Products must meet certain criteria in order to ensure that it is fit and safe for consumption. Accreditation is one of the components in arriving at that objective. World Accreditation Day is observed annually on June 9 to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation. Today, the Belize Bureau of Standards is commemorating World Accreditation Day under the theme “Accreditation delivering a safer world”. Love News was there and spoke with Rodolph Guitierrez, the Consumer Protection Liaison Officer, at the Belize Bureau of Standards.
Rodolph Guitierrez – Consumer Protection Liaison Officer, Belize Bureau of Standards: “Each product and service that is out there’re have to be fit for purpose, have to be fit for consumption, fit against causing any harm to consumers out there and fit not to cause any impact on the environment so in that case all products and services need to abide by certain standard so what actually is happening is that once you have that then you have confirmation bodies that normally should have the competence to be able to ensure that these products and services are abiding by the particular standard. So accreditation actually means ensuring that these confirmation bodies that are out there to check the requirements and the standards actually have the capacity and the know how to be able to do this job.”
A number of stakeholders are attending the workshop including representatives from the Citrus Growers Association and BAHA. Citrus Growers Association was recently accredited. Love News spoke to Henry Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of the Citrus Growers Association, who said that accreditation is essential in order to facilitate trade.
Henry Anderson – CEO, Citrus Growers Association: “The accreditation is very important because it facilitates trade and it allows the industry to be on the International World Map if you will, in the global marketplace. We have a Plant Pathology Diagnostic Lab and that lab supports what we call a Belize Citrus Certification Program which in short means that any time you’re bringing new plant material, meaning new citrus varieties into the country there is a law with regulations that stipulates the things that you have to do to prevent what you call Graph Transmissible Diseases. Now our Plant Pathology Diagnostic Lab is the first and only laboratory to date to have gotten ISO 17025 accreditation in 5 different test methods for the Citrus Screening Disease, Huanglongbing,for a thing called citruserosis, citrus tristeza virus, Ph water, Ph soil. By having these what it means is that when nursery producers get plant material they know and it grows by the plants. They know that once they are buying certified plant they are getting a plant that comes free of all transmittable disease.”
Anderson said that the Citrus Growers Association’s laboratory was accredited in December 2017.