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The National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ), on Tuesday (November 17), unveiled its newest certification product – the ISO 22000:2018 Food Safety Management System (FSMS).

The Standard, which was launched virtually by Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw outlines the requirements that stakeholders along the food chain can incorporate in their operations to help in ensuring they have an effective system that provides safe foods for consumers.

Its launch coincided with Jamaica’s celebration of World Quality Day, under the theme ‘Creating Customer Value’.

In his address, Mr Shaw said the Standard marked another strategic step by the NCBJ to galvanise the potential of local producers towards improving their capacity while fortifying Jamaica’s ability to protect its citizens and enhance the country’s position in the global marketplace.

He noted, however, that despite advances in food manufacturing and production, food safety remains a “significant concern”.

The Minister said the 2018 World Bank Report on the economic challenges of food-borne diseases indicates that total associated productivity lost in low- and middle-income countries, like Jamaica, is estimated at US$95 billion per annum.

Additionally, he said the Report showed that the annual cost for treating illnesses resulting from food-borne diseases is an estimated US$15 billion.

“In light of this, it behoves us to ensure that we are operating in line with international best practices that will improve our overall performance and promote international trade,” Mr. Shaw emphasised.

The Minister said he is pleased that the Standard’s provisions and benefits will position local producers to reduce incidents of food safety breaches and the associated costs; establish consistency in providing food-related products and services that are safe and meet regulatory requirements; and improve consumer-supplier-regulator confidence and relationships, among other out-turns.

November 18, 2020. Written by Douglas McIntosh. Photo, JIS Photographer.