More quality controllers to cut export barriers
Safety barriers currently prohibiting local food exports to developed overseas markets are to be reduced as a result of more trained Preventive Controls Qualified Individuals (PCQI) across the island, according to George Blake, audit services manager of Technological Solutions Limited (TSL).
Blake made the disclosure on Monday at the start of a three-day workshop being staged at TSL's St Andrew offices to train and certify 22 representatives of local food companies, all with exporting relations to the United States (US).
"Even though the market requirements are not the same, you'll find that once you meet one set of food safety requirements, it makes it much easier to tap into a similar market. For example, if you meet the US requirements then Canada usually asks for a similar mark," Blake told The Gleaner.
CONTRIBUTE TO NATION BUILDING
Blake, who is one of two Food and Drug Administration-approved lead instructors at TSL, further stated that the expected increase in trade would greatly contribute to nation building.
He noted, "What this does is open the gates for continuous and freer export into the US. It gives more companies the ability to export in terms of meeting international requirements. Labels, for example, is one of the main reasons why exports are denied entry, along with other food safety issues. What we will do is a risk-based analysis to ensure that all of these conditions are satisfied prior to export. We're going to be looking at hazards, good manufacturing practices, pest controls and all possible hindrances that could cause problems at the point of entry."
In expressing that the PCQI certification carries international clout and can be utilised as an earning tool worldwide, managing director of TSL, Andre Gordon, encouraged individuals outside of companies to pursue the course in the coming months.