SLBS Pivotal to Expanded Services to Manufacturing Sector
On Thursday 3rd March 2022, the Minister for Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs Hon. Emma Hippolyte together with the Minister of Agriculture Hon. Alfred Prospere paid an official visit to the National Agricultural Diagnostic Facility (NADF). Minister Hippolyte indicated that her Ministry through the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) was supporting the capacity of NADF to provide testing previously unavailable on island to help bring to market products with strong export potential.
The work of NADF will support SLBS’s conformity assessment services, which are critical in ensuring the local manufacturing and agricultural sectors can provide safe and compliant products for the local and export markets.
Saint Lucian producers are faced with challenges in meeting critical requirements to trade and access international markets due in part to the unavailability locally of services such as testing, which are required in high value markets.
Farmers, producers of coconut oil, seamoss products, soap and other plant-based products will soon have at their disposal, tests to support nutritional profiles on labels, micro-biology and test for minimum residue levels for pesticides, previously unavailable locally, which constrained the acceptance and introduction of products to the local and export markets.
Minister of Agriculture Hon Alfred Prospere expressed confidence in the work programme of the Facility and assured personnel of progress on the provision of the necessary resources to achieve operational efficiency.
The tour of the facilities included Director of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, Mr. Verne Emmanuel, Permanent Secretary (Ag) in the Ministry of Commence Mr Emmanuel Gerald, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Barrymore Felicien, Head of the Plant Protection Unit-Mrs. Hannah Romaine, Chief Veterinary Officer-Dr. Sharmine Melville and Head of Metrology Mr. Anselm Gittens and other management staff of the SLBS and Ministry of Agriculture.