SEPTEMBER 04th, 2004


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Over seventy (70) manufacturers attended a seminar on Packaging and Labelling for the Local, Regional and International Markets which was held last week in order to accommodate the large amount of participants registered.

The seminar was organised by the Grenada Bureau of Standards and sponsored by the Organisation of American States and the Government of Grenada through the Ministry of Finance as part of an Export Promotion and Economic Integration Project.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sally-Anne Baghwan-Logie of the Ministry of Finance stressed that the Export Development and Trade Integration Project was prepared to address some of the problems faced by exporters in respect to packaging, labelling and product development and to address the issue of competitiveness.

Simeon Collins, Director of the Bureau of Standards indicated that the Bureau of Standards had come to realize that many local small and medium sized enterprises lack the necessary information to guide their choices in packaging and labelling. He said that the result, in most cases, was poor packaging and labelling that reduces the market value of their products.

There was an urgent need, he added to improve these characteristics if Grenadian manufacturers are to compete effectively on the domestic market and explore regional and international market opportunities that would become available with the coming into effect of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in 2005.

In delivering the feature address, Fitzroy James, General Manager of the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), said that producers, manufacturers, exporters, importers and consumers of packaged foodstuff must all become familiar with the requirements for proper packaging and labelling both at the national level as well as in the international market place in order to ensure that their interest are adequately protected and products conform to those requirements.

According to James, the Marketing Board was in the process of developing its capacity to provide a clearing house facility to promote the export of local agri-based manufactured products to international markets.

He said the objective was to offer the widest range of Grenadian products under an umbrella national brand targeted at an international audience. "This initiative requires the development of a universal brand or label for these products and the development of proper labelling in line with market requirements", he added.

The Chief facilitator for the seminar was Taufeek Ali, Managing Director of Packaging Center Ltd., Trinidad. During the workshop participants were exposed to the functions that packaging play including protection of the products, shelf life extension, maintenance of product quality and promotion of the product.

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