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President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), John Mahfood, has lauded the operations of the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) in safeguarding quality within the manufacturing sector.

“I offer special commendation to JANAAC for its dedication to boosting Jamaica’s potential to trade, through the robust development of a national quality infrastructure, which is critical to brand Jamaica. JANAAC’s operation is important in times like these when Jamaica is navigating a path to resilience, and its stipulation of global standards through accreditation is vital,” Mr. Mahfood told JIS News.

He was speaking against the background of the recent accreditation of the microbiology laboratory of Rainforest Seafoods Limited to conduct food-testing services at an international standard.

Mr. Mahfood argued that as the manufacturing and exporting sector evolves, quality must remain a high priority.

“Reflecting on the food market 20 years ago, manufacturers had a lot of leeway and there was not much emphasis on quality, but times have changed and so has the world around us. We [manufacturers] now know that if we want to compete globally, we have to improve our standards, and I have found that companies which are committed to quality and improved standards are usually the very successful companies,” he noted.

The President also commended Rainforest Seafood for the stellar work it has been doing in Jamaica and the region.

He emphasised that the company’s accreditation to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 17025: 2017 Standard affirms the entity’s technical competence and reliability in carrying out its services, specifically food testing.

“I want to advocate for a culture of quality in the manufacturing sector, so I am encouraging manufacturers and exporters to continuously seek ways to improve their quality [through training, certification and accreditation],” Mr. Mahfood said.

Since its establishment in 2008, JANAAC has carried out its mandate of facilitating trade between Jamaica and its trading partners by enabling Jamaica’s conformity assessment system to meet international standards and the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

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