JIS News

Story Highlights

  • More than 40 small cottage processors have received training in manufacturing best practices, following their participation in a food safety workshop, sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, on October 28.
  • The workshop, which was held at the offices of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica in Kingston, sought to assist the cottage industry in best practices toward certification and export.
  • Training material also covered the areas of traceability and documentation; packaging and labelling; international regulatory requirements; and local regulatory requirements.

More than 40 small cottage processors have received training in manufacturing best practices, following their participation in a food safety workshop, sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, on October 28.

The workshop, which was held at the offices of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica in Kingston, sought to assist the cottage industry in best practices toward certification and export.

Training material also covered the areas of traceability and documentation; packaging and labelling; international regulatory requirements; and local regulatory requirements.

The event was facilitated by the National Agricultural Health and Food Safety Committee (NAHFSC), which is responsible for the national food safety system in Jamaica. It was staged as part of activities to mark Food Safety Week 2014, being observed from October 22 to 30.

Highlighting the purpose of the workshop, Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Linette Peters, said it was recognised that there are some small cottage processors who could benefit from pertinent information on ensuring food safety.

She noted that focus is being placed on small processors to increase their awareness of Jamaica’s Food Safety Policy, which was passed in 2013. They are also benefitting from training regarding the requirements for export markets, which is critical to the sustainability of the industry.

In the meantime, Food Safety Specialist in the Ministry of Health, Collin Cooper, stressed that the responsibility for ensuring safe food does not only lie with the regulatory agencies, but all the players in the food industry.

“The key is to strengthen each and every link in the complex process of food reaching the consumer – from the way it is grown or raised to how it is collected, processed, packaged, sold, and eventually consumed,” he said.

The activities for Food Safety Week, which are being held under the theme: ‘Safe Foods: Gateway to Health and Wealth’ , are sponsored by a European Union funded programme as well as the Inter-American Development Bank, through the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP), under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Established over 10 years ago, the NAHFSC is administered by six main entities/agencies distributed across the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Industry, Investment and Commerce; and Science, Technology, Energy and Mining.