Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
THE JAMAICA National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) on Tuesday accredited the Scientific Research Council as the first recognised food-testing laboratory in Jamaica.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton endorsed the initiative saying that the food-testing status is an avenue for the country to boost its economy.
"The accreditation of this first food-testing laboratory is a significant milestone for Jamaica. We believe that the use of accreditation can help in achieving our national development plan, Vision 2030," said Hylton, while addressing the gathering at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel, St Andrew.
strive for quality improvement
"The cost of poor quality is high, and countries such as ours must strive for quality improvement in all aspects of national life. Therefore, we will have a more efficient economy if our regulators move to adopt good business practices now being used in countries such as the European Union and the United States of America," Hylton declared.
He added: "Some areas that accreditation can be used by regulators to improve the efficiency of the Jamaican economy include, maintenance and health-care services, control of the quality of food sold on the local market, improvement in the safety and quality of services and locally manufactured products, and maintenance of of health-care services," he said.
Chairman of JANAAC Dr Cliff Riley shared similar sentiments, saying it's imperative that the country gains the confidence of the international market.
"Our main aim is to ensure that we are competitive globally. Once our products hit the international market, they have a smooth process of going through, because we can reassure our international market that their standards are met and are in accordance with their requirements," he told The Gleaner.
"This will do a lot for us in terms of economic sustainability. It's not just about more exports, but it is the level of confidence that persons will have in your product, so this a big boost for the economy," he said.
Laboratory accreditation is the independent evaluation of a laboratory against a recognised standard to ensure its impartiality and technical competence to carry out tests or calibrations.