The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), is on course to develop 20 standards to guide the operations of the small business sectors throughout the Caribbean.??????????

Word of this has come from Chairman of CROSQ, Deryck Omar, while giving an update about the organisation’s achievements in building-up a quality infrastructure for the region. He was addressing the opening ceremony of its 15th Annual Council Meeting at the Savannah Hotel, last Tuesday night.

According to Mr. Omar: "The development of these 20 standards would document what are the best practices in the Caribbean in the development of some of our local products, which people can then take and use as a formula to build each product on a large scale for export in the international arena."

He also disclosed that CROSQ was in the act of reviewing the procedures for standards development from a "process oriented approach to a project approach", that would see the creation of standards in a shorter time frame.

"It is very important for us to find a methodology to produce standards faster in the region, so that when our manufacturers build their products to these standards, there would be no more barriers to trade when they try to export their products," the official explained.

He further stated: "In the area of standards development, CARICOM has recently approved the same standards that dealt with rum and brewery products, as well as the trading of poultry products."

Meanwhile, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Division of Trade, Industry and Commerce, Ernesta Drakes, who delivered an address on behalf of the Minister of Economic Affaris, Dr. David Estwick, praised CROSQ on its work to sensitise the region about maintaining standards.

Citing the implementation of development projects by CROSQ as a key element of government’s Modernisation of the Barbados National Standards System Project, she said CROSQ’s current developmental thrust would "help consolidate key expertise within the Barbados National Standards Institution and strengthen its capacity to respond to the needs of the national stake holders".

Ms. Drakes opined: "CROSQ has a pivotal role to play in the process of realigning itself, widening its scope of operation and developing its capacity to help regional businesses move from a strategy of price competitiveness to one of quality competitiveness."

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