No need for alarm as regional labelling standard is being revised, said BSJ

Saturday, May 04, 2019

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A regional standard for the labelling of pre-packaged foods is currently being revised, and is being led by the Caricom Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) – the regional standards development body.

A Bureau of Standards (BSJ)Jamaica release said as a routine part of the process, consultation is undertaken in each member state, led by its National Standards Body. “The process in Jamaica is being led by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ),” added the release.

“In addition to opportunities for persons to review and submit recommendations and concerns, a series of consultative meetings have been facilitated with manufacturers, exporters, importers, academia, the health sector and consumers.

“In the current review of the draft regional labelling standard, concern has been expressed by some local stakeholders about the front of package labelling (FOPL) and the implications for the local industry. These concerns/responses from the stakeholders were submitted to the CROSQ secretariat for discussion by the Regional Technical Committee, which will have responsibility for addressing the comments received,” said the release.

A meeting of the committee is scheduled for May 14 to 15 in Suriname.

“Subsequent to this meeting and deliberations, a final draft standard should be presented to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), which comprises ministers of government within Caricom who are responsible for trade,” said the release.

“Upon review by COTED a decision will be made if the standard is to be accepted. Each member state, including Jamaica, will determine whether or not to adopt/implement the standard based on its local context. The standards development process also allows for a modification of the regional standard, having given careful consideration to the capacity of the key stakeholders to meet the requirements of the standard,” said the BSJ.

The final standard to be implemented, it said, will be based on the consensus among the various stakeholders in Jamaica, and reiterated its commitment to the consultative process in standards. development, locally and regionally.

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