The Belize Bureau of Standards in collaboration with the CARICOM regional organization for Standards and Quality (CROS-Q), the network of Standard Bureau within Caricom members states, is holding a three day diagnostic workshop between stakeholders of the shrimp industry. The idea is to standardize the quality infrastructure of shrimp industry using the CALIDENA approach, of which the Belize Bureau of Standards will be the custodians of.
“We are trying to look at a key sector, a sector of national importance and through the regional project within the CARICOM region an organization for standards and quality, we managed to get funding to do a feasibility study for the shrimp sector to showcase the quality of infrastructure by utilizing the CALIDENA approach. That is how we got to this point. A feasibility is done earlier in the year – in the first quarter of this year, and that was farther evaluated by the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality, and from there an approval was given for additional funding so that we can now do a full diagnostic of the shrimp industry. This is why we are here today.”
Emanuel Pech – Plus TV Reporter
“Is there a strategy that is being developed here or is there a strategy already in place that would be implemented.”
“Several local producers have their own quality management systems, but what it is that we are not aware of what our buyers are asking us, or what the international markets are maybe requiring or we are aware but we may not have this type of dialog and relationship with our quality infrastructure providers. This form sets the stage or the foundation for that where we bring together all the key players, we discuss issues and try to find solutions for those issues if it is not already being done.”
Here, the industry itself is quite advanced. They are already exporting and they are already complying with a lot of requirements. The topic of today was mostly about explaining what services here are in the country and where it is needed to create new services.
“What are some of the other topics that will be discussed through the workshop?”
Dr. Ulrich Harmes – Liedtke
“The workshop will be a participatory assessment of the major issues in quality of the value chain and how the institutions from the country can support the sector better. It will end with an action plan which will be implemented during the next months.
“This CALIDENA workshop is really on how we preserve quality through the value chain. We have a representation here from production to processing, to marketing – which is the people that will be interfacing the final NUs and so on, so there is a rather broad representation of the entire value chain today which is I think is very good. You will be able to get feedback from players in the various levels of the value chain as you go through this process. You can also see how the market is receiving our product, what areas do we need to make improvements on, it is very good. I am glad that we are able to do this partnership with the Bureau of Standards and Cross queue out of the Caribbean and also the German meteorology institute. All three players came together to make this workshop possible. It is every good form Belize.
Also present at the workshop was a Jamaican company who says they only get their shrimp products from Belize. The shrimp industry will be used as a bench mark for applying the same CALIDENA approach to the other Industries in Belize.