All food processing establishments must immediately register with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and failure to do so will result in the closure of the unregistered operations. The enforcement of this measure is in keeping with the legal requirement of the BSJ to ensure that goods produced meet the required standards with respect to health, safety and quality.
However, Executive Director of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, Noel Osbourne has emphasized that this and other enforcement measures must be appreciated within the context of the positioning of the organization “to increase its role as facilitator for the productive sector in order to build consumer confidence in domestic output, enhance exports and in general, play its part in growing the Jamaican economy”.
Fielding questions during a recent JIS Think Tank session, Mr. Osbourne observed that the Bureau is increasing its efforts to dispel the perception that the organization is merely a regulatory body focused on enforcement and the application of penalties and sanctions.
“Times have changed and the Bureau is increasingly adopting a facilitatory role, one which inspires the confidence of the productive sector, while promoting the standards of health, consumer safety and product quality”, he explained.
Apart from its regulatory role in conformity assessment services which includes testing, certification, and inspection, the BSJ is rolling out an island wide sensitization programme targeting large, small and micro enterprises and the consumer, “the BSJ is seeking to ensure that industry receives the competence to produce better”.
Mr. Osbourne observed that trade liberalization and globalization has dictated that there is one market in which all goods must contend and compete. “There was a time when the Jamaican manufacturer was producing two types of the same product, one for the domestic market and one for exports. Things have changed. There is one product that the consumer will swear by and therefore the Jamaican consumer is just as interested in a quality product just as the consumer from say the United States or the United Kingdom”, the Executive Director pointed out.
The BSJ’s island wide sensitization programme will include sessions to be held in major population centres across the island, with upcoming sessions at the St Matthew’s Anglican Church Hall, Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth on February 16, and the St Gabriel Church Hall, May Pen, February 17. The programme ends on March 31, with a session at the Ocho Rios Church Hall, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
The Bureau has advised that its training programme is continuous and that companies can request customized training courses in addition to regularly scheduled sessions.
CONTACT: ALLAN BROOKS