There are 34 standards currently being developed by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) under an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB/MIF) funded project arrangement. They will cover a range of areas including gold jewellery, wooden furniture and botanical cosmetics.

Chief Technical Officer (Specifications) at the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI), Fabian Scott, said these standards were necessary to ensure that Barbadian goods were of a high quality when exported.

He made these observations yesterday while addressing the BNSI/CROSQ sponsored small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) business support organisation seminar on Standards and Conformity Assessment, in the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.

Mr. Scott also revealed that standards outlining the specifications for packaged natural coconut water; wooden furniture; fruit and vegetable juices; fruit nectars; spices and sauces were also being formulated by CROSQ.

To create greater efficiencies in the business sector, he said a Good Management Practices Standard for SMEs (9001,14000 OSH) was also in the works.

In highlighting the benefits of applying standards to the operations of small, micro and medium-sized sectors, Mr. Scott indicated: "Standards are not only a necessary business tool; they also assist managers to improve the competitiveness of their businesses, which ultimately, would lead to economic growth for their respective countries."

Meanwhile, Project Manager at CROSQ, Dr. Michael Seepersaud, lamented the fact that there were too many SMEs which were oblivious to the standards that had been developed over the years, and those currently being developed to improve the competitiveness of their businesses.

To correct this deficiency, he disclosed that CROSQ, in collaboration with the BNSI and other standards bodies in the region, would step-up its educational awareness campaign about the importance of Technical Standards among SMEs in the public and private sectors.????

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