Accreditation is game changer for Jamaican exports – Shaw

Observer reporter

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY – Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw says for the local economy to experience growth, stakeholders must learn to play the manufacturing game as well as their counterparts in developed countries.

However, he conceded that in light of the lack of acceptance of laboratory inspection and data, underdeveloped nations are confronted with more technical barriers to trade than their competitors in developed countries.

“This in turn results in expensive retesting, detention and rejection of goods,” Shaw stated.

He added: “Jamaica's reliance on exports also necessitates a robust quality infrastructure, as duplicative testing and delays disrupt the supply chain and threaten the stability of the Jamaican economy.”

But he was quick to point out that Jamaican goods for the export market are now in a much better place, “with importing countries now more assured that JANAAC (Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation)-accredited Jamaican labs are competent in the tests that they are performing”.

“Accreditation is the game changer that will help to drive the economy by creating unique opportunities for entrepreneurs, support new industries – such as the nutraceutical and cannabis industries and medical tourism – while bolstering existing industries,” the industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries minister argued.

“Accredited conformity assessment such as calibration; testing; inspection and certification for personnel, products or management systems is a critical enabler of economic growth for developing countries like Jamaica.”

He was addressing the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation 23rd Annual General Assembly, hosted by the Government of Jamaica through JANAAC at Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in St James on Monday.

Shaw lauded the work of JANAAC, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

“As minister with responsibility for industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate JANAAC on the strides it has made over the years, and extend congratulations on the agency's tenth anniversary,” Shaw said.

JANAAC also came in for high praises from Montego Bay's mayor, Councillor Homer Davis, who brought greetings at the general assembly.

“This organisation continues to demonstrate a high level of branding of Jamaican products, which is helping out producers to remain competitive not only to satisfy the domestic scrutiny of our consumers, but to penetrate foreign markets,” Councillor Davis said.

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