Saturday, 31 May 2014

Exporting must comply with international standards

In recent expression had pointed that global Recent figures have indicated that the global food and beverage industry is rising at 3.5 percent per annum and is estimated to worth more than US$7 trillion this year.

Mentioning to those statistics, Executive Director of Caribbean Export Development Agency, Pamela Coke Hamilton, mentioned that her agency understood clearly that in order for CARIFORUM settles in that industry is to hold and raise their share of the global market, which they must be well equipped to enter the export markets and maintain a competitive edge. The meeting took place at the Hilton Hotel On Thursday where Her comments came during the Regional Food Safety Preparedness Meeting

One of the example that was used of the EU market, Coke Hamilton wrote down that while having successfully completed the Economic Partnership Agreement that was given products from the boundaries duty-free quota-free market access to the European Union, it is important that such products meet the standards of the importing country.

“This is increasingly true given emerging global food safety requirements. For CARIFORUM food and agro producers, merely stating that our food products are of a high quality is insufficient to satisfy the demands of consumers and government abroad,” she warned.

She mentioned that when exporting, every product  must meet a number of requirements and standards for food and food products, the difference from country to country. The Caribbean Export head written down that in addition to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) quantity, exporters must also meet the technical barriers to trade requirements which cover such areas as food labelling, nutritional claims and packaging, which have implications for the Caribbean private sector.

The Executive Director contended that unless regional firms comply with international standards, they will be forced to the local and regional markets, which are also open to imports which create competition for those products.

“It is therefore required that all players with the command to support the private sector development must play their role in getting our securely equipped to pass through export markets. Firms need to be made aware of the issues that affect them, they need financial and technical assistance with meeting the new and emerging global food safety requirements and they also need continued efforts at both export development and promotion,” she added.

Coke Hamilton’s comments came to her as she wrote down that several CARIFORUM securely that have already been achieved success in the export market. Among them, she declear are Banks Holdings from Barbados, Marie Sharpe from Belize and Baron Foods from St. Lucia, which were awarded the coveted Taste 13 Award at ANUGA 2013 – the largest food and beverage trade show in the world. She said their accomplishment should be hymn as only 54 of 7000 companies exhibiting products at ANUGA received that award.

“This is testimony to the fact that we have world class brands doing business every day in our region. International buyers were impressed with the value added and differentiation displayed among our companies… Success stories like these indicate that we can compete at the global level. It should also motivate us to do our utmost to ensure that more firms can have similar stories which in the end can only auger well for regional economic growth. What’s left is for us to put all the structures in place whether it is at the policy, the business support, or firm level, to truly reap the benefits,” the Caribbean Export head added.

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