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Oct 5, 2017

Improving Labels on Prepackaged Foods

The Bureau of Standards is hosting consultations with producers and manufacturers of prepackaged foods. The aim is to get the labeling on prepackaged goods up to industry established minimum required standards. As a part of the meetings with manufacturers, importers, distributors and producers of prepackaged goods, the draft standards will be revised for the labeling of pre-packaged foods. Rodolfo Gutierrez of the Bureau of Standards explains the importance of labeling standards for pre-packaged foods.

 

Rodolfo Gutierrez

Rodolfo Gutierrez, Consumer Protection Liaison Officer, Bureau of Standards

“It is part of many consultations that we have been doing with different standards and this one here is for the labeling of pre-packaged foods. Basically we are in the consultations for this compulsory standard where we are inviting stakeholders to participate in the process to provide feedback and comments on the draft standard. From time to time standards have to be revised because of applicability. From time to time the standards, either new requirements are met or established out in the market place and the standards have to portray those changes that are required out there.   What we are trying to do is harmonize it with the region. So, basically by you implementing the minimum standards here, you will be able to engage probably in the region and safely be able export your products for that matter. I don’t think there is an issue with that. Maybe, like we have had cases like with the shrimp and other sectors, if they want to penetrate other more sophisticated markets there are some other country private standards that they need to implement; those are other standards they need to meet but to export within the area those are perfectly fine.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“In terms of the standards for labeling of pre-packaged foods; can you share with us what do producers or manufacturers need to do in terms of labeling the pre-packaged foods?”

 

Rodolfo Gutierrez

“It is just that there are the general requirements and the technical requirements. The general requirements include country of origin; language; ingredients – stuff like that. Those are basically items required for consumer protection purposes so that consumers may be aware of what the package actually contains. Again, this is exclusively for foods that are prepackaged and not for any other purpose.”

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