GUYANA – Guyana, a country on the northern mainland of South America, has launched its Codex Trust Fund (CTF) Project following a two-day training programme for the National Codex Committee (NCC) members.
The Codex Trust Fund supports countries to build strong, solid and sustainable national capacity to engage in Codex.
The launch, which was held at the Cara Lodge in Georgetown, was marked by the presence of Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Advisor to the Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Blair, Advisor on CARICOM Agriculture Food Systems, Ms. Carol Thomas, Guyana’s CTF Project Consultant (Semester 1) and Dr. Jean Seme Fils Alexandre, Representative from PAHO/WHO.
Also present were, Mr. Wilmot Garnett, IICA Delegation in Guyana Representative, Ms. Ramrattie Karan, Executive Director (Acting) of the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), and public and private sector representatives.
This Codex project operating under the theme “Promoting Food Safety Standards for a Healthier Guyana” is geared towards raising awareness on food safety and Codex standards countrywide.
With this project, the NCC plans to strengthen their work nationally, regionally, and internationally to increase support for national food safety policies, retool stakeholders to improve food safety in Guyana, and increase the capacity of NCC members.
Likewise, Guyana’s CTF Project will target high-level policy makers, regulators, food business operators, media operatives, and the general public over a three-year period.
Project Consultant, Carol Thomas during her virtual address, urged the public to make food safety their business by spreading the message.
“Public awareness sensitization is important and necessary in order to ensure the buy-in of the message on food safety and standards from all sectors of society. We want to involve all stakeholders,” Ms. Thomas pointed out.
PAHO/WHO representative, Dr. Jean Seme Fils Alexandre pledged the organization’s continued support to the NCC and wished the committee every success in the execution of its duties and activities under the CTF project.
IICA’s country representative, Mr. Wilmot Garnett, pointed out the assistance the technical cooperation agency provided Guyana to position itself to provide safe, nutritious, quality and reasonably priced foods for local consumption and to access new markets overseas.
It was mentioned that a Procedural Manual for the National CODEX activities in Guyana was prepared in collaboration with the FONDO Chile and ACHIPIA, Chile’s food systems network, in consultation with Guyana’s stakeholders.
IICA pledged its support to the operationalization of the Guyana Food Safety Authority and reiterated that the CTF project will contribute significantly to support national efforts to strengthen food safety systems in Guyana, thus increasing Guyana’s market share.
Ms. Ramrattie Karan, Executive Director (ag) of the Guyana National Bureau of Standards stated that the GNBS has been the Codex Contact Point since 1985, providing technical support and therefore commits to continue supporting the NCC.
Advisor to the Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy charged those in attendance to become active participants in creating food safety standards and guidelines as he underscored the need for Guyana to build its capacity to participate effectively in Codex.
Dr. Richard Blair, speaking on behalf of Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, assured attendees that the Government of Guyana supports the development of concrete actions to transform the agriculture-food system, and to ensure that safe and nutritious food is produced for and consumed by the population.