The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) held a public consultation on the Draft Caricom Standard “Labelling of Foods Specification” on Thursday with food importers, manufacturers and other individuals and groups that deal directly with food and food packaging in Region 2.
The public consultation was held in the Regional Board room, Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast and was aimed at improving the local packaging.
The event was an interactive one which saw Technical Officer of the Caricom Standard Bureau, Andrea Mendonca explaining in detail the draft on packaging after which recommendations were presented from audience members.
These recommendations are expected to be forwarded to two local representatives of Caricom.
Local producer, Vilma Da Silva who produces bottled coconut water from the Pomeroon said that while a regional standard is good we have to be very careful with our competitors from other Caricom countries.
She said that presently she is exporting coconut water to a sister Caricom state which is also supplying the labels which lack information of the country of origin of her products.
As such, she suggested that the matter be addressed by the Caricom representatives.
Also in attendance were representatives of the Original Juice Centre in Charity /Pomeroon which is the largest producer in the Region of local fruit juices, Pomeroon Oil Mill, producer of the Golden Brook Pure Vegetable Oil, Rice Millers and exporters of white and parboiled rice among others.
The consultation was welcomed by the business community representatives who expressed hope that the concerns raised will be seriously looked at so as to bring a level playing field among the competitors in the region.