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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