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PRESS RELEASE – Today marks the 4th in a series of national two (2) day workshops on the Principles of Good Manufacturing Practices for OECS Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) organized by the Competitive Business Unit (CBU) of the OECS Commission.
The first workshop was held at Heritage Hotel in St. John’s, Antigua and the schedule for the other workshops are as follows:
* St. Kitts & Nevis (August 11th & 12th) – Ocean Terrace Inn, Fortlands
* Grenada (August 15th & 16th)-Grenada Industrial Development Corporation, Frequente St. George
* St. Vincent & the Grenadines (August 18th & 19th)-Grenadine House, Kingstown
* Dominica (September 1st & 2nd) – Fort Young Hotel, Roseau
The workshop is part of the programme of activities under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Integration for Trade in the OECS. The workshop targets MSME agro-processors and to date over 50 agro processors from across the OECS have participated in the workshop. The activity is significant since it seeks to equip the leadership of agro-processing firms with practical strategies for improving their plant operations.
The OECS Principles of Good Manufacturing Practices Workshops (GMPs) is intended to build the capacity for OECS Micro, Small and Medium manufacturing and agribusiness enterprises in the effective use of quality management tools and processes to improve the; hygiene, packaging, safety and quality of the processed food products they produce.
The workshop will also serve to assist SMEs in drafting GMP improvement plans which can be further developed to improve and enhance the quality of their operations. The training will support the development of work being undertaken to train agriculture stakeholders in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). The GMP training also seeks to further develop the agribusiness and agro-tourism value chain in order to ensure that agro products are produced at the best quality and standard.
Activities within this programme will benefit the entire OECS Economic Union since it complements actions implemented through the CSME Trade and Competitiveness Project supporting harmonized and standardized administrative practices and procedures. The
intervention is also in keeping with the overall objective of building a culture of high quality manufacturing in the region.
The topics to be covered in at workshop include; Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Components & General Provisions, Human Resource Policy Statements & Standard Operating Procedures for staff, Production & Process Controls, Identifying Critical Control Points (CCP’s), Implementation of a GMP Programme and Developing an outline of a GMP implementation plan.
The workshop is being facilitated by Joseph Isaac an industrial engineer with over 20 years experience in; manufacturing, production management, plant design and quality assurance. At the end of the workshop, the CBU hopes to continue follow up activities with the participants to ensure that lessons are implemented and improvements can be realized. Furthermore the CBU will continue to share additional information on the subject in order to foster the growth of a regional network of agro-processors.