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Thursday, 03 July 2014

Caribbean Export signs MOU to support the Region's food exporters

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) hosted the launch of three programmes focused on food safety in the agro-processing and specialty foods sector at the Hilton Barbados last Wednesday (28 May).
The launch included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the CARICOM Regional Organisation of Standards and Quality (CROSQ), the opening of a Special Call for Proposals – Food Safety for CARIFORUM agro-processing firms to receive financial assistance and, finally, the launch of the Agency’s new regional online Food Safety Portal.
Present at the event was Mr. Zissimos Vergos, First Counsellour, Head of Social Development, Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mrs. Pamela Coke Hamilton, Executive Director Caribbean Export, Mr. Gregg C. E. Rawlins, representative of IICA, Mr. Russell Franklyn, representative of CROSQ, and keynote speaker Dr. Beverley Wood, Project Coordinator, National Agriculture Health and Food Control Programme, Ministry of Agriculture representing the Minister of Agriculture.
Caribbean Export’s Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, opened the morning’s proceedings with an informative address on the history and context of the Food Safety Preparedness Programme.
“Today’s signing of an MOU with CROSQ and IICA is significant as it sets the platform for cooperation to take place with the aim of ensuring that fresh foods and agro-processed products are produced under standard quality control conditions within the CARIFORUM States so that they meet the sanitary and technical regulatory requirements of the international marketplace.”
In January 2010, Caribbean Export received USD 1 million from the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund), funded by DFID, to finance a 2-year project aimed at strengthening the Specialty Food Sector and increasing the export of enterprises of all sizes within the Specialty Food Sector from CARIFORUM countries.
Under this project, a Specialty Foods Sector Study was conducted which resulted in the development of a Regional Specialty Food Sector Strategy and Action Plan that details the priority actions needed to address the major constraints to expanding the sector.

Source: thedominican.net