As the Minister of Financial Services with responsibility for the recently established Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality, Hope Strachan announced that the bureau’s work will begin by improving the labeling of goods and products.
She made the announcement at the Bureau’s Sensitization Meeting for the Constitution of Technical Committees for Labeling Standards of Goods and Products, July 21, at the Source River Centre, Bacardi Road. Immediate work would begin on improving labeling with respect to:
General principles of goods
The efforts are a response to consumer demands for labeling standards – “not only in New Providence, but also from Grand Bahama to Inagua,” said Minister Strachan.
In line with today’s consumer’s embrace of quality as a priority, Minister Strachan said in addressing the meeting: “I believe that the development of these labeling standards will begin to ease the concerns of consumers who strongly believe they have the right to know what their food and non-food products contain and also restore confidence and transparency to the Bahamian consumer and to the Bahamian food system at large.
“In a free market economy such as ours, Bahamian consumers need to be able to make informed, educated choices about what to buy. The adoption of these labeling standards will undoubtedly begin to provide Bahamians with information to make these informed decisions about the products they purchase for personal, religious, moral, cultural, social, ethical, health, environmental and economic reasons. So we appreciate the time you have taken to engage in these discussions today and to become involved in the adoption of these labeling standards we have proposed.”
Minister Strachan said she was elated at the strides made in establishing the Bureau of Standards since January of 2015 when she became the new Minister of Financial Services.
Recent developments include: the new administration facility for the Bureau of Standards and Quality located at the Source River Centre, 1000 Bacardi Road, where standards development technical committee meetings and trainings are held; appointment of a Director for the Bureau of Standards and an appointed Standards Council; 11 staff members hired to assist with the work of the BBSQ, some of whom are technical officers in the natural and applied sciences.
Minister Strachan noted “we are moving in the forward and upward direction towards accession to World Trade Organization and Technical Barriers to Trade Agreements and their obligations; and also alignment with international code of good practice in relations to a standards and metrology regime. Only if and when these requirements of a quality infrastructure are met, are international commodity trading and exchange of services possible.”