Several participants have completed the first phase of HACCP Training hosted by the Ministry of Climate Resilience, the Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Disaster Management and Information in partnership with the Ridge to Reef Grenada Project.
According to Minister Alvin Da Breo, “building capacity by having the participants trained in HACCP will ensure that consumers of products from Grenada can gain even more confidence in our products. This will also facilitate us here in Grenada as we continue to export to the US and other major markets.”
Built on the foundation of effective prerequisite programmes such as training, pest control and sanitation, HACCP applies control measures to prevent, eliminate, or reduce significant hazards to an acceptable level.
Rudo Udika, Ridge to Reef Project Coordinator, indicates that “HACCP is an internationally important standard for food-producing businesses in the export market.” Udika further suggests that HACCP training provides an effective avenue for Grenada to propel in the export market, as it increases marketability and accountability. She also indicates that a lack of HACCP certification could constitute non-tariff barriers to exports.
The need to have a well-developed food quality control system for export is crucially important for Grenada. Some of the benefits of such export control systems include to:
- Minimise impediments to trade by reducing the time for inspection and testing at the importing end.
- Minimise and even eliminate rejection or non-compliance at the point of import.
- Avoid duplication of inspection, sampling and tests at the exporting and importing ends and lead to usage of collective resources more efficiently and effectively.
- Be financially more effective, as cost of recall, cost of testing at importing end and cost of destruction of consignments is minimised.
- Take care of variation in quality due to production by small farmers, fishermen or enterprises.
- Help in building up the image of the country, as it ensures that inferior quality products are not exported by unscrupulous one-time or fly-by-night operators. Such problems can be minimised with mandatory export certification.
- Enable official inspection/health certificates to be given as the same are often required by the buyers.
- Help in Capacity Building in a country with respect to product as well as systems. With a mandatory export certification system, the country identifies the weaknesses and focuses on correcting these.
- Facilitate negotiating Agreements/MOUs for recognition of food control systems and certification by the importing country.
- Provide protection to the consumer of the importing country as the broad objective of the exporting country is to ensure that requirements of the importing country are met.
- Facilitate implementation of various forms of voluntary certification which address the entire chain from farm to table. This is simplified as a major part of the total chain, namely processing is already covered and only additional areas such as those at farm level need to be certified.
HACCP is the internationally recognised risk-based system for managing food safety. It provides the general principles of food hygiene from primary production through final consumption, highlighting key hygiene controls at each stage.
Through initiatives such as the recently conducted HACCP Training Workshop, the Ridge to Reef Project is working with the Government of Grenada to support capacity building to effectively implement measures for sustainable livelihoods; aiding in the drive to enhance biodiversity and sustain ecosystems.
Ministry of Climate Resilience