The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Forestry is anticipating the provision of improved quality of meats, as well as increased varieties of cuts, having commissioned the refurbished St George’s Meat Market on Thursday.
The refurbishment of the facility and replacement of equipment are expected to contribute to enhanced operation and facilitate the sale and distribution of meat and meat products from a healthier, safer, and more comfortable environment for both butchers and members of the public.
Approximately $400,000 was spent to retrofit the existing building. Emphasis was also placed on enhancing the capacity of butchers to ensure that they can operate according to standards of international Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). This initiative, according to Minister for Agriculture Hon. Peter David augurs well for improved quality from the farm to the table, as well as the number of animals that can be reared for meat purposes.
He said, “We are committed to improving the stock of cattle, small ruminants and pigs here; we are also ensuring that while we accomplish that, we pay attention to the quality from the farm to the table with this approach.”
The refurbishment, he added is, “to ensure that any citizen or visitor who comes to the facility can have a sense of comfort – that is a first-world facility – and they can purchase their meats with confidence that they are handled in a manner that meets all food handling protocols.”
Minister David was delivering remarks during a ceremony to commission the state-of-the-art building, on Melville Street, St George’s.
Chief Environmental Health Officer, Andre Worme, highlighted the collaboration among the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, and Infrastructure Development, acknowledging that one department cannot solve all the challenges. According to Worme, “We have a sizeable amount of meat being sold in Grenada and it is imperative that we have proper facilities for the sale of this meat.”
Richard Mc Phail, representative of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, said that the livestock sector’s contribution to food and nutrition security is significant and has a positive impact on livelihoods. “It was a very long journey to get to this point, a lot of effort by our engineers, so we want to wish the butchers the best in going forward. Moving now to a more comfortable facility, we trust that they will have sales as more people will be coming here,” he remarked.
The new facility is expected to operate at optimal standards, with the inclusion of proper refrigeration and storage facilities for unsold meat, to prevent wastage.
The civil works included the creation of office space, locker and cold storage facilities for butchers and meats, selling stalls, and improved drainage that included the installation of wastewater and waste distribution systems.
As part of the enhancement initiative, butchers were registered with the Ministry of Health in accordance with the Environmental Health requirements for food handling to guarantee the safety of meat products and the public.
The refurbishment of the facility, as well as the capacity building of butchers were undertakings high on the agenda for the Ministry in 2022, the year declared as one for implementation and transformational projects that are expected to ensure food and nutrition security for all.