Local companies exporting goods to the United States are now at risk of losing business with the market as the country continues to implement more rigorous food safety measures to reduce its number of food-borne illnesses.
Latest data indicates that Jamaica currently exports 42 per cent of its goods to the US, followed by Canada for which trade is roughly 15 per cent.
Up to 2015, trade to the US was valued at US$467 million, but that number could be dramatically reduced if exporters are not compliant with the newly implemented Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) by September.
“The preventive controls for human foods are really important to us. This single rule will change the global food industry because the FSMA basically says if you want to sell foods in the US market, then you have agreed to give us the right to regulate or have oversight over what you do regardless of where you are located in the world,” Andre Gordon, managing director of food safety and quality systems company, Technological Solutions Ltd, told exporters in a discussion forum yesterday.
The forum, which was held at the Jamaica Exporters Association’s head office on Winchester Road in Kingston, sought to inform companies exporting to the United States of the new regulations, one of which requires that each firm involved in the provision of food to the US consumers has at least one Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) specifically trained through the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved course in their organisation.
Once the regultions become effective in September, they could have significant implications for local manufacturers, distributors, pack house operators, farmers and other suppliers of foods sold in the United States.
Published in the Jamaica Observer
Read full Article →