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Issue#5 Food Standards

Issue#5 Food Standards

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Published by: CaRAPN on Mar 23, 2009
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A quick recap of what is being done and what still needs to be done to improve the policy environment and

framework for sustainable agricultural development in Caribbean countries

Issue 2007 # 5 28 March
always “Food will always represent some biologic risk and it is the role of regulatory bodies to use risk assessment to determine realistic and achievable risk levels for foodborne hazards and to base their risk management and food safety policies on the practical application of the results of these analyses.” analyses.”
Gregory D. Orriss Chief, Food Quality and Standards Service; Food and Nutrition Division; Food and Agriculture Organization

Feature of the Week: Complying with governments’ or private sectors’ food safety standards!
Today’s global economy requires agri-food industries to be competitive, which not only depends on their capacity to lower production costs, but also on their ability to supply high quality products to meet increasing consumer demand for better quality. The forces of trade liberalization and the World Trade Organization (WTO) food safety standards has exerted added pressures on local agribusinesses to face increasing competition with less expensive, higher quality products from abroad. However, food safety standards and mandatory regulations set by international standards-setting bodies and imposed by governments often conflict with those of the private sector. Private sector standards could facilitate the creation of new markets and trade opportunities, allowing agribusinesses to sell their products more easily. However, these voluntary private standards can become compulsory, making it more rigid than international standards and causing small farmers to suffer. For example, Caribbean countries, supported by other Latin America counties, have complained that the EurepGap’s SPS and TBT requirements for exporting bananas and other products to European supermarkets are tougher than the governments’ requirements and government rules should apply. These “EurepGap” requirements are set by the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group, which is the European Union (EU) consortium representing major retailers. Although this issue has been raised in the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee, concerted efforts are now being undertaken by the Sanitary PhytoSanitary (SPS) Committee to address same.
For more information visit www.wto.org

(Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol 3 # 4
Oct-Dec 1997)

Look out for:
Food Safety and Quality Conference & Expo. 2007 to be held during the 12-13 September at the Landmark Tower Hotel, Beijing. This event will provide an unparalleled opportunity to explore modern approaches, services, solutions and technologies to reducing food product risks efficiently and cost effectively. For more info visit http://www.chinafoodsafety.com One Day ServSafe® Food Safety Manager’s Certification Professional Development Training Course organized by the Georgia Restaurant Association to be held on the 10 April 2007 during 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM at the Renaissance Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta.

Private Sector Initiative- Colombia
In response to the need to harmonize domestic standards with those commonly accepted in international trade, the Colombian government in 1997 approved a new food safety regulation to increase consumers’ protection against chemical and biological hazards in the food marketing system. In response to the new regulation and to growing food trade, the National Poultry Federation (FENAVI) launched a sector-wide food safety initiative to prepare the industry for competition with imported chicken and to meet national and international standards. The programme was launched in April 1998 and provided technical assistance to managers and quality teams in each company for the development of an industry plan, including steps for the implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and the preparation of a system of support documentation. A group of junior food technologists was created and trained as HACCP leaders, using specific technical documents. Processing plants participated in the HACCP Pilot Plan they have the highest food safety hazards in the production chain. After one year, the industries are going on with the process autonomously, seeking certification and continuous improvement in their quality assurance programs.
Source: wwww.cirad.fr/colloque/fao/pdf/14-cabal.pdf

Policy Picks:
The Bahamas is seeking to provide institutional reform and development to improve the agriculture health and food safety system, which is currently being considered and supported by the required legislative framework. Guyana is updating its national food safety bill to the Codex standards, complementing an operational plan of action which will implement the recommendations of Codex and HACCP. St Kitts/Nevis has operationalized its New Pesticide Act and GAP, both introduced at the farm level.

What’s new in Your Agricultural Policy Process? Care to Share?

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