A government official has advised the small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to bring the quality of their commodities in line with international standards.

Chief Technical Officer (Laboratory Services) at the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), Haydn Rhynd, made this call recently, while addressing a business support organisation seminar on Standards and Conformity Assessment for SMEs at the Warrens Office Complex. It was sponsored by the BNSI and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality.??

Mr. Rhynd lamented the fact that some businesses were still oblivious to international standards as they related to the preservation and presentation of goods for export.

"The SMEs and business support organisations have to recognise that we need to be at an international level of competitiveness… We are no longer competing only with our local goods and this paradigm shift has to take place," he emphasised.??

The official noted that BNSI’s stepped-up educational campaign was a critical element in this shift and cautioned that SMEs should employ other methods to improve their competitiveness.

Mr. Rhynd urged the SMEs to find alternative uses for those products that did not conform to the export standards. "Don’t use standards as a hindrance where you have to throw away your products. We are encouraging you to be creative, by finding alternative uses for those goods that cannot be exported."

He also suggested that courses in standards and standardisation should be included in the school curriculum at the primary level. "Standards should be indoctrinated into the school system from an early age. Who said that persons should only start hearing about standards at the tertiary level?" Mr. Rhynd queried.


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