A one-day National Quality Dialogue Forum for public and private sector got underway in Dominica on Thursday.
The workshop seeks to start and promote the conversation on quality control through the Dominica Bureau of Standards and the agricultural and fisheries sectors which have been identified by the Government as a priority for development.
The project’s objective is to strengthen the demand orientation of Quality Infrastructure services so that the private sector and consumers’ access to a coordinated National and Regional Quality Infrastructure can be improved.
Speaking at an opening ceremony held at the Fort Young Hotel on Thursday, Director of the Dominica Bureau of Standards, Dr. Steve John said the role of a national quality infrastructure is critical, in the sense that it is the national quality infrastructure that certifies that the goods or the service meets the requirements of the market.
“You have to have a standard that set the criteria for the product, you have to have a system that says that the standards requirements are met, that is your testing,” he stated. “You have to have a body that certifies that the test results are correct. That is where you have the whole question of testing and certification. In order to export, the partners out there must ensure that your systems, your testings, your standards are somehow linked with international requirement … when your systems are accredited it provides the kind of international recognition that your system meets international requirements.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), Deryck Omar said at the workshop that in order to ensure a robust demand-driven national quality infrastructure, there needs to be a continual dialogue between the national quality infrastructure institutions and the private sector to ensure that the right services are being developed to support private industry needs.
He stated further that the Dominica Bureau of Standards plays a pivotal role at the regional level in the development of CARICOM regional standards, “so not only that the Dominica Bureau of Standards have a national agenda, but they also help to promote CARICOM regional integration by getting involved in standard development at the regional level.”
“In particular Dominica leads in the area of fresh produce. Dominica is host to the regional technical committee that deals with fresh produce standardization,: he said.
He noted that if the Dominica Bureau of Standards had additional resources it would be within the top five bureaus in the Caribbean community because, “of its demand driven orientation to its business, secondly because of its private sector output and thirdly because of the private sector business model that it absorbs within itself to try to promote its activities.”