Belize City, Belize, 24 June 24, 2015 (CRFM)--A national consultation will be held at the George Price Centre in Belmopan on Wednesday, 1 July 2015, to examine the current status of environmental monitoring programmes and activities which are being used to ensure quality control in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, in order to increase the safety of both local and imported food supplies.
The consultation comes at the culmination of a series of meetings convened by a team of consultants with the private sector, government ministries and departments, and BAHA, the competent authority responsible for food safety and official laboratory responsible for monitoring environmental quality.
At the national consultation, participants, including private and public sector stakeholders, will review and discuss the performance of existing national programmes; international environmental monitoring requirements; design, implementation, and audit of routine environmental monitoring programme; details of both field and supporting laboratory programmes; and examples of best practices.
National monitoring programmes consider all levels of the food system, such as field investigation, processing facilities, inspection and port entry checks, and an effective laboratory system.
Support for this initiative is provided by the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures programme, a component of the 10th EDF Programme titled, “Support to the Caribbean Forum of ACP States in the Implementation of Commitments Undertaken Under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA): Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS).”
It is being executed by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in collaboration with the CARICOM and CRFM Secretariats and the SPS Committee of the Dominican Republic. The fisheries component of the Project is being implemented by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM).
The project aims to facilitate CARIFORUM States to gain and improve market access by complying with Europe’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and to help them to better develop their own regionally harmonized SPS measures and institutional capability, so that they can meet the requirements necessary to maintain and expand on the trade of fish and fish products locally, regionally and internationally.