CROSQ Secretariat

CROSQ Secretariat

Efforts to strengthen the quality management infrastructure and continue the development and implementation of the accreditation programme of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) Laboratory, took a step further with the singing of the Memorandum of Understanding between CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality and GRDB. The Memorandum of Understanding establishes the framework for providing technical support and financial resources to strengthen the GRDB Laboratory in addition to the accredited testing of rice for Moisture Analysis and Physical Test by Grain Characteristics.

The Accreditation Programme is financed through the Caribbean Development Bank CARTFUND project: Strengthening the Capabilities of Testing Laboratories in the Caribbean to Reduce Technical Barriers to Trade. The project is being implemented by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality.

Inset Mr. Russell Franklyn, Officer-in-Charge – CROSQ and Mr. Jagnarine Singh, General Manager – GRDB shake hands after signing of the MOU.

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The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) has issued for public comment another batch of draft standards for the agricultural sector. The standards proposed for adoption as Saint Lucia National Standards will go through the mandatory sixty day period for comment by the general public.

The series of standards are for grades of watermelons, waternuts, yams, potato and tania.

Other agricultural standards for grades of grapefruit, mangoes, pineapples, oranges, plantain and tomatoes were issued for public comment last year as part of the overall effort to strengthen the agricultural sector.

Quality standards play a critical role in trade, creating access to markets and making products and services competitive. The SLBS is aggressively supporting the Ministry of Agriculture’s programme to improve the potential for export of agricultural produce other than bananas.

In addition, draft standards for wheat flour, rice and pasta products are also published for comment.

The public comment phase in the process of adoption of a standard is critical to the implementation of standards. It is important that the users have an opportunity to recommend changes to or even removal of areas which may place unreasonable demands on the sector.

It is desirable to have those who will be most impacted to have critical input into the final version of the document and create awareness of the requirements and expectations related to quality in their sectors.

Everyone with interest can comment on the draft standards which are available online at www.slbs.org.lc/draftstandards, in the reference section of all national libraries or at the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards at Bisee. The standards have also been made available to stakeholder associations for distribution to their membership.

The deadline for comments is Thursday 26th September 2014.

All comments on the standards should be addressed to the Head of the Standards Development Department of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, Bisee Industrial Estate, Box CP 5412, Castries.

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Representatives of national standards bureaus from across the CARIFORUM Region, who met in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia from July 14-15, have called for an improved quality culture in the Region.

The officials underscored the importance of bringing on-stream mutually reinforcing national and regional marketing and communication strategies/action plans related to Quality Infrastructure, in support of the Region's drive toward robust quality culture.

The officials who form part of the Technical Implementation Group for Awareness and Information were convened for a second time in as many years, to deliberate in-person on the awareness raising and information dimension of 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP) Economic Partnership Agreement Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Component.

This second meeting was organized by the Barbados-based CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), in collaboration with the other implementing partner institutions, Instituto Dominicano para la Calidad (INDOCAL) of the Dominican Republic and the National Metrology Institute Germany (Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt - PTB). These three partner institutions are implementing the TBT Component of the 10th EDF CRIP Programmes in support of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) implementation, on behalf of CARIFORUM.

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The Grenada Bureau of Standards (GDBS) in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) through support from the Technical Barriers to Trade component of the 10th European Development Fund staged a three-day workshop from June 03-05, 2014 in celebration of World Accreditation Day. The workshop, focusing on Creating Confidence through the implementation of International Accreditation and Conformity Assessment Standards, targeted personnel from medical, testing and calibration laboratories as well as inspection and certification bodies.

The main objective of the workshop was to build and upgrade Accreditation and Conformity Assessment capacity in these organisations and in so doing lay the foundation for a regional approach to mutual acceptance of test results and certification of products and services traded regionally and internationally. The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Karlene Lewis of the Trinidad and Tobago Laboratory Accreditation Service (TTLABS). World Accreditation Day is celebrated globally on June 09.

 

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The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) joins with other organisations in over ninety countries to celebrate World Accreditation Day on June 09, 2014. The theme for this year is Accreditation: Delivering confidence in the provision of energy. Accreditation is the independent assessment of bodies performing activities such as testing, calibration, inspection or certification against internationally recognised standards to ensure their competence, integrity and impartiality to perform these activities. This year’s theme is relevant as we in the Caribbean continue to make strides in developing our renewable energy capacity in areas such as hydropower, wind, solar and geothermal energies in an effort to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. It is therefore paramount that as capacity is built in these areas, systems be put in place to ensure the performance, safety and environmental friendliness of products being offered. Accreditation of the facilities whether laboratories, inspection bodies or certification bodies, that assess such products brings about that assurance.

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Bridgetown, BARBADOS, May 27, 2014. CROSQ collaborated with one of its partners Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) to promote the work being done to strengthen the Regional Quality Infrastructure to overcome Technical Barriers to Trade (TBTs) at a two-day workshop hosted by the GIZ during the period May 26-27, 2014 at the Hilton Resort Barbados.

Karlene Russell - CROSQ

Project Coordinator of the 10th EDF-CRIP-EPA-TBT Programme, Ms. Karlene Russell

The Project Coordinator of the European Union funded 10th EDF-CRIP-EPA-TBT Programme at CROSQ, Ms. Karlene Russell gave a presentation on the initiatives being undertaken to strengthen the capacity of the National Standards Bureaus (NSBs) in the areas of metrology, standardisation, accreditation and conformity assessment as well as the efforts being made to promote a quality culture in CARIFORUM countries. The role of the private sector in the development of the Regional Quality Infrastructure was underscored and the presentation highlighted the progress being made to date.

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Bridgetown, BARBADOS, May 28, 2014. The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) hosted the launch of three programmes focused on food safety in the agro-processing and specialty foods sector at the Hilton Barbados today. The launch included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the CARICOM Regional Organisation of Standards and Quality (CROSQ), the opening of a Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety for CARIFORUM agro-processing firms to receive financial assistance and, finally, the launch of the Agency’s new regional online Food Safety Portal. Present at the event was Mr. Zissimos Vergos, First Counsellour, Head of Social Development, Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mrs. Pamela Coke Hamilton, Executive Director Caribbean Export, Mr. Gregg C. E. Rawlins, representative of IICA, Mr. Russell Franklyn, representative of CROSQ, and keynote speaker Dr. Beverley Wood, Project Coordinator, National Agriculture Health and Food Control Programme, Ministry of Agriculture representing the Minister of Agriculture.

Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, opened the morning’s proceedings with an informative address on the history and context of the Food Safety Preparedness Programme;

"Today’s signing of an MOU with CROSQ and IICA is significant as it sets the platform for cooperation to take place with the aim of ensuring that fresh foods and agro-processed products are produced under standard quality control conditions within the CARIFORUM States so that they meet the sanitary and technical regulatory requirements of the international marketplace."

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The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards joins the global community to mark World Metrology Day on Tuesday 20th May. This year's theme is “Measurements and the global energy challenge.

In a joint release, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) stated, that, “the world is facing a growing global energy challenge over the coming decades. The crux of the problem is the growing energy demand, particularly from the emerging nations, coupled with the need to limit or reduce greenhouse gases. Add in the desire to have diversity and security of supply and the increasing costs to extract fossil fuels, and we see the trend is for a greater mix of energy sources, including renewables. Diversification, combined with demands for improvements in efficiency of energy generation, transmission and use, mean that technology is constantly being pushed to the limit."

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The accreditation of the Bureau of Standards' Chemistry Laboratory to ISO/IEC 17025 — the international standards for testing labs — will allow Jamaica to exported tested foods to 69 countries across the world without hassle.

The lab last Wednesday received its certificate of accreditation from the Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation (JANAAC) at a ceremony held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.

Like JANAAC, the 69 countries to which Jamaica can now export foods are signatories to the Mutual Recognition Arrangement of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation.

State minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, who presented the certificate to the BSJ, hailed the accreditation of the chemistry lab as a "green light for exporters" and a milestone for Jamaica.

"The accreditation of this food testing facility is of conspicuous significance to the country as the BSJ certifies a number of food products for sale in the local and export market. This accreditation is therefore, a milestone for Jamaica," she said.

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The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards will launch a programme for the verification of measuring instruments used in the health sector as part of the SLBS mandate to protect health and safety.

The verification programme targeting that sector is critical to ensuring that doctors and other health professionals are using reliable equipment in doing their jobs.

Blood pressure meters will be the focus of this phase of verification. Blood pressure monitoring is a routine exercise in health protocols and the accuracy and reliability of results are important to diagnosis and treatment.

Saint Lucia is grappling with treating an expanded problem of hypertension and support for improved efficiencies in blood pressure interventions can only strengthen Government Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Policy.

The one day consultation will see the participation of medical doctors in private clinics and hospitals, public health facilities, private nurses in private care and other health officials.

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