Food & Drug Dep’t recruits Jamaican firm to upgrade local coconut water testing

Visiting Roopan Ramotar’s Pomeroon coconut estate

In what is being seen here as a response to last January’s seizure by the authorities in Trinidad and Tobago of a consignment of coconut water from Guyana on the grounds that it failed to meet the requisite food safety standard and therefore could not be sold there, Director of the Govern-ment Analyst-Food & Drugs Department (GA-FDD)Marlan Cole has told Stabroek Business that the agency has secured the services of a Jamaican consulting agency

The Jamaican consulting entity will conduct what he says will be “hands on training for Laboratory Technicians, Inspectors and other technical personnel designed to upgrade their food safety testing capabilities”.

On Wednesday Cole told Stabroek Business that while the training exercise was part of the continual process of enhancing the capabilities of the staff of the GA-FDD “in anticipation with its greater responsibilities” the decision to undertake this training programme at this particular time had to do with what the Department saw as the need to help protect what is regarded as the potentially lucrative market for coconut and its by-products. “One of the issues that we have taken account of is the recent rejection of coconut water originating in Guyana by the authorities in Trinidad and Tobago”,  Cole told Stabroek Business…..


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