Exporters urged to maintain quality standards

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Director General, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Don McGlashan is urging the country’s food exporters to ensure the highest quality standards in order to protect and promote brand Jamaica.

He said the consistent supply of commodities at international standards will validate the country’s brand in the marketplace.

McGlashan, who was speaking to JIS News during a food safety workshop at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday noted that “all over the globe persons are really using the name of Jamaica in an unauthorised way.”

Coffee, cocoa, and jerk sauces are among the produce most affected by brand piracy.

Addressing the issue, he said, requires a multi-pronged approach, involving agencies such as Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), with food exporters playing a key role.

 “We could (also) ensure that our products continue to go into the (overseas) markets and continue to be aggressive in our marketing efforts from JAMPRO (Jamaica Promotions Corporation and the exporters themselves,” he added.

The workshop is aimed at strengthening knowledge of participants regarding the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) and associated proposed regulations that affect products exported to the United States.

It is hosted by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation of Agriculture (IICA) in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The workshop, which will be carried out over two days, was attended by technical personnel from public entities involved with the food export sector, accreditation organisations, exporters, processors, producers and academia.

The Food Safety Modernisation Act is intended to institute critical steps towards strengthening the US food safety system, and places greater emphasis on preventing food-borne illnesses.

The law was promulgated to protect the US consumers from potential hazards from the farm to the fork that could pose health and safety risks.

Published Date: 
Friday, June 19, 2015