Minister Shaw Says Exporters Must Maintain High Standards To Remain Globally Competitive

Jamaica News: Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the competitiveness of Jamaican goods and services in the global economy rests largely on the efforts of the export community in maintaining high standards.

“The performance of our exports in global markets is determined by the degree to which we are able to meet the demands of an unrelenting globally competitive marketplace,” he said.

The Minister was speaking at the opening of Technological Solutions Limited’s (TSL) Safe Quality Food (SQF) training seminar at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites in New Kingston on Monday (October 14).

He stressed that quality and standards must become the norm for Jamaican goods and services in order to target the global marketplace in a consistent and structured way.

“In this global economy, the acceptance of our goods and services depend on an infrastructure that is built on internationally recognised standards and an accreditation-based conformity assessment system that satisfies international requirements,” he said.

The Industry Minister argued that exports are the engine of the economy and export-led growth is the foundation of the country’s growth strategy.

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“It is, for this reason, therefore, that we have to develop and employ appropriate science and technology to ensure that the diversity, competitiveness, quality and profitability of Jamaica’s food and related products meet world-class standards and satisfy customers’ requirements in all markets,” he said.

Minister Shaw assured that as the country responds to new developments globally, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) will continue to work in the development and preparation of national standards.

“We will continue to fulfil the needs of industry, trade, technology and other sectors of national life. As a Government, we are committed to creating an enabling environment in removing the systemic hurdles, which impede the ease and speed of getting business done,” he said.

In the meantime, he praised TSL, which comprises food safety, quality assurance experts and export advisory consultants for supporting exporters in maintaining international standards, “so we can target these (international) markets in a consistent and structured way”.

“The services that you are providing are certainly ensuring that Caribbean companies in the business of agriculture, agro-processing, food service, export, manufacturing or distribution can access world-class technical services that are focused on specific needs, standards and circumstances,” he said.

The TSL has partnered with the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), which delivers globally recognised food safety and quality certification programmes, to host a series of seminars focusing on global standards over four days.

The objective of this competency-based course is to provide SQF certification-auditor candidates with the foundational knowledge necessary to audit the SQF Food Safety Code and SQF Quality Code.

SQF is a Food Safety Management Certification Scheme, created and managed by the SQFI, which is used to control food safety risks.

Under this partnership, Jamaica becomes the first Caribbean–based licensed training centre for the SQFI.


Source: JIS News

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