Bureau of Standards Jamaica
A regional standard for the labelling of pre-packaged foods is currently being revised. This process is being led by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) – the regional standards development body.
As a routine part of the process, consultation is undertaken in each member state, led by its National Standards Body. This process in Jamaica is being led by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ). In addition to opportunities for persons to review and submit recommendations and concerns, a series of consultative meetings have been facilitated with manufacturers, exporters, importers, academia, the health sector and consumers.
In the current review of the draft regional labelling standard, concern has been expressed by some local stakeholders about the front of package labelling (FOPL) and the implications for the local industry. These concerns/responses from the stakeholders were submitted to the CROSQ Secretariat for discussion by the Regional Technical Committee which will have responsibility for addressing the comments received. A meeting of this Committee is scheduled for 14 – 15 May 2019 in Suriname.
Subsequent to this meeting and deliberations a final draft standard should be presented to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), which comprises Ministers of government within CARICOM who are responsible for trade.
Upon review by COTED, a decision will be made if the standard is to be accepted. Each member state including Jamaica will determine whether or not to adopt/implement the standard based on its local context. The standards development process also allows for a modification of the regional standard, having given careful consideration to the capacity of the key stakeholders to meet the requirements of the standard.
The final standard to be implemented will be based on the consensus among the various stakeholders in Jamaica. The Bureau of Standards Jamaica reiterates its commitment to the consultative process in standards development, locally and regionally and assures all stakeholders that there is no cause to be unduly agitated based on the process of developing this regional labelling standard.