Regional and international quality professionals from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the European Union (EU) are currently in Saint Lucia for a three day discussion and training which started Tuesday 21st January through to Thursday 23rd January at the Coco Palm Resort, Rodney Bay, Castries.

The meeting is the culmination of an African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)-EU TradeCom II Programme, aimed at:

  • presenting and validating the findings of a comparative research report on CARICOM and the European Union, on the development and implementation of standards and associated technical regulations;
  • to present and validate a study on the situation and use of sustainability standards in CARICOM, and,
  • to train stakeholders in EU standards and regulations on packaging and labelling.
The delegates posing for a group photo.

The ACP-EU TradeCom II Programme entitled, “Targeted assistance to Strengthen regional trade related quality infrastructure through intra ACP Partnerships CROSQ, ARSO and PIFS”, is being implemented to address improvement goals for regional quality infrastructure – especially in standardization. It is being implemented by Quality Institute of Spain, in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality (CROSQ).

It is hoped that this collaboration and the resultant activities over the past year will assist in the development of CARICOM and intra-ACP trade, competitiveness, diversification and economic performance through strengthening of the regional quality infrastructure. Regional Quality Infrastructure (RQI) refers to the development and implementation of standards, systems of weights and measurements, accreditation and conformity assessment regimes and systems and overall stakeholder awareness.

Participants in the first two days of the event will include: CROSQ Secretariat staff, CARICOM Trade Officials, OECS Commission, Members from CARICOM Member States (trade and standards officials), personnel from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and other Quality Institutions of the EU. The final day of the workshop will be on EU Packaging and Labelling and will target private sector representatives and regulatory/trade officials who are active in export under the EPA, including exporting to the French countries and territories/regions in the Caribbean. A Technical Guide on the application of EU Standards and Regulations for exporters on packaging and labelling will be prepared as part of the training materials for this joint workshop.

Latoya Burnham of CROSQ giving the vote of thanks.