The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards has withdrawn from sale a number of products with implications for health and safety of consumers.
The withdrawal affects a batch of toys, baby powder and small electrical appliances.
The following products, Rubee Baby Powder, Xiulong Electrical LED Torch and Ferhat Balls were withdrawn under the Compulsory Standards Compliance programme. The concerns for health and safety are related to possible skin irritations due to non-compliance in product labeling, choking and strangulation hazards for small children as well as electrical shocks from exposed wiring.
The SLBS is maintaining a rigorous market surveillance process to ensure products which have the potential to cause harm to consumers are intercepted well before they become available as well as aggressive monitoring at the point of sale.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Bureau of Standards (SVGBS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, Rural Transformation, and Industry have established a Specification/Technical Committee to work on the preparation of National Standards for Good Agricultural Practices - GAP. This Committee is comprised of representatives from organizations with qualification, experience and/or interest in the Agricultural Sector.
The Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products. In simple terms, GAP stands on four pillars (economic viability, environmental sustainability, social acceptability and food safety and quality).
In recent years, the concept of GAP has evolved to address the concerns of different stakeholders about food production and security, food safety and quality, and the environmental sustainability of agriculture. These stakeholders include governments, food retailing industries, farmers and consumers who seek to meet specific objectives of food safety, food production, production efficiency, livelihood and environmental benefits.
The GAP offers means to help reach those objectives. Specifically, some of the Potential benefits of GAP are:
- Appropriate promotion and adoption of GAP from farm to fork will help improve the safety and quality of food and agricultural products. In addition, producers and consumers will benefit from global markets and improve their livelihoods and the national economy as a whole.
- Adoption of GAP will help promote sustainable agriculture and contribute to meeting national and international environmental and social development objectives.
- Adherence to food quality and safety will protect people’s health – an important factor in national development.
- Adherence to the GAP will also increase SVG trade competitiveness when its agricultural products are traded.
Once these GAP standards have been prepared, then a farmers’ registration and certification program will be put in place to ensure compliance with these standards, as well as to ensure that only safe and wholesome agricultural products are traded and consumed.
The theme of the 3rd CHART-CCAS-CMLF Conference was “Prevention benefits of antiretroviral therapy in Caribbean HIV patients: the central role of patient engagement in the continuum of care”. The conference explored case studies, reports and research from the Caribbean in areas such as: what constitutes a successful HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention program, HIV testing capable of reaching vulnerable populations, destigmatising HIV, diagnosis and recruitment of HIV positive persons into care, retaining and monitoring patients during care to ensure effective drug adherence.
The conference also addressed key issues related to strengthening laboratory quality management systems and networks in the Caribbean, monitoring of access and quality of laboratory services, advances in laboratory networks and progress of regional initiatives.
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) hosted a national consultation yesterday. The draft regional policy, Quality Infrastructure and Conformity Assessment, is expected to focus on strengthening competitiveness and sustainability of goods and services produced within the member states of the region. Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs, Hon. Emma Hippolyte said such an initiative will strengthen and support the work of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards.
Stlucianewsonline.com, (2014). SLBS, CARICOM to implement quality standards for regional products | St. Lucia News Online. [online] Available at: http://www.stlucianewsonline.com/slbs-caricom-to-implement-quality-standards-for-regional-products/ [Accessed 3 Sep. 2014].
Nassau, The Bahamas -- Minister of Financial Services the Hon. Ryan Pinder said in order to create a quality infrastructure for goods and services within the region, the need for collaboration and cooperation among nations in CARICOM cannot be overstated.
Minister Pinder was speaking at the opening of the National Consultation on draft Regional Quality Infrastructure Policy hosted by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) at the British Colonial Hilton, Friday, August 22, 2014.
He said all of the countries within the region have their own unique characteristics including how they measure the quality of goods and services, which provides good reason for the existence of organisations like CROSQ in the region, and the great importance of meetings.
"The consultation is necessary to allow the countries to synergise their efforts and positions in relation to standardisation, conformity assessments, accreditation and metrology (accuracy in measurement of goods traded)."
Minister Pinder added that the need for standards is also important at a national level as The Bahamas looks to develop its economy and grow new arms of the economy, especially in relation to trade. "We need to be able to ensure that we have a level playing field and standards do that," he said.
Thebahamasweekly.com, (2014). thebahamasweekly.com - National consultation underway on draft regional quality infrastructure policy. [online] Available at: http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/bis-news-updates/National_Consultation_Underway_on_Draft_Regional_Quality_Infrastructure_Policy36586.shtml [Accessed 3 Sep. 2014].
Basseterre, St. Kitts – The St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards (SKNBS), within the Ministry of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, hosted over 20 persons from Stakeholders on August 20, 2014. The “Draft Regional Policy for Quality Infrastructure” national consultation held at the Agriculture Department Conference Room, was funded through the 10th European Development Fund – Technical Barriers to Trade Component and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).
Quality infrastructure refers to all the fields of metrology, standardization, certification, testing, quality management system and accreditation that have a bearing on conformity assessment and quality.
The National Consultation was facilitated by Ms. Sanya Alleyne, Legal Officer at CROSQ and Mr. Fulgence St. Prix, Technical Officer- Standards at CROSQ. The purpose of this consultation was to review and discuss the Draft Regional Policy for Quality Infrastructure, specifically highlighting the gaps in the National and Regional objectives and implementation strategies of the Policy.
SKNVibes, (2014). St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau Of Standards (SKNBS) in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organization for standards and quality (CROSQ) hosts a national consultation on the Draft Regional Policy for quality infrastructure. [online] Available at: http://www.sknvibes.com/news/newsdetails.cfm/88561 [Accessed 3 Sep. 2014].
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.
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.
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.
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.