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Jamaica: Agriculture minister reiterates food security importanceWednesday, July 22, 2015 > 09:13:52
AGRICULTURE Minister Derrick Kellier has underscored the importance of food safety, as the Government seeks to reduce the imbalance between imports and exports.
Kellier said that the ministry recognises that the country's ability to trade and provide quality nutritious and safe foods depends on improving sanitary standards all along the value chain from production to the consumer.
The minister was speaking at the launch of the publication: Food Safety and Quality Systems in Developing Countries, Volume 1: Export Challenges and Implementation Strategies for Food Safety, at the Jamaica Exporters' Association (JEA) on Winchester Road, in Kingston, on Wednesday.
Kellier said the country has a very active food safety programme, informed by the country's Food Safety Policy and the National Plant Health Policy and Implementation Plan.
Added to those, the National Emergency Pest Committee, National Plant Health Board and Plant Health Coordinating Committee have all been actively engaged in the implementation of a safe foods programme.
Commenting on his publication, author, managing director of Technological Solutions Limited, Dr André Gordon, said his book considers both the theoretical and practical aspects of food safety and quality implementation by major world markets and new and emerging markets in developing countries.
The book also sheds light on the reintroduction of Jamaican ackees into the market.
Meanwhile, Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton said the book serves as a manual for industry and will prove to be an invaluable tool for practitioners and the export community at large.
"It offers practical solutions to urgent challenges confronting our country as we seek to implement an export-led strategy," the minister said.
The publication, which is the first in a three-part series, has as its target audience a number of persons, including: food safety practitioners, regulators around the world, trade practitioners, international trade lawyers, and food science and agriculture students.