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Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging food producers, especially those involved in exports, to initiate work to become certified. “This will enable our food-producing businesses to access export markets. Lack of certification could constitute non-tariff barriers to our exports. Our food-exporting businesses, therefore, have an obligation to the country to become certified,” Mr. Samuda said. Mr. Samuda said that by becoming certified, these businesses will be able to increase access to markets, and thereby increase employment in agriculture. Story Highlights Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging food producers, especially those involved in exports, to initiate work to become certified.He cited the international standard, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification, as relevant to the food industry.“This will enable our food-producing businesses to access export markets. Lack of certification could constitute non-tariff barriers to our exports. Our food-exporting businesses, therefore, have an obligation to the country to become certified,” Mr. Samuda said.The Minister’s message was read by ISO Ambassador/Consultant at the ISO Quality Systems Division in the Ministry, Reginald Budhan, at the launch of the Quality Systems Solutions and Initiatives (QSSI) Training Institute on June 14 at the Pegasus Commerce Centre, Upper Waterloo Road.Mr. Samuda said that by becoming certified, these businesses will be able to increase access to markets, and thereby increase employment in agriculture.“We must rise to global standards in terms of the goods and services we produce for both the domestic and export markets,” the Minister stressed.In addition, Mr. Samuda said his goal is to have ministries and agencies of government modernised by becoming ISO 9001:2015 certified.The Minister said he expects his Ministry, as well as five other agencies, to become certified by the end of the 2017/18 financial year.The ISO 9000 is a series of standards developed and published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that define, establish and maintain a quality assurance system for the manufacturing and service industries. They deal with the requirements that organisations wishing to meet the standard must fulfil.“In terms of the productive sector, the Bureau of Standards, under the chairmanship of Mr. James Rawle, will be increasing its work to help more businesses to become certified to ISO 9001:2015, HACCP and other relevant standards,” Mr. Samuda said.He added that as a small island developing state, Jamaica has to ensure that its products and services are of the highest quality, in order to compete in the international market.“The sustainable production of high-quality products and services will, therefore, lead to increased efficiencies, better employee morale and international recognition,” Mr. Samuda said.Meanwhile, the Minister congratulated QSSI on the launch of its institute, which will enable micro, small and medium-size enterprises to access affordable internationally certified training, thus enabling them to become internationally competitive.“In light of this likely increased demand for ISO 9001 consultancy service, we need more companies like yours with qualified and experienced personnel. Your training institute is well positioned to help in increasing the pool of trained personnel in the relevant standards,” he said.For her part, Managing Director, QSSI, Sheryl Anderson, said the launch of the training institute is in response to requests made by clients over the years.“You have been talking to us, you have been giving that feedback, and, in response, we are giving you the QSSI Institute,” Mrs. Anderson said.The newly launched QSSI Training Institute provides training courses designed to improve competence and support the quality management or food-safety systems in organisations.The Institute aims to provide training for quality professionals of all skill levels, fostering a culture of quality and building capacity and expertise in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Compared to a few years ago, Norway 2019 is a very different place as many of the nation’s shipping and offshore industries achieved sustained growth through some of the most turbulent times ever faced.Since the last Nor-Shipping in 2017, the number of Norwegian companies owning vessels has increased from 205 to 238. The Norwegian owned fleet has grown by 119 vessels, standing at 2,055 ships, and in turn the gross tonnage of the fleet has increased to 47.74 million GT, according to data provided by VesselsValue.These new vessels have boosted the total fleet value of the Norwegian owned fleet by USD 3.5 billion, bringing their total fleet value to USD 44 billion, ranking fifth most valuable in the world.VesselsValue mentioned Borr Drilling, Solstad and 2020 Bulkers as some of the most notable Norwegian companies.Borr Drilling, the brainchild of John Fredriksen’s former right hand man, Tor Olav Troim, has rocked the market since emerging in late 2016. As of today, Borr has 36 high specification jack-up rigs, as its fleet value stands at USD 3.5 billion.The offshore market conditions over the last few years have taken their toll on Norwegian supply boat owners, and none more so than OSV giant Solstad. In January 2019, Finanstilsynet required Solstad to revalue its entire fleet; in doing so, the total value was reduced by NOK 850 million (USD 99 million).“Solstad has long maintained its fleet valuation figures, so this reduction shows not only Solstad’s acceptance of the continued poor market conditions, but also the resultant asset prices which is a major step forward,” VesselsValue said.And last, but not the least, 2020 Bulkers. Another Troim owned company, 2020 Bulkers has ordered eight newbuild Capesize bulkers at New Times Shipbuilding since late 2017, totalling around USD 350 million. The VV value of these vessels surged to USD 453 million today.However, the money keeps coming in for Tor Olav Troim. In January, 2020 Bulkers confirmed it had secured a long term bank loan running to USD 240 million for its Newcastlemax newbuilding programme. As of this month, 2020 Bulkers has made the move to become listed on the Oslo stock exchange. This move will also be used to fund its newbuild orders to New Times Shipbuilding, showing its continued growth strategy plans for 2019 and beyond, VesselsValue explained.Image Courtesy: VesselsValue