The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) seeks to have more accredited laboratory testing facilities conforming to international standards as part of the agency’s strategic plan for the next five years.
Local manufacturers are set to benefit from more accredited laboratories shortly. Products prepared for export will be tested and accompanied by certificates enabling their acceptance on the international market.
Head of GNBS’ Conformity Department, Candelle Walcott-Bostwick in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA) explained that “Quite recently we would have received notification that the US/FDA will be enforcing certain requirements where local manufacturers involved in food manufacturing will have a HACCP system in place and the laboratories that they use for testing must be accredited. HACCP is the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system that allows a food manufacturer to identify the risk or the areas of contamination while involved in the manufacturing process from start to the end.”
According to the US food and Drug Administration (US/FDA) website, HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.
These local testing facilities will serve as certification and inspection bodies, accredited and meeting the requirements of an international standard. The GNBS has set goals for the next five years to stress the need for standards to be embraced in the business environment, benefitting both the manufacturer and consumer.
The primary goals of the GNBS will see a more effective and easier course of fulfilling its duties captioned in its mission and vision. Walcott-Bostwick noted that, “GNBS, our primary goals really set out to show how we first work with consumers, with industry and stakeholders, communicating with them the benefits and the role of the GNBS.”
The GNBS recently finalised five-year strategic plan provides the opportunity for stakeholders to embrace standards since standards add value to the quality of life.
The agency is also working towards building quality infrastructure to support trade, inspection and certification bodies.