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Tuesday, 08 September 2015 14:34

VIDEO: Safe Seafood from the Caribbean

 

VIDEO: Safe Seafood from the Caribbean

A short film on the work of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) to upgrade food safety standards for fish and seafood from CARIFORUM nations [Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Dominican Republic] in a bid to access export markets and guarantee safer seafood to Caribbean consumers; from national consultations and a regional validation workshop in mid-2015.

TAKING PART:

  • Milton Haughton -  Executive Director, CRFM
  • James Nicholas - Southern Fishermen Association, Grenada
  • Dr. George Grant - Veterinary Expert, Jamaica
  • Jeannette Mateo - Head of FIsheries, Dominican Republic
  • Chris Hedley - Legal Expert, UK

DURATION: 6'30"

FORMAT: MP4 1280 x 720 NTSC

  • The video is freely available for re-broadcast/online distribution/embedding via the CRFM's Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/uEZ2cfHfeL8 OR

BROADCASTERS: Please notify re-broadcast with suggested transmission date and time by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Published in Press release

 

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 25 August 2015, (CRFM) – Industry figures and government officials from across the Caribbean fishing industry Tuesday wrapped up two days of talks here acknowledging they were at the very early stages of introducing a new regime for safe seafood for local and international consumption.

The two-day meeting is part of a European Union-funded project to help CARIFORUM countries introduce laws, regulations and a governance system to guarantee safe seafood for export to EU markets and beyond.

The project, which is being carried out by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and supported by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), aims to ramp up food safety standards to enable CARIFORUM fish exporters to take up trading opportunities under the EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Milton Haughton

Milton Haughton, Executive Director, Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism

“Developed countries – the EU, United States, Canada … all have standards that you must meet in order to export to their market,” said Milton Haughton, CRFM executive director. “In our countries we may not meet all those standards currently and so we want to put in place the systems which are quite complicated to be able to enter those markets to satisfy their requirements so that our products can be exported.”

The EU is requiring exporting nations put enforceable legislation in place in each country to govern SPS standards. 

“The experts here (were) discussing the regulations, the human resources (and) the institutional arrangements that are required to monitor, evaluate (and) test for various pathogens, and to ensure that we do have a good system in place that meets with international best practice.” Haughton said.

So far, compliance with globally established standards in the region is voluntary – a worrisome development that experts say is stopping member states from tapping into niche markets overseas and boosting foreign exchange earnings.

A two-month long assessment by international consultants has exposed large gaps in legally binding protocols managing food safety throughout the region.

The meeting discussed how to introduce a region-wide set of food safety and environmental safeguards which were presented for review by a team of legal and scientific consultants who moved through the region assessing the state of industry over the last two months.

As they travelled through CARIFORUM group of nations – the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic -a team of consultants from Jamaica, Britain and Iceland inspected processing plants, cold storage facilities and testing laboratories.

The CRFM head expressed the hope that adopting SPS measures region-wide could also have spinoff benefits for local consumers.

“It’s not only about exporting and earning exchange; it’s also ensuring that our people have healthy and safe fish and seafood to eat,” he added. “Given the challenges that we have in this region for economic development, employment and earning foreign exchange, we have to make use of all the resources that we have including ensuring that we can get good prices for our fish and also have safe fish and seafood for our own people.”

Belize, one of the region’s leading fish and seafood exporters, is hoping to learn from other CARIFORUM countries represented at the meeting while offering to sharing information with smaller exporting nations that would help improve food safety standards.

Delilah Cabb Ayala

Delilah Cabb Ayala, SPS Coordinator, Belize Agricultural Health Authority

“For the first time, we’re having a forum where we could start discussing (SPS) issues as a region,” said Delilah Cabb Ayala, SPS Coordinator for the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). “Each country has been looking at their own legislation, trying to ensure that they make the necessary amendments, just to be able to have access to the EU and the other trading partners with which we are currently trading.”

Last year, Belize exported an estimated 44 million US dollars in shrimp alone from total exports worth 64 million US dollars.

Cabb Ayala said the regional effort to harmonise SPS rules across CARIFORUM will be a “lengthy process” but with nations such as Belize ahead of others, she is hoping that proposals will emerge that "take into account all the different levels that we are dealing with within the region."

She continued: “(This) meeting to ensure that we have harmonised procedures is a good thing. Additionally, it allows for technical experts to bring to the fore their current situations, and at that level try to come up with proposals that can actually be implemented at the national levels."

“We could learn from other countries.  In the discussions, I said I will be sharing some information that we are implementing in Belize. So countries could look at our proposal and if it is for them adaptable, they could readily move with that.”

The two-day meeting posed questions regarding primary and secondary legislation, including coming food safety laws and protocols, processes for appeals, and procedures for licensing, export and controls.

The meeting considered strategic priorities at the national and regional level and began discussions on a governance structure for food safety and fisheries. The officials also considered how to integrate their work into the development of the fledgling Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA) based in Suriname and the progress towards the setting up of national health and food safety authorities. 

 

Published in Press release
Published in EU - EPA SPS Project
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 12:46

SPS Fact Sheet #2

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jul 30, (CRFM) – The Caribbean region's ability to cash in on a potentially lucrative, international export trade in fish and seafood is being held back by huge gaps in measures to protect food safety and animal health, experts say.

But the experts, who are investigating food handling policies in CARIFORUM countries, are set to propose a new regime for sanitary and phytosanitary – SPS – measures in CARIFORUM states.

Since starting their work in April, Jamaican SPS expert Dr. George Grant, international legal consultant Chris Hedley of the United Kingdom and experts from the renown Icelandic food safety agency, Matis Ltd., have discovered that in most instances compliance with globally established standards are voluntary – a worrisome development they say that stops member states from tapping into
niche markets overseas and boosting foreign exchange earnings.

There are also either no legally binding protocols managing food safety throughout the region or where they are practised they are disorganised and informal, say the experts.

"It's the prerogative of the government, or the official, competent authority to develop a system whereby the food safety measures can be validated, inspected and can be regulated," Dr Grant says.

In two months of national consultations on SPS measures sponsored by the European Union in a number of CARIFORUM nations, Dr. Grant said there are no documented and transparent protocols for ensuring safe food handling and monitoring food processes.

Several Caribbean nations are yet to include these standards in their national regulatory system, something that has long been mandatory in many of the developed nations to which regional fisheries and food industries might seek to export.

But the CRFM supported by a team of Seafood safety experts, veterinary expert and lawyer is developing a region-wide set of food safety and environmental safeguards which they hope to unveil for adoption in late August.

"The set of protocols we are developing is to have them formally presented and documented so that countries can use them as guides to developing their own particular protocols and practices," Dr. Grant says.

As they travelled through Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states and the Dominican Republic which make up the CARIFORUM group of nations, the team assessed benchmarks for food safety in individual countries.

The news of the progress towards SPS compliance is encouraging. The experts note that most fish processors have implemented the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) standard for fish and fish product exports.

But as the Caribbean fishing industry and food makers seek to take advantage of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to gain access to markets in European Union, there is an extra layer of requirements based on official controls.

The EU is requiring that exporting nations put enforceable legislation in place in each country to govern the SPS standards.

Through an EU-funded project, implemented by the CRFM and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), the team is hoping to establish a uniformed set of procedures across the industry.

"The question of where to draw the level in terms of how strictly you regulate food
safety is really very much a national policy decision," Hedley says.

He cautioned that the process can be complicated, costly and potentially counter- productive: "We don't want to over-regulate and sort of crack a nut with a sledgehammer, if there are not substantial food safety problems.

"The more you regulate food safety and the stricter and more you demand in terms of that side of regulation, the more expensive products become, the less people are able to meet those requirements and they may be forced out of the business."

The aim, the legal expert says, is to step up protection measures, level the playing field, manage the risks involved in food protection and facilitate trade across the Caribbean and internationally.

"There is no end point to that, it's not like there is a single target we're going to aim for and then that's it - we can rest on our laurels. New challenges [are] arising all the time. It is a continual process of improvement," Hedley adds.

Yet, compliance is critical to the effectiveness of the new standards.

"[The EU] want to make sure that the legislation is properly in place in the country, that these requirements are not just voluntary but with specific legal requirements to implement these food safety procedures and that there are penalties in terms of not complying with them. So the businesses that don't comply with them can be taken out of the licensing process."

SPS legislation will need to be backed up by a system of government checks, controls and monitoring systems, says the SPS legal expert.

As the two-man legal team sifted through the paperwork – or lack of it – among Caribbean fisheries processors and exporters, another team of environmental monitors has been travelling the region, inspecting processing plants, cold storage facilities, testing laboratories and aquaculture facilities.

But the experts are anxious that the drive towards SPS compliance is not seen solely as jumping necessary hoops in the export trade. Hedley suggests that even if the region becomes compliant there is still no guarantee there would be an appetite for their goods in the EU. For Grant, another, often overlooked beneficiary is the Caribbean consumer who can rely more safely on wholesome food from the sea.

Fisheries managers, officials, scientists are expected to meet in Barbados on August
24 and 25 to pore over technical documents the SPS experts will produce, and their recommendations.

Hedley describes it as tool kit or resource paper which can be taken forward.

"This is a technical assistance project providing technical documents; actually they have to be developed in the real world politics and law and national sovereignty and go through the proper processes at the national levels and at the regional levels."

 

Published in Press release

Information to Vendors

1. Introduction

1.1 Vendors are invited to submit a Technical and a Financial Proposal, for services required for the development and maintenance of a website for the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA). The proposal will be the basis for a contract with the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency.

1.2 The assignment shall be implemented in accordance with the scope outlined in the Terms of Reference. Please note that: (i) the costs of preparing the proposals are not reimbursable as a direct cost of the assignment; and (ii) CAHFSA is not bound to accept any of the proposals submitted.

1.3 CAHFSA’s policy requires that vendors provide professional, objective, impartial advice and at all times hold CAHFSA’s interests paramount, without any consideration for future work, and strictly avoid conflicts with other assignments or their own corporate interests. Vendors shall not be hired for any assignment that would be in conflict with their prior or current obligations to other clients, or that may place them in a position of not being able to carry out the assignment in the best interest of CAHFSA.

2. Preparation of Technical and Financial Proposals

2.1 Vendors are requested to submit two separate proposals using Standard English – a Technical Proposal and a Financial Proposal.

2.2 In preparing the Proposals, vendors are expected to examine the information constituting this Expression of Interest (EOI) in detail. Material deficiencies in providing the information requested may result in rejection of a proposal.

2.3 While preparing the Technical and Financial Proposals, vendors must give particular attention to the following:

(i) If a vendor considers that it does not have all the expertise for the assignment, it may obtain a full range of expertise by associating with individual vendors(s) and/or other firms or entities in a joint venture or sub-consultancy, as appropriate.

2.4 The Technical Proposal shall provide the following information:

(i) A brief description of the vendor’s recent experience on comparable assignments

(ii) A detailed description of services and work plan/schedule for performing the assignment

(iii) Recent CVs of principal/key staff member (s)

(iv) A detailed description of the proposed methodology

2.5 The Financial Proposal should list all costs associated with the assignment. If appropriate, these costs should be broken down by activity.

3. Submission, Receipt, and Opening of Proposals

3.1 The completed Technical and Financial Proposals must be sent as PDF files via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and copied to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , with the subject heading of “Website Development and Maintenance - CAHFSA”. The deadline for receipt is 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Caribbean Time) on Friday 15th May, 2015. Submissions will not be considered unless all the elements identified above are received by the stipulated deadline.

4. Proposal Evaluation

4.1 An evaluation team will evaluate the proposals on the basis of their responsiveness to the Terms of Reference.

4.2 After the evaluation of quality is completed, CAHFSA shall notify those vendors whose proposals did not meet the minimum qualifying mark or were considered non-responsive to the EOI and Terms of Reference.

4.3 The successful vendor selected will undertake discussions with a team from CAHFSA pertaining to the Technical and Financial Proposals and the proposed methodology (work plan).

5. Award of Contract

5.1 The contract will be awarded following discussions.

5.2 The vendor is expected to commence the assignment on the date specified in the schedule.

6. Confidentiality

6.1 Information relating to evaluation of proposals and recommendations concerning awards shall not be disclosed to the vendors who submitted the proposals or to other persons not officially concerned with the process, until the successful vendor has been notified that it has been awarded the contract.

 

Kindly see attachment for more information about this call for expression of interest: Website Development and Maintenance of the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA)

Published in EU - EPA SPS Project

Information to Vendors

1. Introduction

1.1 Vendors are invited to submit a Technical and a Financial Proposal, for services required for the development and maintenance of a website for the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures Project. The proposal will be the basis for a contract with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

1.2 The assignment shall be implemented in accordance with the scope outlined in the Terms of Reference. Please note that: (i) the costs of preparing the proposals are not reimbursable as a direct cost of the assignment; and (ii) IICA is not bound to accept any of the proposals submitted.

1.3 IICA’s policy requires that vendors provide professional, objective, impartial advice and at all times, hold IICA’s interests paramount without any consideration for future work, and strictly avoid conflicts with other assignments or their own corporate interests. Vendors shall not be hired for any assignment that would be in conflict with their prior or current obligations to other clients, or that may place them in a position of not being able to carry out the assignment in the best interest of IICA.

2. Preparation of Technical and Financial Proposals

2.1 Vendors are requested to submit two separate proposals using Standard English – a Technical Proposal and a Financial Proposal.

2.2 In preparing the Proposals, vendors are expected to examine the information constituting this Expression of Interest (EOI) in detail. Material deficiencies in providing the information requested may result in rejection of a proposal.

2.3 While preparing the Technical and Financial Proposals, vendors must give particular attention to the following:

(i) If a vendor considers that it does not have all the expertise for the assignment, it may obtain a full range of expertise by associating with individual vendor (s) and/or other firms or entities in a joint venture or sub-consultancy, as appropriate.

2.4 The Technical Proposal shall provide the following information:

(i) A brief description of the vendor’s recent experience on comparable assignments

(ii) A detailed description of services and work plan/schedule for performing the assignment

(iii) Recent CVs of principal/key staff member (s)

(iv) A detailed description of the proposed methodology

2.5 The Financial Proposal should list all costs associated with the assignment. If appropriate, these costs should be broken down by activity.

3. Submission, Receipt, and Opening of Proposals

3.1 The completed Technical and Financial Proposals must be sent as PDF files via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and copied to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; with the subject heading of “Website Development and Maintenance - 10th EDF SPS Measures Project”. The deadline for receipt is 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Caribbean Time) on Friday 15th May, 2015. Submissions will not be considered unless all the elements identified above are received by the stipulated deadline.

4. Proposal Evaluation

4.1 A team will evaluate the proposals on the basis of their responsiveness to the Terms of Reference.

4.2 After the evaluation of quality is completed, IICA shall notify those vendors whose proposals did not meet the minimum qualifying criteria or were considered non-responsive to the EOI and Terms of Reference.

4.3 The successful vendor selected will undertake discussions with the SPS Project team, pertaining to the Technical and Financial Proposals and the proposed methodology (work plan).

5. Award of Contract

5.1 The contract will be awarded following discussions.

5.2 The vendor is expected to commence the assignment on the date specified in the schedule.

6. Confidentiality

6.1 Information relating to evaluation of proposals and recommendations concerning awards shall not be disclosed to the vendors who submitted the proposals or to other persons not officially concerned with the process, until the successful vendor has been notified that it has been awarded the contract.

 

Kindly see attachment for more information about this call for expression of interest: Website Development and Maintenance of the 10th EDF Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures Project

Published in EU - EPA SPS Project
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:34

SPS Project Document

Date  Author  Title
2017 Dr. Andre Gordon Accessing International Markets - Challenges & Opportunities from a Caribbean Perspective (Presentation prepared for 10th EDF SPS Project - Final Conference and Symposium, 23 February 2017, Barbados)
2017 Basil Mathioudakis Overview of EU Food Regulations and Imported Requirements (Presentation)
2017 Brian Bedard An Overview - Market Requirements (presentation)
2017 Ian Goulding Cost  Benefit Analysis & Impact of Compliance and Non-compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitary requirement for CARIFORUM Countries - (Presentation)
2017 Ian McDonnel The Impact of Private Standard on CARIFORUM Countries - Final Report (Presentation)
 2017 IICA  Cost  Benefit Analysis & Impact of Compliance and Non-compliance with Sanitary and Phytosanitary requirement for CARIFORUM Countries - Final Report
 2017  IICA Pest Management Operators Training Manual
2017 IICA  Study on Impact of Private Standards on CARIFORUM Countries - Final Report
 2017 IICA  WTO Agreement on the Application of SPS Measures (Flyer)
2017 IICA Agricultural Health & Foo Safety (AHFS) (Flyer)
2017 IICA  SPS Infographic
 2017 IICA  Final Technical Report - Capacity Building of regulatory and industry stakeholders in Aquaculture and Fisheries Health and Food Safety to meet the SPS requirements of international trade
 2016 CRFM  Report of the Training Course on SPS in Fisheries and Aquaculture
 2016 CRFM  Extension of Deadline - Call for Expression of Interest (EOI): Capacity Building of stakeholders in Aquaculture &Fisheries Health and Food Safety for international trade
 2016  CRFM Extension of Deadline - Call for Expression of Interest (EOI): Call for Expression of Interest (EOI): Support to promote adoption of comprehensive legislation for health & food safety of fisheries & aquaculture in the Caribbean
2015 CRFM Final Technical Report - Tecnical Support to develop National and Regional environmental monitoring programmes related to SPS for fishery and aquaculture products in CARIFORUM States. CRFM Technical and Advisory Document 2015 / 06.
2015 CRFM  Final Technical Report - Technical Support to develop model legislation, protocols, guidelines for health and food safety related to fisheries and aquaculture in CARIFORUM States. CRFM Technica l and Advisory Document 2015/07.
 2015 CRFM  Report of the Regional Validation Workshop for the Fisheries Component of the 10th EDF Sanitary and Phytosantitary Measures project. CRFM Technical and and Advisory Document 2015 / 8.
2015 CRFM CRFM SPS Legislative and Environmental Monitoring Media CoverageCRFM Administrative Report.
2015 CRFM CRFM Feature: Caribbean Fishing Industry moves to close food safety gaps, expand markets
2015 CRFM SPS Fact Sheet # 2
2015 CRFM How to Handle... Safe Seafood Standards
2014 CRFM
SPS Programme : Positioning CARIFORUM to Fish Where the Big Fish Are
2013 CRFM SPS Project Document- Description of the Action
Published in EU - EPA SPS Project

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