aim, she said, was to disburse match grants to 100 SMEs by the end of the year and “eligible companies will receive 50 per cent of what they have spent on technical services, to become certified.”
The Quality Jamaica Project is an initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the government of Jamaica and is being monitored by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica.
Business operators interested in accessing funds should call the Bureau of Standards office at 926-3140-5.