Assistance for Caribbean Food Exporters

The Caribbean Export Development Agency has launched a special assistance program to provide grant support to firms exporting food products to the United States. See excerpts with a link to the full article below:

This new facility is in line with the agency’s efforts to ensure that firms within Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region are able to meet the requirements of the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) as well as other global food safety regulations. Companies will be able to access up to €5,000 to conduct gap audits as they prepare to meet the regulations and the increased inspections to be carried out under the new Act by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), commencing in January, 2012.

Speaking at the launch held on Wednesday in New Kingston, senior advisor, market intelligence, Caribbean Export, David Gomez, informed that the entity will benefit food producers and exporters across the CARIFORUM region (CARICOM and the Dominican Republic) and is intended to complement other initiatives being undertaken at the national and regional levels.

Gomez noted that, while the facility is being rolled out in Jamaica initially, it is available to the entire region “and we hope to be able to provide diagnostics for between 20 and 40 companies here and then, given what the numbers are across the region, hopefully we can increase that.”

[. . .] President of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), Vitus Evans, said that while the implementation of the Act will directly impact the country as close to 50 percent of Jamaica’s non-traditional food exports go to the US market, he pointed out that there are positives to be derived, as implementing compliance systems will enhance competitiveness and market access globally.

[. . .] Established in 1996 by an inter-governmental agreement as the trade promotion agency of the 15 member states of CARIFORUM, Caribbean Export has the mission to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality trade and investment development and promotion services through effective programme execution and strategic partnerships. Based in Barbados, it is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.

For full article, see http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-New-assistance-for-Caribbean-food-exporters-8496.html

Photo of Vitus Evans from http://gallery.jamaica-gleaner.com/gallery/jamaica-expo-contribution/DGP_0018.jpg.php

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