Minister of Commerce, Senator Lynette Eastmond (far left) in conversation with Anthea Ishmael Director (Ag) BNSI, Eduardo Campos de Sâo Thiago and Folke Hermanson Snickars of ISO

Government is endeavouring to strengthen the National Standards System, through, among other things, a more vigorous enforcement effort.

This was disclosed today by Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development, Senator Lynette Eastmond as she addressed the opening ceremony of the Barbados National Standards Institution and the International Organisation for Standardisation meeting at Accra hotel.

The two-day event is seeking to raise awareness about the process currently underway  to produce an International Standard on Social Responsibility.

Senator Eastmond told the audience that “A major thrust has been mounted to educate the public as well as the business community concerning the provisions of existing standards, especially those which are being implemented as compulsory standards.”

The minister noted that there were 46 such standards and government was cognizant of their importance in facilitating trade, economic development as well as protecting the health and safety of consumers. However, she added, the exercise of getting manufacturers to comply was proving to be a challenge.

“Our inspectors continue to encounter difficulty in getting traders to comply with the provisions of some of these standards. They continue to encounter breaches of the legislation in areas such as: Labels not showing the country of manufacture of the product; not stating information in English; not showing the ingredients of the product; and expiry dates not being shown for food products”.

Senator Eastmond made an appeal to those involved in the manufacturing sector, especially the manufacturers of food products, as well as those involved in the import trade to “familiarise themselves with the provisions of relevant standards so that they could comply with the requirements and help to protect the health and safety of our people”.

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