Jamaica's Trade in Ethnic Foods and Other Niche Products

Jamaica's Trade in Ethnic Foods and Other Niche Products

Jamaica's Trade in Ethnic Foods and Other Niche Products


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Agriculture <strong>and</strong> Rural Development Discussion Paper 18<br />

Cost of Compliance with SPS St<strong>and</strong>ards<br />

The World Bank<br />

Jamaica’s <strong>Trade</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Ethnic</strong><br />

<strong>Foods</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Other</strong> <strong>Niche</strong><br />

<strong>Products</strong><br />

The Impact of Food Safety <strong>and</strong><br />

Plant Health St<strong>and</strong>ards<br />

Spencer Henson<br />

Steve Jaffee

© 2005 The International Bank for Reconstruction <strong>and</strong> Development / The World Bank<br />

1818 H Street, NW<br />

Wash<strong>in</strong>gton, DC 20433<br />

Telephone 202-473-1000<br />

Internet www.worldbank.org<br />

E-mail ard@worldbank.org<br />

All rights reserved.<br />

Agriculture <strong>and</strong> Rural Development Discussion Papers is an <strong>in</strong>formal series produced by the Agriculture <strong>and</strong> Rural<br />

Development Department of the World Bank. These papers raise concepts <strong>and</strong> issues for discussion <strong>in</strong> the broader<br />

development community <strong>and</strong> describe ongo<strong>in</strong>g research <strong>and</strong>/or implementation experiences from the Bank.<br />

The f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>gs, <strong>in</strong>terpretations, <strong>and</strong> conclusions expressed here<strong>in</strong> are those of the author(s) <strong>and</strong> do not necessarily<br />

reflect the views of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank, the governments they represent, or the<br />

organizations of contribut<strong>in</strong>g authors.<br />

The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data <strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>in</strong> this work.<br />

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pubrights@worldbank.org.<br />

About the Authors<br />

Spencer Henson is an associate professor <strong>in</strong> the Department of Agricultural Economics <strong>and</strong> Bus<strong>in</strong>ess, University of<br />

Guelph, Canada. Steve Jaffee is a senior economist <strong>in</strong> International <strong>Trade</strong> Department at The World Bank.

Contents<br />

FOREWORD ..............................................................................................................................................................V<br />

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS................................................................................................................. VI<br />

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................... VIII<br />

1. INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................................................1<br />

2. EXPORTS OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD PRODUCTS FROM JAMAICA.....................................3<br />

3. SANITARY AND PHYTOSANITARY CAPACITY IN JAMAICA ............................................................8<br />

FOOD SAFETY............................................................................................................................................................9<br />

PLANT HEALTH .......................................................................................................................................................14<br />

AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN.............................................................................................................18<br />

4. CAPACITY BUILDING EFFORTS ..............................................................................................................20<br />

5. IMPACT OF SPS MEASURES ON AGRI-FOOD EXPORTS ...................................................................23<br />


HOT PEPPERS...........................................................................................................................................................28<br />

HYGIENE CONTROLS FOR FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCTS ........................................................................................33<br />

PESTICIDE RESIDUES IN FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES ........................................................................................38<br />

YAMS ......................................................................................................................................................................41<br />

PAPAYA ...................................................................................................................................................................44<br />


FOOD SAFETY CONTROLS FOR THE TOURISM SECTOR.............................................................................................47<br />

6. CONCLUSIONS ..............................................................................................................................................48<br />

REFERENCES ..........................................................................................................................................................51<br />

Boxes<br />

BOX 1. UPGRADING THE AMC FRUIT/VEGETABLE PACKING CENTER.......................................................................19<br />


UNITED STATES.......................................................................................................................................................32<br />

BOX 3. REFORM OF FISH HYGIENE CONTROLS BY FIRM A........................................................................................37<br />

BOX 4. REFORM OF HYGIENE CONTROLS BY FIRM B................................................................................................38<br />

Figures<br />

FIGURE 1. TRENDS IN JAMAICA'S MERCHANDISE TRADE, 1990–2003 ........................................................................3<br />

FIGURE 2. VALUE OF JAMAICAN FOOD, AGRICULTURAL, AND BEVERAGE EXPORTS...................................................5<br />

FIGURE 3. EXPORTS OF MAJOR TRADITIONAL COMMODITIES, 1985–2003 (US$ 000) ................................................6<br />



1990–JULY 2003 .....................................................................................................................................................28<br />

FIGURE 6. HOT PEPPER PLANTINGS AND PRODUCTION, 1990–2003..........................................................................29<br />

FIGURE 7. EXPORTS OF HOT PEPPERS, 1994–2003 ...................................................................................................30<br />

FIGURE 8. NUMBER OF US INTERCEPTIONS OF HOT PEPPERS FROM JAMAICA, 1990–JULY 2003..............................31<br />

FIGURE 9. JAMAICAN EXPORTS OF FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCTS, 1985–2003.........................................................33<br />

FIGURE 10. NUMBER OF INSPECTIONS BY PESTICIDES CONTROL AUTHORITY, 1999–2003......................................40<br />

FIGURE 11. PRODUCTION OF YAMS, 1994–2003 ......................................................................................................42<br />

FIGURE 12. EXPORTS OF YAMS, 1990–2003.............................................................................................................43<br />

FIGURE 13. EXPORTS OF PAPAYA, 1991–2003 .........................................................................................................45<br />

FIGURE 14. NUMBER OF FOREIGN TOURIST ARRIVALS, 1997–2003..........................................................................47<br />


Tables<br />

TABLE 1. TOTAL COMMODITY IMPORTS AND EXPORTS BY VALUE, 2000....................................................................4<br />

TABLE 2. LEADING NONTRADITIONAL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE EXPORTS, 2003 .........................................................7<br />

TABLE 3. EXISTING LABORATORIES FOR CHEMICAL ANALYSES IN JAMAICA..............................................................9<br />

TABLE 4. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF FOOD SAFETY CONTROLS IN JAMAICA.................................................12<br />


TABLE 6. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF PLANT HEALTH CONTROLS IN JAMAICA ..............................................16<br />


TABLE 8. COST OF UPGRADING AMC FACILITY TO GAP AND HACCP STANDARDS................................................20<br />



FOR DETENTION .......................................................................................................................................................24<br />

TABLE 11. INTERCEPTIONS OF FRESH PRODUCE FOR EXPORT TO ALL DESTINATIONS, 1999–2003............................25<br />

TABLE 12. MAJOR FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCT EXPORTS, 1999–2003 (KG)............................................................34<br />

TABLE 13. RATES OF TRAVELER DIARRHEA PER 10,000 GUEST NIGHTS, 2000–02 ...................................................48<br />



Food <strong>and</strong> agricultural trade is the vital l<strong>in</strong>k <strong>in</strong> the mutual dependency of the global trade system <strong>and</strong><br />

develop<strong>in</strong>g countries. Develop<strong>in</strong>g countries derive a substantial portion of their <strong>in</strong>come from food <strong>and</strong><br />

agricultural trade. The emergence of food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural health issues, <strong>and</strong> the related tighten<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of market requirements form challenges to further ga<strong>in</strong>s from trade due to the lack of technical <strong>and</strong><br />

f<strong>in</strong>ancial capacities of many develop<strong>in</strong>g economies.<br />

As part of a jo<strong>in</strong>t program between the World Bank’s Agriculture <strong>and</strong> Rural Development Department<br />

(ARD) <strong>and</strong> International <strong>Trade</strong> Department (PRMTR), a survey on the Cost of Compliance of export<strong>in</strong>g<br />

develop<strong>in</strong>g countries was undertaken. The survey was focused on the supply cha<strong>in</strong>s of high-value food<br />

products (horticulture, fish, meat, spices, <strong>and</strong> nuts). The study quantified the costs <strong>in</strong>curred by both the<br />

public <strong>and</strong> private sectors; identified the cop<strong>in</strong>g strategies employed by the various stakeholders <strong>in</strong> the<br />

supply cha<strong>in</strong>s; determ<strong>in</strong>ed the constra<strong>in</strong>ts that h<strong>in</strong>der compliance; exam<strong>in</strong>ed the structural changes <strong>in</strong> the<br />

supply cha<strong>in</strong> result<strong>in</strong>g from compliance with the safety st<strong>and</strong>ards; <strong>and</strong> evaluated the impact of these<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards on small-scale enterprises <strong>and</strong> producers. The survey <strong>in</strong>cluded Ethiopia (animal products), India<br />

(fish <strong>and</strong> spices), Jamaica (nontraditional agricultural exports), Kenya (fish <strong>and</strong> horticulture), Lat<strong>in</strong><br />

America Southern Cone (animal products), Morocco (fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables), Nicaragua (shrimp), Senegal<br />

(fish <strong>and</strong> groundnuts), <strong>and</strong> Thail<strong>and</strong> (shrimp <strong>and</strong> horticulture).<br />

This work<strong>in</strong>g paper is one of a series of such case studies that exam<strong>in</strong>ed the strategies <strong>and</strong> costs of<br />

compliance of the various stakeholders <strong>in</strong> develop<strong>in</strong>g countries with <strong>in</strong>ternational agrofood st<strong>and</strong>ards.<br />

This paper was prepared by Spencer Henson (University of Guelph, Canada), <strong>and</strong> Steven Jaffee<br />

(PRMTR).<br />

A complementary perspective is provided by the companion series of buyer surveys <strong>in</strong>volv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

representative importers, brokers, retailers, <strong>and</strong> distributors <strong>in</strong> the European Union, Japan, <strong>and</strong> the United<br />

States. This series, <strong>in</strong> turn, discusses the buyers’ perception of the strengths <strong>and</strong> weaknesses of their<br />

suppliers <strong>and</strong> describes the assistance <strong>and</strong>/or <strong>in</strong>terventions offered by the buyers to their develop<strong>in</strong>g<br />

country suppliers.<br />

The f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>and</strong> conclusions derived from these country studies are discussed <strong>in</strong> a synthesis report that<br />

seeks to identify possible po<strong>in</strong>ts of <strong>in</strong>tervention by the World Bank <strong>and</strong> other donor agencies <strong>and</strong> to<br />

determ<strong>in</strong>e the types of technical assistance that would be most efficient <strong>and</strong> appropriate. It is hoped that<br />

the experiences of these exporter <strong>and</strong> importer countries will provide useful <strong>in</strong>sights to practitioners <strong>in</strong> the<br />

field, <strong>and</strong> to national <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational policymakers <strong>in</strong> both the public <strong>and</strong> private sectors.<br />

Kev<strong>in</strong> Cleaver, Director, Agriculture <strong>and</strong> Rural Development Department<br />

Uri Dadush, Director, International <strong>Trade</strong> Department<br />



ACP<br />

AFT<br />

AMC<br />

APHIS<br />

ASSP<br />

CARDI<br />

CCP<br />

CITES<br />


CRSP<br />

EHU<br />

EU<br />

FAO<br />

FDA<br />

FOB<br />

FSPID<br />

GAP<br />

GDP<br />

GMO<br />

HACCP<br />

HPLC<br />

HPPD<br />

IICA<br />

IPM<br />

ISO<br />

JBS<br />

JEA<br />

JMD<br />

JMOA<br />

LOD<br />

MoA<br />

MoH<br />

MOU<br />

MRL<br />


NPHL<br />

NTE<br />

PCA<br />

PIP<br />

PQ/PI<br />

RADA<br />

R&D<br />

SPS<br />

Africa, the Caribbean <strong>and</strong> the Pacific<br />

Advanced Farm Technology<br />

Agricultural Market<strong>in</strong>g Corporation<br />

Animal <strong>and</strong> Plant Health Inspection Services<br />

Agricultural Support Services Project<br />

Caribbean Agricultural Research <strong>and</strong> Development Institute<br />

Critical Control Po<strong>in</strong>t<br />

Convention on International <strong>Trade</strong> <strong>in</strong> Endangered Species of Wild Flora <strong>and</strong><br />

Fauna<br />

Committee for Liaison between Europe, Africa, the Caribbean <strong>and</strong> the Pacific<br />

Collaborative Research Support Program<br />

Environmental Health Unit<br />

European Union<br />

Food <strong>and</strong> Agriculture Organization of the United Nations<br />

Food <strong>and</strong> Drug Adm<strong>in</strong>istration (US)<br />

free on board<br />

Food Storage <strong>and</strong> Prevention of Infestation Division<br />

Good Agricultural Practice<br />

gross domestic product<br />

Genetically Modified Organisms<br />

Hazard Analysis <strong>and</strong> Critical Control Po<strong>in</strong>t<br />

High Performance Liquid Chromatography<br />

Health Promotion <strong>and</strong> Protection Division<br />

Inter-American Institute for Cooperation <strong>in</strong> Agriculture<br />

<strong>in</strong>tegrated pest management<br />

International Organization for St<strong>and</strong>ardization<br />

Jamaica Bureau of St<strong>and</strong>ards<br />

Jamaica Exporters Association<br />

Jamaican Dollar<br />

Jamaican M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture<br />

Limit of Determ<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture<br />

M<strong>in</strong>istry of Health<br />

Memor<strong>and</strong>um of Underst<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

Maximum Residue Limit<br />

National Agricultural Health <strong>and</strong> Food Safety Coord<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g Committee<br />

National Public Health Laboratory<br />

nontraditional exports<br />

Pesticides Control Authority<br />

Pesticides Initiative Programme<br />

Plant Quarant<strong>in</strong>e/Produce Inspection<br />

Rural Agricultural Development Authority<br />

Research <strong>and</strong> Development<br />

Sanitary <strong>and</strong> Phyto-Sanitary<br />


SRC<br />

SWEDAC<br />

UK<br />

USAID<br />

US<br />

VPHP<br />

VSD<br />

WTO<br />

Scientific Research Council<br />

Swedish Board for Accreditation <strong>and</strong> Conformity Assessment<br />

United K<strong>in</strong>gdom<br />

United States Agency for International Development<br />

United States<br />

Veter<strong>in</strong>ary Public Health Program<br />

Veter<strong>in</strong>ary Services Division<br />

World <strong>Trade</strong> Organization<br />



Traditionally, export crops have accounted for a very significant proportion of Jamaica’s<br />

agricultural gross domestic product, total cultivated area, use of improved <strong>in</strong>puts, <strong>and</strong><br />

agricultural employment. Sugar has long been Jamaica’s dom<strong>in</strong>ant crop, account<strong>in</strong>g for 30<br />

percent to 40 percent of total harvested area over much of the past three decades. In the late<br />

1980s <strong>and</strong> early 1990s, bananas emerged as a major export for Jamaica. For both of these<br />

products, Jamaica has enjoyed preferential market access <strong>in</strong>to the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>and</strong> broader<br />

European Union markets. These preferences are be<strong>in</strong>g phased out, which is expected to lead to a<br />

major contraction of these <strong>in</strong>dustries due to their relatively low productivity <strong>and</strong> high costs. This<br />

contraction has already begun. Jamaica’s banana exports decl<strong>in</strong>ed by 50 percent between 1997<br />

<strong>and</strong> 2003 while its sugar exports decl<strong>in</strong>ed by 33 percent over that same period.<br />

The decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong> Jamaica’s major traditional agricultural exports has been partially offset by<br />

enhanced trade <strong>in</strong> a more diversified set of agrofood products over the past decade. This trade<br />

has featured a broad array of fruits, vegetables, <strong>and</strong> tubers traditional to the Jamaican, diet which<br />

are be<strong>in</strong>g exported to supply the African, Asian <strong>and</strong> Caribbean immigrant communities <strong>in</strong><br />

Canada, the UK, <strong>and</strong> the United States. <strong>Other</strong> Jamaican “nontraditional exports” <strong>in</strong>clude fish <strong>and</strong><br />

fishery products, notably conch <strong>and</strong> lobster; <strong>and</strong> a broad range of processed food products, most<br />

importantly, pepper sauces, soups, juices, <strong>and</strong> a range of season<strong>in</strong>gs. Many of these<br />

nontraditional exports <strong>in</strong>volve raw materials or commodities produced by small-holder farmers<br />

or caught by artisanal fishers. In recent years, these “nontraditional” food exports have had an<br />

annual value of some US$80 million, the total which now exceeds Jamaica’s sugar exports.<br />

For many of these nontraditional exports, Jamaican suppliers are encounter<strong>in</strong>g significant<br />

competitiveness <strong>and</strong> market access challenges, the latter relat<strong>in</strong>g to concerns about food safety<br />

<strong>and</strong>/or plant heath risks. In both Europe <strong>and</strong> North America, a complex set of factors is<br />

contribut<strong>in</strong>g to an evolv<strong>in</strong>g set of more str<strong>in</strong>gent official food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health regulations<br />

as well as more rigorous private sector sourc<strong>in</strong>g requirements. Some of these more str<strong>in</strong>gent<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards, or more rigorous enforcement of exist<strong>in</strong>g st<strong>and</strong>ards, are be<strong>in</strong>g applied <strong>in</strong> the product<br />

areas featured <strong>in</strong> Jamaica’s nontraditional agrofood exports, namely, fresh fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables,<br />

fish products, <strong>and</strong> canned/processed food products. Jamaican products have experienced<br />

impaired market access due to problems associated with pesticide residues, plant pests, food<br />

facility hygiene, <strong>and</strong> food additives or contam<strong>in</strong>ation.<br />

Jamaica’s system of food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health management has not sufficiently evolved <strong>in</strong><br />

response to changes <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards, the requirements of Jamaica’s major trad<strong>in</strong>g<br />

partners, <strong>and</strong> the shift <strong>in</strong> composition of its agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports. While the basic<br />

elements of capacity are <strong>in</strong> place <strong>and</strong> exist<strong>in</strong>g public <strong>in</strong>stitutions operate relatively well, enabled<br />

by generally high levels of human capital, they are directed at outdated pr<strong>in</strong>ciples <strong>and</strong><br />

procedures. The current level of resource is clearly <strong>in</strong>adequate to meet the needs of the export<br />

sector. It is also <strong>in</strong>adequate to direct compliance efforts toward a more “proactive” strategy<br />


directed at foresee<strong>in</strong>g emerg<strong>in</strong>g problems <strong>and</strong> offsett<strong>in</strong>g their impacts before they arise <strong>and</strong>/or<br />

turn<strong>in</strong>g them to competitive advantage.<br />

Jamaica has addressed sanitary <strong>and</strong> phytosanitary (SPS) challenges mostly <strong>in</strong> a “reactive” mode.<br />

In other words, the country developed plans of action <strong>and</strong> modified regulations after market<br />

access was cut off or restricted due to SPS problems <strong>and</strong>/or trade partner concerns. In some<br />

cases, technical <strong>and</strong> adm<strong>in</strong>istrative solutions were found, albeit with a delay. In other cases,<br />

either technical solutions rema<strong>in</strong> elusive or the adm<strong>in</strong>istrative or f<strong>in</strong>ancial implications of<br />

identified solutions have resulted <strong>in</strong> their limited or non-adoption. The result has been a very<br />

uneven development of trade, with still frequent product <strong>in</strong>terceptions, by either Jamaican or<br />

trade partner authorities, <strong>and</strong> much uncerta<strong>in</strong>ty among the private sector actors.<br />

The limited public resources made available for SPS management have been compounded by the<br />

lack of a clear <strong>and</strong> coherent adm<strong>in</strong>istrative structure relat<strong>in</strong>g to food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural<br />

health <strong>in</strong> Jamaica. There are a number of overlaps of responsibilities with little or no<br />

communication <strong>and</strong> coord<strong>in</strong>ation among the agencies <strong>in</strong>volved. Laboratory test<strong>in</strong>g capacity is<br />

also fragmented among multiple laboratories <strong>and</strong> agencies. While the need to streaml<strong>in</strong>e exist<strong>in</strong>g<br />

adm<strong>in</strong>istrative structures, <strong>and</strong> ideally create a s<strong>in</strong>gle body with responsibility for food safety <strong>and</strong><br />

agricultural health, has been recognized, efforts toward this end have been delayed by <strong>in</strong>ertia <strong>and</strong><br />

bureaucratic maneuvers to reta<strong>in</strong> traditional <strong>in</strong>stitutional doma<strong>in</strong>s. Scarce public resources,<br />

therefore, are not be<strong>in</strong>g put to optimal use.<br />

Much of the exist<strong>in</strong>g SPS management capacity <strong>in</strong> Jamaica rema<strong>in</strong>s embedded <strong>in</strong> the public<br />

sector, with the exception of certa<strong>in</strong> subsectors (for example, fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products) or among<br />

some larger-scale operators (for example, a few food processors <strong>and</strong> those <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> papaya<br />

exports). While some progressive exporters of nontraditional fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables are beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to make some changes, overall private <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> improved food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health<br />

systems has been very limited. This lack of <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> part reflects overall uncerta<strong>in</strong>ties about<br />

export growth potential <strong>and</strong> a perception that overseas st<strong>and</strong>ards are either unfair or too complex.<br />

It is also a consequence of the highly fragmented nature of the pert<strong>in</strong>ent export trades <strong>and</strong> supply<br />

cha<strong>in</strong>s, an ag<strong>in</strong>g agrarian population, the lack of pressures for change from overseas buyers, <strong>and</strong><br />

the still predom<strong>in</strong>ant domestic market outlets for the featured commodities, <strong>in</strong> which few<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards are enforced. These conditions result <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>abilities to realize economies of scale <strong>and</strong> to<br />

<strong>in</strong>duce changes <strong>in</strong> farmer agronomic <strong>and</strong> record-keep<strong>in</strong>g practices.<br />

Many of Jamaica’s nontraditional agrofood exports face a broad range of competitiveness<br />

constra<strong>in</strong>ts related to <strong>in</strong>consistent raw material production, high post-harvest losses, relatively<br />

high cost <strong>and</strong> limited availability labor, macroeconomic factors, <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>tensified regional <strong>and</strong><br />

other competition. Market access problems related to SPS materials have exacerbated <strong>and</strong><br />

re<strong>in</strong>forced these constra<strong>in</strong>ts, reduc<strong>in</strong>g the profitability <strong>and</strong> rais<strong>in</strong>g the risks associated with the<br />

conduct of these trades. The resolution of such SPS constra<strong>in</strong>ts is necessary, although not<br />

sufficient, to restore <strong>and</strong> improve the competitiveness of Jamaica’s nontraditional agrofood<br />

exports.<br />

Due to the relatively small <strong>and</strong> specialized nature of much of the trade <strong>in</strong> high-value agricultural<br />

products, Jamaica’s trad<strong>in</strong>g partners have shown little flexibility <strong>and</strong> devoted very few resources<br />

to help resolve ongo<strong>in</strong>g problems. However, there are two donor-supported projects be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

implemented that seek to strengthen particular quality control <strong>and</strong> SPS management capacities<br />

<strong>and</strong> br<strong>in</strong>g about a more coherent, <strong>in</strong>tegrated, <strong>and</strong> strategically focused system <strong>in</strong> these spheres.<br />


Some progress has been made, albeit at a much slower pace than expected. There will be a need<br />

to extend the implementation period for these projects if the desired <strong>and</strong> necessary levels of<br />

<strong>in</strong>tergovernmental coord<strong>in</strong>ation are to be achieved <strong>in</strong> relation to SPS management.<br />

Capacity weaknesses rema<strong>in</strong> significant <strong>in</strong> the private sector, <strong>and</strong> there are questions as to<br />

whether exports can be ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed, let alone <strong>in</strong>creased, on the basis of the current fragmented<br />

system of production among an ag<strong>in</strong>g farm<strong>in</strong>g population. Selected <strong>in</strong>terventions to develop<br />

more coord<strong>in</strong>ated supply cha<strong>in</strong>s <strong>and</strong> traceability systems for particular commodities could be<br />

pursued through a jo<strong>in</strong>t public/donor-private <strong>in</strong>itiative. Yet, it is likely that future export<br />

development will require private <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> (medium-scale) export-dedicated production for<br />

which ris<strong>in</strong>g quality, food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health st<strong>and</strong>ards are factored <strong>in</strong>to production, postharvest,<br />

<strong>and</strong> overall management systems. It is not certa<strong>in</strong> that this activity is sufficiently<br />

profitable to <strong>in</strong>duce such <strong>in</strong>vestment, whether by Jamaicans or others with prior experience <strong>and</strong><br />

market l<strong>in</strong>kages. Furthermore, Jamaica has a number of notable disadvantages compared with<br />

compet<strong>in</strong>g supply sites <strong>in</strong> Africa, Central America, <strong>and</strong> elsewhere.<br />

Future export development can also <strong>in</strong>volve efforts to exp<strong>and</strong> sales <strong>in</strong> sauces, season<strong>in</strong>gs, <strong>and</strong><br />

other value-added processed food products, both <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g market shares among immigrant<br />

communities <strong>and</strong> extend<strong>in</strong>g sales to penetrate the more ma<strong>in</strong>stream market, for which dem<strong>and</strong><br />

for many such products cont<strong>in</strong>ues to grow rapidly. Exploit<strong>in</strong>g such export opportunities may<br />

require some modification of product composition <strong>and</strong> recipes to meet consumer preferences <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>creased attention to compliance with regulations related to label<strong>in</strong>g, additives, <strong>and</strong> packag<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Rather than a fragmented, company-specific approach to these challenges, there is scope for a<br />

more coord<strong>in</strong>ated approach <strong>in</strong>volv<strong>in</strong>g jo<strong>in</strong>t <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> product research <strong>and</strong> development,<br />

food hygiene tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, <strong>and</strong> market development.<br />



Jamaica has recorded an impressive record of poverty alleviation s<strong>in</strong>ce it first began monitor<strong>in</strong>g<br />

liv<strong>in</strong>g conditions <strong>in</strong> 1988. From 1989 to 1997, the poverty headcount decl<strong>in</strong>ed from 30.5 percent<br />

to 19.9 percent, <strong>and</strong> has s<strong>in</strong>ce stabilized <strong>in</strong> the upper teens (World Bank 2002). F<strong>in</strong>ancial<br />

transfers from Jamaicans liv<strong>in</strong>g abroad have played a major role <strong>in</strong> the growth of the economy<br />

<strong>and</strong> the recorded decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong> poverty. As such, there are concerns that the economy is not selfsusta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>and</strong> the observed economic growth has failed to generate sufficient employment.<br />

Indeed, even dur<strong>in</strong>g the period 1991 to 2001, when Jamaica experienced modest growth,<br />

employment rose less than 0.3 percent per annum. A major factor expla<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g these trends has<br />

been Jamaica’s relatively poor <strong>in</strong>ternational competitiveness <strong>and</strong> productivity, exacerbated by<br />

the costs associated with its high rate of crime.<br />

While the overall rate of poverty <strong>in</strong> Jamaica has decl<strong>in</strong>ed significantly, rural poverty rema<strong>in</strong>s a<br />

significant problem. In 2001 the poverty headcount <strong>in</strong> rural areas was 24.1 percent, with<br />

relatively high <strong>and</strong> persistent rates of extreme poverty. Thus, although the contribution of<br />

agriculture to GDP is relatively small, at 6.6 percent <strong>in</strong> 2002, it plays an important role <strong>in</strong> the<br />

livelihood of the rural population <strong>and</strong> rema<strong>in</strong>s a key factor <strong>in</strong> efforts to alleviate poverty. Indeed,<br />

<strong>in</strong> 2002 approximately 20 percent of the population was employed <strong>in</strong> agriculture, with a total<br />

agricultural workforce of 182,000 <strong>and</strong> the existence of some 188,000 rural households. However,<br />

agriculture is highly fragmented, with an average hold<strong>in</strong>g size of only 2.2 hectares (ha) (SIJ<br />

1998), <strong>and</strong> much is of questionable economic viability. Many of Jamaica’s small-holder farmers<br />

are from older age groups, with few young people <strong>in</strong>terested <strong>in</strong> pursu<strong>in</strong>g agriculture as their<br />

means of livelihood. 1<br />

Traditionally, export crops have accounted for a significant proportion of Jamaica’s agricultural<br />

GDP, total cultivated area, use of improved <strong>in</strong>puts, <strong>and</strong> agricultural employment. Sugar alone has<br />

accounted for between 30 percent–40 percent of the total agricultural area harvested over the past<br />

3 decades. Historically, Jamaica’s agricultural exports have been dom<strong>in</strong>ated by sugar <strong>and</strong><br />

bananas, for which the country enjoyed preferential market access <strong>in</strong>to the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>and</strong><br />

subsequently <strong>in</strong>to the European Union. <strong>Other</strong> long-st<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g exports have <strong>in</strong>cluded coffee, cocoa,<br />

pimento, <strong>and</strong> rum (made from molasses). Impend<strong>in</strong>g reforms <strong>in</strong> EU trade <strong>and</strong> support policies for<br />

sugar <strong>and</strong> bananas pose an enormous to Jamaica’s exports of these products given the country’s<br />

lack of cost competitiveness. 2 The contraction of these <strong>in</strong>dustries has already begun with<br />

Jamaica’s banana exports decl<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g by half between 1997 <strong>and</strong> 2003, <strong>and</strong> those for sugar<br />

decl<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g by 33 percent over the same period. Further major contraction <strong>in</strong> these <strong>in</strong>dustries is<br />

expected <strong>in</strong> the years ahead.<br />

1 The Census of 1996 found 50% of farmers to be between 50 <strong>and</strong> 70 years old.<br />

2 For example, the average production cost for sugar <strong>in</strong> Jamaica is US 0.24/lb., approximately three times the world<br />

market price <strong>and</strong> approximately double the price which is expected to prevail <strong>in</strong> Europe follow<strong>in</strong>g major reforms.<br />

See Mitchell (forthcom<strong>in</strong>g).<br />


While the Jamaican government is look<strong>in</strong>g for growth <strong>in</strong> services, especially tourism, to close the<br />

country’s burgeon<strong>in</strong>g trade deficit, there is also some hope <strong>and</strong> expectation that the country can<br />

<strong>in</strong>crease its exports <strong>in</strong> a broadly diversified range of food <strong>and</strong> agricultural products. Over the past<br />

two decades there have been emergent yet uneven exports <strong>in</strong> a broad range of fruits <strong>and</strong><br />

vegetables, fishery products, <strong>and</strong> processed foods. The bulk of this “nontraditional” trade has<br />

been targeted toward African, Asian, <strong>and</strong> Caribbean immigrant communities <strong>in</strong> North America<br />

<strong>and</strong> the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom, or to sales with<strong>in</strong> the Caribbean region itself. Much of this trade<br />

<strong>in</strong>volves fresh <strong>and</strong> processed foods that are staples of the Jamaican diet. This trade thus<br />

represents part of a wider phenomenon of trade <strong>in</strong> “ethnic foods,” which has been stimulated<br />

both by <strong>in</strong>ternational migration as well as the broader travel experiences <strong>and</strong> quest for food<br />

variety among ma<strong>in</strong>stream populations. The bulk of the commodities/raw materials servic<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Jamaica’s “nontraditional” exports comes from smallholder farmers or artisanal fishers.<br />

While the trade shift toward “ethnic foods” <strong>and</strong> other nontraditional products offers potentially<br />

lucrative opportunities, it also raises a variety of new challenges. Many of these products <strong>and</strong> the<br />

markets to which they are supplied have dem<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g sanitary <strong>and</strong>/or phytosanitary (SPS)<br />

measures <strong>and</strong>/or quality requirements. There is therefore a need to develop capacity <strong>in</strong> both the<br />

Jamaican public <strong>and</strong> private sectors to enable compliance with these requirements alongside<br />

more general efforts to enhance the level of support provided to agricultural production. This<br />

study exam<strong>in</strong>es Jamaica’s recent experiences <strong>in</strong> address<strong>in</strong>g the SPS challenges associated with<br />

its nontraditional food exports.<br />

The aims of this study are to exam<strong>in</strong>e the efficacy of strategies to comply with emerg<strong>in</strong>g<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards, assess the extent to which SPS measures have impeded the development of Jamaica’s<br />

nontraditional exports, <strong>and</strong> review the prevail<strong>in</strong>g level of SPS management capacities with<strong>in</strong> the<br />

country <strong>and</strong> ongo<strong>in</strong>g efforts to strengthen these. The study first describes the magnitude <strong>and</strong><br />

composition of agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports from Jamaica <strong>and</strong> then assesses the current status of<br />

SPS capacity. On these bases, the potential for SPS measures to impede agricultural <strong>and</strong> food<br />

product exports is assessed, draw<strong>in</strong>g on a number of specific cases <strong>in</strong> which problems have<br />

occurred. An overall assessment of the impact of SPS measures is then undertaken, <strong>and</strong><br />

recommendations made for future action on the part of both the Jamaican government <strong>and</strong><br />

private sector.<br />




Throughout the late 1980s <strong>and</strong> early 1990s, Jamaica achieved susta<strong>in</strong>ed growth <strong>in</strong> the value of its<br />

merch<strong>and</strong>ise exports, reach<strong>in</strong>g a peak of US$1.72 billion <strong>in</strong> 1996 (figure 1). S<strong>in</strong>ce that time,<br />

however, the value of merch<strong>and</strong>ise exports has decl<strong>in</strong>ed, to a low of US$1.1 billion <strong>in</strong> 2003.<br />

Over this same period, merch<strong>and</strong>ise imports <strong>in</strong>creased significantly from US$1.2 billion <strong>in</strong> 1980<br />

to more than US$3.5 billion <strong>in</strong> recent years. Thus, a wide <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g merch<strong>and</strong>ise trade<br />

deficit has occurred, reflect<strong>in</strong>g an overall lack of <strong>in</strong>ternational competitiveness on the part of the<br />

Jamaican economy.<br />

Figure 1. Trends <strong>in</strong> <strong>Jamaica's</strong> merch<strong>and</strong>ise trade, 1990–2003<br />

Source: FAOSTAT.<br />

Jamaica’s major merch<strong>and</strong>ise exports are crude materials, agricultural/food products, <strong>and</strong><br />

miscellaneous manufactured goods, which collectively accounted for over 72 percent of exports<br />

by value <strong>in</strong> 2000 (table 1). Historically, bananas <strong>and</strong> sugar were the predom<strong>in</strong>ant exports, ma<strong>in</strong>ly<br />

directed to the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom. However, <strong>in</strong> the 1960s, exports of alum<strong>in</strong>a <strong>and</strong> bauxite<br />

exp<strong>and</strong>ed rapidly, redirect<strong>in</strong>g Jamaica’s trade toward the United States. In the 1980s, apparel<br />

emerged as a major export (produced <strong>in</strong> dedicated export process<strong>in</strong>g zones), exp<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g rapidly to<br />

account for approximately 40 percent of Jamaica’s merch<strong>and</strong>ise exports by 1993 (World Bank<br />

2003). S<strong>in</strong>ce then, <strong>in</strong> the face of <strong>in</strong>tensive competition from other Caribbean isl<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> Costa<br />

Rica, apparel exports have decl<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>and</strong> by the late 1990s were negligible. Factors contribut<strong>in</strong>g<br />

to the loss of competitiveness <strong>in</strong> this <strong>and</strong> other sectors have <strong>in</strong>cluded the appreciation of the real<br />


exchange rate for the Jamaican dollar, ris<strong>in</strong>g labor costs <strong>and</strong> labor activism, <strong>and</strong> the very<br />

significant costs associated with high rates of crime.<br />

Table 1. Total commodity imports <strong>and</strong> exports by value, 2000<br />

Imports<br />

Exports<br />

Commodity Value (US$000) % Value (US$000) %<br />

Food 446.6 14.0 227.9 17.6<br />

Beverages <strong>and</strong> tobacco 28.1 0.9 60.0 4.6<br />

Crude materials 51.9 1.6 737.4 57.0<br />

M<strong>in</strong>eral fuels 595.2 18.6 3.8 0.3<br />

Animal <strong>and</strong> vegetable oils 19.6 0.6 0.1 0.0<br />

Chemicals 340.0 10.6 68.5 5.3<br />

Manufactured goods 436.9 13.7 12.4 1.0<br />

Mach<strong>in</strong>ery <strong>and</strong> transport equipment 745.2 23.3 26.9 2.1<br />

Miscellaneous manufactured goods 448.9 14.0 156.2 12.1<br />

<strong>Other</strong> 87.6 2.7 0.0 0.0<br />

Total commodity exports 3,200 100.0 1,293.2 100.0<br />

Source: Plann<strong>in</strong>g Institute of Jamaica.<br />

Alongside these changes <strong>in</strong> the composition of merch<strong>and</strong>ise trade, there has been a dramatic<br />

<strong>in</strong>crease <strong>in</strong> the role of services as an export <strong>and</strong> source of foreign exchange, notably tourism<br />

(World Bank 2003). Thus, services accounted for 33 percent of trade, of which 17 percent was<br />

tourism, <strong>in</strong> 1980. By 2001 this had <strong>in</strong>creased to 57 percent, of which 37 percent was tourism. At<br />

the same time, remittances from Jamaican’s liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g abroad have become vital to the<br />

Jamaican economy. In 2002 such private transfers amounted to US$920 million, equal to 88<br />

percent of the value of merch<strong>and</strong>ise exports.<br />

Agricultural <strong>and</strong> food products rema<strong>in</strong> important to merch<strong>and</strong>ise exports from Jamaica,<br />

account<strong>in</strong>g for approximately 26 percent by value <strong>in</strong> 2002. Their share of total exports has<br />

actually <strong>in</strong>creased s<strong>in</strong>ce the mid-1990s, hav<strong>in</strong>g “achieved” only a modest decl<strong>in</strong>e compared with<br />

a more significant decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong> Jamaica’s total merch<strong>and</strong>ise trade. Jamaica’s food <strong>and</strong> agricultural<br />

exports peaked <strong>in</strong> 1997 at US$329 million <strong>and</strong> were just under US$302 million <strong>in</strong> 2003 (figure<br />

2). Traditionally, Jamaica’s agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports were dom<strong>in</strong>ated by sugar, although<br />

bananas emerged as a major export <strong>in</strong> the late 1980s <strong>and</strong> early 1990s, <strong>and</strong> the country has<br />

exported citrus products, coffee, cocoa, pimento, <strong>and</strong> rum for many years. Figures 3 <strong>and</strong> 4 show<br />

the varied patterns of Jamaica’s food, agricultural, <strong>and</strong> beverage exports over the past decade.<br />

The country’s sugar <strong>and</strong> banana exports have decl<strong>in</strong>ed sharply, while trade ga<strong>in</strong>s have been made<br />

both for coffee <strong>and</strong> rum. <strong>Trade</strong> <strong>in</strong> a broad range of “nontraditional” exports accelerated <strong>in</strong> the<br />

first half of the 1990s <strong>and</strong> has rema<strong>in</strong>ed at essentially the same level s<strong>in</strong>ce. As a group, the<br />

nontraditional exports now exceed the value of Jamaica’s sugar exports.<br />


Figure 2. Value of Jamaican food, agricultural, <strong>and</strong> beverage exports<br />

Source: FAOSTAT.<br />

Jamaica’s nontraditional food exports consist of a broad range of products <strong>in</strong> the follow<strong>in</strong>g<br />

categories:<br />

• Fresh fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables that are traditional to the Jamaican diet <strong>and</strong> are be<strong>in</strong>g shipped<br />

to service primarily the African, Asian, <strong>and</strong> Caribbean immigrant communities <strong>in</strong><br />

selected cities of Canada, the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom, <strong>and</strong> the United States. Commodity<br />

examples <strong>in</strong>clude yam, sweet potato, other tubers, hot peppers, mango, papaya, <strong>and</strong><br />

ackee.<br />

• Fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g lobster, tilapia, <strong>and</strong> conch. These exports are<br />

directed primarily to Europe or to European territories with<strong>in</strong> the Caribbean.<br />

• Processed food products, especially pepper sauces, chutneys, soups, juices, <strong>and</strong> a broad<br />

range of condiments, syrups, <strong>and</strong> season<strong>in</strong>gs. These are exported throughout the<br />

Caribbean <strong>and</strong> to North America <strong>and</strong> the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom.<br />


Figure 3. Exports of major traditional commodities, 1985–2003 (US$ 000)<br />

Source: FAOSTAT.<br />

Figure 4. Varied trends <strong>in</strong> <strong>Jamaica's</strong> food, agriculture, <strong>and</strong> beverage exports (US $ 000)<br />

Source: FAOSTAT.<br />

As a group, Jamaica’s nontraditional agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports <strong>in</strong>creased <strong>in</strong> value from<br />

US$45 million <strong>in</strong> 1990 to nearly US$75 million <strong>in</strong> 1994. Over, the past decade, their aggregate<br />

value has leveled off, to with<strong>in</strong> the range of US$70–85 million per annum, with divergent trends<br />

among <strong>in</strong>dividual products. As will be seen below, even the trade levels for <strong>in</strong>dividual products<br />


have exhibited wide <strong>in</strong>terannual variability, <strong>in</strong> large part due to difficulties faced <strong>in</strong> meet<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

food safety <strong>and</strong>/or plant health requirements of major trad<strong>in</strong>g partners. An important dimension<br />

of Jamaica’s nontraditional food trade is its fragmentation among a broad array of products <strong>and</strong><br />

the small volumes of trade <strong>in</strong> most of these (table 2). For only one product, yam, does current<br />

trade exceed US$10 million per year. <strong>Trade</strong> levels <strong>in</strong> most of the other products are only a few<br />

million dollars each. These low levels bear significance as the country faces a broad range of<br />

SPS-related <strong>and</strong> broader competitiveness challenges. In many <strong>in</strong>stances, it is difficult to mobilize<br />

a critical mass of resources or achieve any economies of scale when seek<strong>in</strong>g to address these<br />

challenges.<br />

Jamaica regularly exports approximately 35<br />

varieties of nontraditional fresh fruits <strong>and</strong><br />

vegetables, although approximately five<br />

products account for over 40 percent of the<br />

export volume. These products are exported<br />

to well-established markets <strong>in</strong> major urban<br />

areas of Canada, the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom, <strong>and</strong><br />

the United States, often through family or<br />

other l<strong>in</strong>kages to the Jamaican immigrant<br />

population. Production is done on small<br />

farms that also supply domestic markets,<br />

with procurement normally through<br />

<strong>in</strong>termediaries. Most producers rely on<br />

ra<strong>in</strong>fall, produc<strong>in</strong>g erratic supply that is<br />

highly dependent on the weather. At any<br />

one time an exporter can be sourc<strong>in</strong>g from<br />

Table 2. Lead<strong>in</strong>g nontraditional fruit <strong>and</strong> vegetable<br />

exports, 2003<br />

Product Volume (Kg) Value (US$)<br />

Callaloo 346,753 547,876<br />

Coconut seed 330,984 555,216<br />

Hot pepper 310,117 696,206<br />

Pumpk<strong>in</strong> 1,230,282 697,409<br />

Mango 453,890 838,150<br />

Breadfruit 772,903 861,216<br />

Dasheen 1,064,282 1,192,341<br />

Uniq 800,344 1,225,944<br />

Sweet potato 1,501,806 1,919,544<br />

Tangelo Ugli 1,287,903 2,094,959<br />

Papaya 2,123,981 3,455,441<br />

Yam 11,183,821 14,991,698<br />

Source: Jamaican Exporters Association.<br />

upwards of 100 farmers, with the entire supply base consist<strong>in</strong>g of between 3,500 <strong>and</strong> 4,000<br />

producers.<br />

Typically, there is very little <strong>in</strong>tegration of the export trade <strong>and</strong> production, with the major<br />

exception of papaya exports, which are dom<strong>in</strong>ated by 3 major producer-exporters. Thus, there is<br />

typically little or no traceability through the supply cha<strong>in</strong> <strong>and</strong> little production that is dedicated<br />

for export. This lack of traceability not only raises challenges for compliance with SPS<br />

requirements but also <strong>in</strong>hibits the ability of exporters to take account of lucrative market<br />

opportunities. Typically, production is at its lowest <strong>in</strong> Jamaica at the very time of the year when<br />

market prices are highest, for example, <strong>in</strong> the United States. Aga<strong>in</strong>, with the exception of papaya,<br />

the structure of export trad<strong>in</strong>g is itself fragmented, with some 35 active companies, with perhaps<br />

10 account<strong>in</strong>g for 60 percent of the trade. Hence, even the largest companies <strong>in</strong> this <strong>in</strong>dustry<br />

have a gross turnover of only a few million dollars, <strong>and</strong> most have bus<strong>in</strong>esses that are<br />

considerably smaller than that.<br />



A number of evaluations have been undertaken of SPS capacity <strong>in</strong> Jamaica as a whole (Reid<br />

2000, IICA 2000, Focal Po<strong>in</strong>t 2004, National Quality Infrastructure Project 2001) as well as<br />

particular sub-elements (see, for example, Canale 2002), so the authors have a relatively clear<br />

picture of the prevail<strong>in</strong>g strengths <strong>and</strong> weaknesses <strong>in</strong> the context of emerg<strong>in</strong>g food safety <strong>and</strong><br />

plant <strong>and</strong> animal health requirements <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational trade. Broadly, the picture is of a SPS<br />

control system <strong>in</strong> which the core legislation <strong>and</strong> functional capacities are <strong>in</strong> place but are <strong>in</strong> need<br />

of significant updat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> modification to reflect evolv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards <strong>and</strong> the<br />

requirements of the WTO. At the same time, however, the system suffers from be<strong>in</strong>g highly<br />

fragmented, with a lack of clearly def<strong>in</strong>ed responsibilities <strong>and</strong> poor coord<strong>in</strong>ation.<br />

Overall responsibility for SPS controls <strong>in</strong> Jamaica <strong>in</strong>volves a number of government m<strong>in</strong>istries<br />

<strong>and</strong> agencies <strong>and</strong> more than 20 different pieces of legislation <strong>and</strong> attendant regulations (Reid<br />

2000). The key <strong>in</strong>stitutions are as follows:<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

M<strong>in</strong>istry of Health (<strong>in</strong> particular, the Health Promotion <strong>and</strong> Public Health Division,<br />

National Public Health Laboratory <strong>and</strong> Pesticides Control Authority)<br />

M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture (<strong>in</strong> particular, the Plant Quarant<strong>in</strong>e/Produce Inspection Unit <strong>and</strong><br />

Veter<strong>in</strong>ary Services Division)<br />

M<strong>in</strong>istry of Industry, Commerce <strong>and</strong> Technology (<strong>in</strong> particular, the Food Storage <strong>and</strong><br />

Prevention of Infestation Division)<br />

Jamaica Bureau of St<strong>and</strong>ards (JBS).<br />

In many cases, there is a direct overlap of responsibilities. Examples <strong>in</strong>clude the overlap of the<br />

Pesticides Control Authority <strong>and</strong> the Food Storage <strong>and</strong> Prevention of Infestation Division <strong>in</strong><br />

relation to the licens<strong>in</strong>g of pest control operators, <strong>and</strong> the <strong>in</strong>spection <strong>and</strong> approval of food<br />

process<strong>in</strong>g operations by both the JBS <strong>and</strong> M<strong>in</strong>istry of Health. This duplication of functions<br />

leads both to a waste of resources <strong>and</strong> the lack of coverage of key areas of capacity. Likewise, it<br />

has fragmented the capacity that does exist, most notably with respect to laboratories. There are a<br />

number of laboratories <strong>in</strong> Jamaica, all of which have limited capacity themselves <strong>and</strong> could<br />

benefit from economies of scale <strong>and</strong>/or scope (table 3).<br />

The Jamaican government has recognized the need for SPS controls to be better coord<strong>in</strong>ated <strong>and</strong><br />

for the consolidation of responsibilities. Thus, it has established a National Agricultural Health<br />

<strong>and</strong> Food Safety Coord<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g Committee (NAHFSCC), which has been given the responsibility:<br />

“to establish <strong>and</strong> ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> a rational <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated farm-to-table agricultural health <strong>and</strong> food<br />

safety system <strong>in</strong> Jamaica that harmonizes <strong>in</strong>ter-agency efforts, m<strong>in</strong>imizes <strong>in</strong>ter-agency conflict<br />

<strong>and</strong> overlap, <strong>and</strong> ensures the protection of public health <strong>in</strong> a manner consistent with WTO <strong>and</strong><br />

other <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards.” Some 23 agencies <strong>and</strong> departments are represented on the<br />

committee.<br />

The NAHSFCC is expected to focus on all aspects of food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural health,<br />

formulat<strong>in</strong>g a national policy <strong>and</strong> mak<strong>in</strong>g recommendations for a food safety agency. A National<br />

Quality Policy for Jamaica was agreed <strong>in</strong> October 2001, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the establishment of a s<strong>in</strong>gle<br />

food safety agency charged with all SPS issues. However, this policy has yet to be approved by<br />

Cab<strong>in</strong>et, <strong>and</strong> is not expected to be, <strong>in</strong> the foreseeable future. Memor<strong>and</strong>a of Underst<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g have<br />

been agreed among the M<strong>in</strong>istries of Health, Agriculture <strong>and</strong> Commerce, Science <strong>and</strong><br />


Technology, but these have not yet been officially signed. The Coord<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g Committee itself<br />

has no authority <strong>and</strong> little coord<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>g capacity. These developments highlight the considerable<br />

<strong>in</strong>ertia <strong>and</strong> resistance to change with<strong>in</strong> the established adm<strong>in</strong>istrative structure for SPS<br />

management <strong>in</strong> Jamaica <strong>and</strong> the political sensitivities associated with proposed reforms. Thus,<br />

the way forward looks likely to consist of the reallocation of exist<strong>in</strong>g responsibilities rather than<br />

a fundamental change <strong>in</strong> exist<strong>in</strong>g adm<strong>in</strong>istrative structures, perhaps as part of a gradual <strong>and</strong><br />

longer-term move to a s<strong>in</strong>gle agency.<br />

Table 3. Exist<strong>in</strong>g laboratories for chemical analyses <strong>in</strong> Jamaica<br />

Agency<br />

Veter<strong>in</strong>ary Services Division<br />

National Public Health Laboratory<br />

Government chemist<br />

Food Storage <strong>and</strong> Prevention of Infestation Division<br />

Jamaican Bureau of St<strong>and</strong>ards<br />

Scientific Research Council<br />

University of the West Indies: ICENS<br />

University of the West Indies: Chemistry Department<br />

Source: Focal Po<strong>in</strong>t (2004).<br />

Analysis<br />

Residues<br />

Cl<strong>in</strong>ical analyses<br />

Forensic test<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Pesticide residues<br />

Chemical analysis of<br />

processed foods<br />

Chemical analysis of<br />

processed foods<br />

Heavy metals<br />

Residues, contam<strong>in</strong>ants, toxic<br />

pollutants<br />

Next, this study reviews the prevail<strong>in</strong>g levels of capacity with respect to food safety <strong>and</strong> plant<br />

health. Given that the study’s focus is agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports, there is no explicit<br />

assessment of capacity relat<strong>in</strong>g to animal health, although veter<strong>in</strong>ary public health is discussed:<br />


Overall responsibility for food safety <strong>in</strong> Jamaica lies with the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Health (MoH) under<br />

the Public Health Act (1975) <strong>and</strong> Food <strong>and</strong> Drugs Act (1974). The Health Promotion <strong>and</strong><br />

Protection Division (HPPD) is responsible for establish<strong>in</strong>g policy <strong>and</strong> guidance with respect to<br />

food safety <strong>and</strong> veter<strong>in</strong>ary public health. For the purposes of enforcement, the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Health<br />

is decentralized <strong>in</strong>to four Regional Authorities that provide health services <strong>in</strong> their respective<br />

areas. The Environmental Health Unit (EHU) has 250 <strong>in</strong>spectors who regulate food h<strong>and</strong>lers,<br />

<strong>in</strong>spect process<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>and</strong> retail premises. A comparable Veter<strong>in</strong>ary Public Health Program (VPHP)<br />

undertakes <strong>in</strong>spection of slaughter<strong>in</strong>g facilities <strong>and</strong> meat <strong>and</strong> fish process<strong>in</strong>g facilities. Inspectors<br />

must be present at all times that slaughter<strong>in</strong>g/process<strong>in</strong>g occurs. The MoH operates the National<br />

Public Health Laboratory (NPHL), which undertakes water monitor<strong>in</strong>g; microbiological test<strong>in</strong>g;<br />

<strong>and</strong> surveillance of meat, fish, <strong>and</strong> dairy products.<br />

With respect to meat <strong>and</strong> fishery products for export, the Competent Authority charged with<br />

certification is the Veter<strong>in</strong>ary Services Division (VSD) of the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture (MoA). As<br />

such, the VSD has no authority to <strong>in</strong>spect meat <strong>and</strong>/or fish process<strong>in</strong>g facilities, which <strong>in</strong>itially<br />

created problems with respect to fish exports to the European Union (see below). Thus, <strong>in</strong><br />

February 1999 a Memor<strong>and</strong>um of Underst<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g (MOU) was signed between the MoA <strong>and</strong><br />

MoH whereby the <strong>in</strong>spection activities of the MoH were recognized for the purposes of export<br />

certification, <strong>and</strong> much of this function is still undertaken by VPHP <strong>in</strong>spectors. The need for<br />

such an MOU <strong>and</strong> the way <strong>in</strong> which it has operated provide another example of the lack of<br />


clarity <strong>in</strong> the allocation of adm<strong>in</strong>istrative responsibilities with<strong>in</strong> the food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural<br />

health management system <strong>in</strong> Jamaica. The VSD also operates a residue monitor<strong>in</strong>g program for<br />

meat, fish, <strong>and</strong> poultry.<br />

The Food Storage <strong>and</strong> Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) of the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Commerce,<br />

Science <strong>and</strong> Technology is responsible for controll<strong>in</strong>g the <strong>in</strong>festation of food enter<strong>in</strong>g commerce<br />

<strong>and</strong> has the power to condemn <strong>and</strong> destroy <strong>in</strong>fested foods. Its activities <strong>in</strong>clude controls on<br />

rodents, residues (<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g mycotox<strong>in</strong>s <strong>and</strong> pesticide residues), microbiological contam<strong>in</strong>ants,<br />

<strong>and</strong> pests <strong>in</strong> domestic production, as well as for imports <strong>and</strong> exports. It is also responsible for the<br />

licens<strong>in</strong>g of private pest control operators <strong>and</strong> tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g of farmers on pest control operations with<br />

respect to storage.<br />

The Jamaica Bureau of St<strong>and</strong>ards (JBS) is responsible for <strong>in</strong>spect<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> register<strong>in</strong>g<br />

establishments that manufacture processed foods under the Processed Food Act 1959. The JBS<br />

was established <strong>in</strong> 1968 as a statutory body report<strong>in</strong>g to the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Commerce, Science <strong>and</strong><br />

Industry. In the case of milk process<strong>in</strong>g, however, responsibility for sanitation <strong>and</strong> quality lies<br />

with the MoH once the premises have been approved by the JBS. Furthermore, the Scientific<br />

Research Council (SRC) is responsible for approv<strong>in</strong>g the process<strong>in</strong>g of low-acid canned foods<br />

such as ackees <strong>and</strong> callaloo (most notably, for export to the United States). This highlights the<br />

fragmentation <strong>and</strong> duplication of the <strong>in</strong>spection <strong>and</strong> approval of food process<strong>in</strong>g operations <strong>in</strong><br />

Jamaica.<br />

The JBS is also responsible for the development of both m<strong>and</strong>atory <strong>and</strong> voluntary st<strong>and</strong>ards for<br />

agricultural <strong>and</strong> food products. In the case of food <strong>and</strong> food products, it establishes m<strong>and</strong>atory<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards under the Processed Food Act 1973 <strong>and</strong> voluntary st<strong>and</strong>ards under the St<strong>and</strong>ards Act<br />

1973. However, Jamaica has experienced considerable problems gett<strong>in</strong>g its st<strong>and</strong>ards accepted<br />

abroad, particularly <strong>in</strong> cases <strong>in</strong> which these are not based on <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards (Reid 2000).<br />

In addition, the JBS has traditionally undertaken both certification <strong>and</strong> accreditation functions, <strong>in</strong><br />

contrast with <strong>in</strong>ternational “good practice,” which <strong>in</strong>volves the separation of these adm<strong>in</strong>istrative<br />

functions to m<strong>in</strong>imize conflicts of <strong>in</strong>terest.<br />

Control of pesticides <strong>in</strong> Jamaica is undertaken by the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA), an<br />

autonomous agency of the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Health. The Authority is responsible for register<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong><br />

approv<strong>in</strong>g pesticides, controls on imports <strong>and</strong> domestic production, registration <strong>and</strong> approval of<br />

pesticide retailers <strong>and</strong> pest control operators, <strong>and</strong> residue <strong>and</strong> quality analysis. Jamaica does not<br />

have national maximum residue limits (MRLs) for pesticides <strong>in</strong> foodstuffs, although it makes use<br />

of Codex Alimentarius MRLs to control imports <strong>and</strong> residues monitor<strong>in</strong>g. The PCA has a very<br />

limited monitor<strong>in</strong>g program that <strong>in</strong>volves tak<strong>in</strong>g very low numbers of samples of local products<br />

on an annual basis.<br />

Tables 4 <strong>and</strong> 5 provide an overview of the current status of food safety control capacity <strong>in</strong><br />

Jamaica. While there is basic capacity <strong>in</strong> most areas, this is generally <strong>in</strong>adequate given the food<br />

safety requirements <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational trade. Furthermore, there is little or no capacity with<strong>in</strong> the<br />

private sector, with the notable exception of the fish process<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> papaya sectors (see below)<br />

<strong>and</strong> a few major food process<strong>in</strong>g operators. Certa<strong>in</strong>ly, the vast majority of exporters appear to<br />

have little or no food safety control capacity. Likewise, there is little collective private sector<br />

capacity. The Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) has been established as part of efforts with<strong>in</strong><br />

the private sector to coord<strong>in</strong>ate <strong>and</strong> promote the export of nontraditional agricultural <strong>and</strong> food<br />

products. The JEA has approximately 200 members <strong>and</strong> undertakes lobby<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> trade show<br />


adm<strong>in</strong>istration, <strong>and</strong> provides start-up <strong>and</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g capital through a revolv<strong>in</strong>g fund. However, it<br />

is not actively <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the establishment of food safety capacity, for example, through the<br />

development of <strong>in</strong>dustry “codes of practice.”<br />


Table 4. Strengths <strong>and</strong> weaknesses of food safety controls <strong>in</strong> Jamaica<br />

Collective<br />

Element of capacity Public sector Private sector Exporters<br />

Internal surveillance<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Import controls<br />

Legislation <strong>and</strong> procedures <strong>in</strong> place<br />

but need to be enhanced<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Emergency quarant<strong>in</strong>e<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Export controls <strong>and</strong> certification Some capacity <strong>in</strong> place (such as Fish)<br />

but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity <strong>in</strong> place (such as Fish) but<br />

generally <strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Responsiveness to new/emerg<strong>in</strong>g Limited monitor<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> ability to<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Lack of coord<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

issues<br />

respond to emerg<strong>in</strong>g issues<br />

Risk analysis Relatively weak capacity Miss<strong>in</strong>g Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Analysis <strong>and</strong> diagnosis<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Controls on <strong>in</strong>puts<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Pest <strong>and</strong> disease control<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Hygienic practices <strong>in</strong> production,<br />

process<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>and</strong> distribution<br />

Level of <strong>in</strong>spection <strong>and</strong> enforcement<br />

needs to be enhanced<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

HACCP generally not implemented outside<br />

fish process<strong>in</strong>g sector<br />

Monitor<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Identification <strong>and</strong> traceability Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Some capacity but generally <strong>in</strong>adequate <strong>in</strong><br />

most sectors<br />

Source: Authors.<br />

Sector<br />


Table 5. Management capacity constra<strong>in</strong>ts relat<strong>in</strong>g to food safety <strong>in</strong> Jamaica<br />

Sector<br />

Collective<br />

Element of capacity Public sector Private sector Exporters<br />

Adm<strong>in</strong>istrative procedures<br />

Overlap <strong>and</strong> lack of coord<strong>in</strong>ation of<br />

responsibilities among government<br />

agencies<br />

Generally miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Generally a lack of<br />

cooperation/coord<strong>in</strong>ation between<br />

exporters <strong>and</strong> suppliers<br />

Legislation Largely outdated Lack of private sector codes of<br />

practice or guidel<strong>in</strong>es<br />

Generally a lack of written protocols<br />

for suppliers<br />

Enforcement/control<br />

Inadequate <strong>in</strong>spectors <strong>and</strong>/or Generally weak<br />

Generally a lack of quality assurance<br />

Physical <strong>in</strong>frastructure<br />

Human capital<br />

Capacity build<strong>in</strong>g/updat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Communication<br />

Source:Authors<br />

.<br />

<strong>in</strong>spectors <strong>in</strong>adequately tra<strong>in</strong>ed<br />

Laboratory facilities <strong>in</strong> need of<br />

updat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Need for tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g or retra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g of<br />

policymakers, professionals, <strong>and</strong><br />

operational staff<br />

Many procedures <strong>and</strong> facilities<br />

outdated<br />

Lack of communication among<br />

government agencies<br />

Lack of communication among<br />

government <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry<br />

Little or no capacity<br />

Generally weak<br />

Attempts to upgrade capacity <strong>in</strong><br />

some sectors (such as fish) but<br />

generally weak<br />

Generally weak<br />

personnel<br />

Most exporters lack laboratory<br />

facilities<br />

Some process<strong>in</strong>g facilities <strong>in</strong> need of<br />

upgrad<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Generally a need for quality<br />

assurance personnel <strong>and</strong> for hygiene<br />

tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g among workforce<br />

Lack of cooperation/coord<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

among exporters<br />

Lack of tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g/professional<br />

updat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Lack of communication between<br />

government <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>and</strong> with<strong>in</strong><br />

the export sectors<br />


Across the agencies responsible for food safety controls there are limitations <strong>in</strong> skills <strong>and</strong><br />

experience <strong>in</strong> risk analysis <strong>and</strong> equivalency (Reid 2000). Furthermore, the implementation of<br />

hazard analysis <strong>and</strong> critical control po<strong>in</strong>t (HACCP) systems is <strong>in</strong> its <strong>in</strong>fancy. However, there is<br />

clearly widespread recognition of the need to implement HACCP <strong>in</strong> food process<strong>in</strong>g operations<br />

<strong>and</strong> throughout the supply cha<strong>in</strong>. For example, the staff <strong>in</strong> VSD <strong>and</strong> FSPID have received<br />

tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> this respect. In many cases, the need for HACCP reflects food safety requirements <strong>in</strong><br />

Jamaica’s export markets. For <strong>in</strong>stance, both the European Union <strong>and</strong> the United States require<br />

HACCP <strong>in</strong> the process<strong>in</strong>g of fish. This is also one area <strong>in</strong> which there are signs of Jamaican<br />

private sector activity <strong>in</strong> the provision of consultancy, test<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>and</strong> tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g services with respect<br />

to food safety. Two Jamaican private operators are <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the implementation of HACCP<br />

<strong>and</strong> ISO 9000 <strong>and</strong> food safety tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g. One of these, Technological Solutions Ltd., is responsible<br />

for implement<strong>in</strong>g the approved HACCP procedures for canned ackees as required by the US<br />

Food <strong>and</strong> Drug Adm<strong>in</strong>istration (FDA).<br />

It is acknowledged by the Jamaican government <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational <strong>in</strong>stitutions such as FAO <strong>and</strong><br />

IICA that food safety legislation needs to be updated to comply with <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards<br />

<strong>and</strong>/or the requirements of Jamaica’s major trad<strong>in</strong>g partners. Moreover, the exist<strong>in</strong>g body of<br />

legislation needs to be consolidated to enhance the effectiveness of enforcement <strong>and</strong> make<br />

regulatory requirements clearer to the private sector (Reid 2000, IICA 2000). Currently, there are<br />

15 Acts with attendant regulations. Most have strong powers to ensure compliance, although the<br />

penalties are outdated. However, there is no legislative power <strong>in</strong> many crucial areas, such as the<br />

promulgation of maximum residue limits (MRLs) for pesticides <strong>in</strong> foods. Indeed, there have<br />

been efforts to update the legislation <strong>in</strong> certa<strong>in</strong> areas, predom<strong>in</strong>antly <strong>in</strong> response to the st<strong>and</strong>ards<br />

applied <strong>in</strong> major export markets. For example, the Aquaculture, Inl<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> Mar<strong>in</strong>e <strong>Products</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

By-products (Inspection, Licens<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> Export) Act of 1999 aimed to implement the controls<br />

specifically necessary to satisfy EU requirements. Likewise, plans to implement equivalent<br />

legislation for meat <strong>and</strong> meat products are aimed at facilitat<strong>in</strong>g EU market access.<br />

As discussed above, laboratory capacity <strong>in</strong> Jamaica is highly fragmented. The overall picture is<br />

of well-established capacity to undertake a range of analyses, although a need for the exist<strong>in</strong>g<br />

facilities to be upgraded to perform the range <strong>and</strong> sensitivity of analysis now required for<br />

compliance with food safety requirements <strong>in</strong> export markets. For example, facilities at the NPHL<br />

are relatively modern <strong>and</strong> capable of undertak<strong>in</strong>g a wide range of the analyses required by major<br />

export nations. However, there is a need to upgrade facilities <strong>and</strong> retra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g of staff <strong>and</strong> for<br />

<strong>in</strong>ternational accreditation of test<strong>in</strong>g facilities. Furthermore, current capacity is considered<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate to undertake high-volume quick-turnaround analyses (IICA 2000, Reid 2000). The<br />

FSPID’s laboratory for residue chemistry is equipped to undertake most of the required tests; yet,<br />

it has limited equipment <strong>and</strong> backlogs occur when there are sudden surges <strong>in</strong> test<strong>in</strong>g dem<strong>and</strong>.<br />

Periodic shortages of solvents <strong>and</strong> other chemicals also <strong>in</strong>hibit performance. The laboratory of<br />

the VSD is able to undertake analyses for most microorganisms <strong>and</strong> some antibiotics <strong>and</strong><br />

pesticide residues. These facilities were upgraded <strong>in</strong> 2000 at a cost of JMD10 million, although<br />

are <strong>in</strong> need of additional <strong>in</strong>vestment. However, the lack of staff with appropriate skills <strong>and</strong> high<br />

rates of staff turnover are recurrent problems.<br />


Controls on plant pests <strong>and</strong> diseases under the Agricultural Produce Act 1926 <strong>and</strong> Plant<br />

Quarant<strong>in</strong>e Act 1993 are the responsibility of the Plant Quarant<strong>in</strong>e/Produce Inspection Unit<br />


(PQ/PI) of MoA. The PQ/PI Unit has 18 plant quarant<strong>in</strong>e officers, two entomologists, <strong>and</strong> two<br />

fumigators based at the central headquarters <strong>and</strong> at export complexes at the <strong>in</strong>ternational airports<br />

<strong>in</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gston <strong>and</strong> Montego Bay. These facilities provide a one-stop shop for customs, narcotics,<br />

<strong>and</strong> plant health controls for exporters of fresh produce. Both sites have fumigation facilities,<br />

although only the complex <strong>in</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gston has cold storage. Both facilities operate a pre-clearance<br />

program for exports to the United States (see below).<br />

Tables 6 <strong>and</strong> 7 provide an overview of the current level of plant health controls <strong>in</strong> Jamaica,<br />

which draw <strong>in</strong> part on Canale (2002). Unlike the broad area of food safety, fragmentation is less<br />

of a problem <strong>in</strong> the case of plant health controls, although there is some overlapp<strong>in</strong>g of<br />

jurisdiction with the FSPID regard<strong>in</strong>g stored crops. The broad picture is that, while the basic<br />

public <strong>in</strong>stitutional capacity is <strong>in</strong> place, the effectiveness of phytosanitary controls is<br />

compromised by outdated procedures <strong>and</strong> limitations <strong>in</strong> both physical <strong>and</strong> human capital. In<br />

addition, channels of communication need to be enhanced. This necessity reflects the fact that<br />

the resources provided to support this function have not kept pace with the growth <strong>in</strong> exports of<br />

nontraditional fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables, for which plant health is a more significant issue, nor with<br />

the growth <strong>in</strong> Jamaica’s agricultural imports <strong>and</strong> port l<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>gs by cruise ships. In turn, this lack<br />

of communication <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>spection capacity can cause delays <strong>in</strong> clear<strong>in</strong>g produce for export,<br />

especially if <strong>in</strong>sects are detected <strong>and</strong> have to be identified. The PQ/PI Unit does have a high level<br />

of experienced staff, <strong>and</strong> turnover has been low. However, with<strong>in</strong> the private sector, there is little<br />

or no capacity, <strong>and</strong>, arguably, it is here that the most effort is required.<br />


Table 6. Strengths <strong>and</strong> weaknesses of plant health controls <strong>in</strong> Jamaica<br />

Collective<br />

Element of capacity Public sector Private sector Exporters<br />

Internal surveillance<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Import controls<br />

Legislation exists but needs to be<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

updated.<br />

General lack of capacity<br />

Emergency quarant<strong>in</strong>e<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Export controls <strong>and</strong> certification Well developed, although capacity<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

needs to be enhanced<br />

Responsiveness to new/emerg<strong>in</strong>g Lack of monitor<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> ability to<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

issues<br />

respond to emerg<strong>in</strong>g issues<br />

Risk analysis Relatively weak capacity Miss<strong>in</strong>g Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

Sector<br />

Analysis <strong>and</strong> diagnosis<br />

Controls on <strong>in</strong>puts<br />

Pest <strong>and</strong> disease control<br />

Hygienic practices <strong>in</strong> production,<br />

process<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>and</strong> distribution<br />

Monitor<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Identification <strong>and</strong> traceability<br />

Basic capacity developed but<br />

generally <strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Need better diagnostic capacity<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Advice <strong>and</strong> support systems <strong>in</strong> place<br />

but poorly resourced<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Some capacity but generally<br />

<strong>in</strong>adequate<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

Weak except <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegrated operations<br />

Source: Authors.<br />


Table 7. Management capacity constra<strong>in</strong>ts relat<strong>in</strong>g to plant health controls <strong>in</strong> Jamaica<br />

Sector<br />

Collective<br />

Element of capacity Public sector Private sector Exporters<br />

Adm<strong>in</strong>istrative procedures<br />

Need for documented procedures<br />

Need for computerization<br />

Need for better coord<strong>in</strong>ation of quarant<strong>in</strong>e <strong>and</strong><br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g Lack of cooperation/coord<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

between exporters<br />

Lack of documented procedures<br />

extension services<br />

Legislation<br />

Outdated<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g Generally a lack of written<br />

Enforcement/control<br />

Physical <strong>in</strong>frastructure<br />

Human capital<br />

Capacity build<strong>in</strong>g/updat<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Communication<br />

Source:Authors.<br />

Draft available but stalled<br />

Export controls generally good<br />

Need for enhanced import controls<br />

Need enhanced operational manuals<br />

Need for upgrad<strong>in</strong>g of laboratory, <strong>in</strong>spection <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>c<strong>in</strong>eration facilities<br />

Need for tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g or retra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g of <strong>in</strong>spection<br />

personnel<br />

Many procedures <strong>and</strong> facilities outdated with little or<br />

no attempt to build capacity <strong>and</strong> keep up to date<br />

Channels of communication established but need to<br />

work better<br />

Need for better coord<strong>in</strong>ation of quarant<strong>in</strong>e <strong>and</strong><br />

extension services<br />

Need for policymakers to be sensitized<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Miss<strong>in</strong>g<br />

procedures for suppliers<br />

Lack of personnel with required<br />

tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

Most exporter facilities <strong>in</strong> need of<br />

upgrad<strong>in</strong>g to ensure effective<br />

controls<br />

Need for tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g of producers <strong>and</strong><br />

exporters<br />

Lack of cooperation/coord<strong>in</strong>ation<br />

among exporters<br />

Lack of tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g of farmers<br />

Lack of communication between<br />

government <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>and</strong> with<strong>in</strong><br />

the export <strong>and</strong> production sectors<br />


In general, legislation <strong>and</strong> documented procedures have not been updated <strong>in</strong> l<strong>in</strong>e with<br />

<strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards, although there is awareness of the need to do so among senior<br />

adm<strong>in</strong>istrators. The need for legislation to be updated is recognized with<strong>in</strong> the PQ/PI Unit, <strong>and</strong> a<br />

new plant quarant<strong>in</strong>e act has been drafted with the assistance of the FAO. This process has been<br />

delayed, however, by the ongo<strong>in</strong>g debate regard<strong>in</strong>g the establishment of a s<strong>in</strong>gle authority to<br />

govern food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural health controls, as discussed above. The draft legislation<br />

addresses the <strong>in</strong>herent weaknesses <strong>in</strong> the Plant Quarant<strong>in</strong>e Act of 1993, which was considered<br />

outdated even at the time it was implemented, for example, <strong>in</strong> provid<strong>in</strong>g for the implementation<br />

of import permits, <strong>and</strong> the application of various penalties <strong>and</strong> fees.<br />

Jamaica is free of the majority of plant pests <strong>and</strong> diseases that are of importance to <strong>in</strong>ternational<br />

trade. However, certa<strong>in</strong> species of fruit fly are present <strong>and</strong> prevent exports of some products,<br />

such as mangoes to the United States. Furthermore, some <strong>in</strong>digenous <strong>and</strong>/or imported pests are<br />

of significance to particular products, for example, the gall midge <strong>in</strong> the case of hot pepper (see<br />

below). However, capacity to undertake pest risk assessments is limited, <strong>and</strong> Jamaica’s status<br />

with respect to certa<strong>in</strong> pests <strong>and</strong> diseases is not confirmed. This creates major problems <strong>in</strong><br />

negotiat<strong>in</strong>g plant health controls with the phytosanitary authorities <strong>in</strong> major export markets, most<br />

notably with Animal <strong>and</strong> Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) <strong>in</strong> the United States.<br />

Currently, there are no dedicated <strong>in</strong>spection facilities for imports, despite the fact that volumes<br />

<strong>in</strong>creased significantly through the 1990s. Indeed, the PQ/PI has struggled to ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> an<br />

adequate level of <strong>in</strong>spection to prevent the importation of exotic pests, for example, from other<br />

parts of the Caribbean.<br />

The PQ/PI Unit works closely with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to<br />

implement controls on plant pests <strong>and</strong> diseases <strong>in</strong> domestic production. RADA has extension<br />

officers stationed across the isl<strong>and</strong>. Each parish office has a computer term<strong>in</strong>al <strong>in</strong> which data can<br />

be stored <strong>and</strong> downloaded. Currently, surveillance programs are operational for fruit fly, scale<br />

<strong>in</strong>sects, papaya r<strong>in</strong>g spot virus, papaya mealy bug, p<strong>in</strong>k mealy bug <strong>and</strong> the gall midge. RADA is<br />

<strong>in</strong>formed when export consignments are rejected <strong>and</strong> is supposed to <strong>in</strong>vestigate, although it is<br />

evident that this system could be improved. Inspectors from the PQ/PI unit also undertake farm<br />

visits periodically, especially when a problem has been identified.<br />

Jamaica has certa<strong>in</strong> weaknesses <strong>in</strong> controls of plant pests <strong>and</strong> diseases. First, current legislation<br />

requires updat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> is not compliant with <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards. Second, there are <strong>in</strong>sufficient<br />

<strong>in</strong>spectors to provide adequate surveillance coverage, both for domestic production <strong>and</strong> at air <strong>and</strong><br />

shipp<strong>in</strong>g term<strong>in</strong>als. Third, there is lack of expertise <strong>and</strong> diagnostic laboratory capacity <strong>in</strong><br />

pathology <strong>and</strong> pest identification. As a result of these weaknesses, the Jamaican government has<br />

found it difficult to defend its position <strong>in</strong> disputes over phytosanitary controls on exports, <strong>in</strong><br />

particular, to the United States.<br />


The forego<strong>in</strong>g discussion has highlighted the lack of food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health control capacity<br />

with<strong>in</strong> the private sector <strong>in</strong> Jamaica. However, the notable exceptions are discussed <strong>in</strong> further<br />

detail <strong>in</strong> section 5. To ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> access to EU markets, the fish process<strong>in</strong>g sector has been<br />

required to implement enhanced hygiene controls, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g HACCP. Some fresh produce<br />

exporters have made efforts to implement enhanced hygiene controls, most notably with<strong>in</strong> the<br />

papaya sector, which is dom<strong>in</strong>ated by three major exporters, two of which source a proportion of<br />


their produce through a system of out-growers (producers grow<strong>in</strong>g on their own l<strong>and</strong> under<br />

contract). Some more sophisticated exporters of Jamaican vegetables have also made efforts to<br />

upgrade their st<strong>and</strong>ards, see<strong>in</strong>g the emergence of stricter st<strong>and</strong>ards on the horizon, although these<br />

exporters rema<strong>in</strong> very much the exception rather than the rule. Major food process<strong>in</strong>g<br />

companies, for example, Grace Kennedy, have also implemented HACCP <strong>and</strong> other hygiene<br />

controls. These more progressive companies are keep<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> view the grow<strong>in</strong>g importance of<br />

exports, both with<strong>in</strong> the region <strong>and</strong> to Canada, the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom, <strong>and</strong> the United States.<br />

The broader picture, <strong>in</strong> contrast, is of a highly fragmented supply cha<strong>in</strong> that supplies both the<br />

domestic <strong>and</strong> export markets <strong>and</strong> has rather rudimentary systems of food safety <strong>and</strong>/or plant<br />

health control. Furthermore, <strong>in</strong> many cases, there is little or no evidence that these systems have<br />

been upgraded as the volume <strong>and</strong> composition of agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports from Jamaica<br />

have changed over time <strong>and</strong> the SPS requirements <strong>in</strong> major export markets have evolved. In this<br />

context, the SPS-related requirements discussed <strong>in</strong> section 5 below should be reviewed. It is<br />

evident, however, that the need to upgrade prevail<strong>in</strong>g food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health controls has<br />

been recognized by the Jamaican government. The government is <strong>in</strong>vest<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> these areas, for<br />

example, through the Agricultural Support Services Project (ASSP) (section 4), which is<br />

provid<strong>in</strong>g support to upgrade the facilities of the Agricultural Market<strong>in</strong>g Corporation (AMC)<br />

(box 1). In addition, the forego<strong>in</strong>g discussion <strong>in</strong>dicates that some exporters are mak<strong>in</strong>g efforts to<br />

upgrade their own controls. Do they perhaps represent the tip of the iceberg of more private<br />

sector <strong>in</strong>vest<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> upgrades?<br />

Box 1. Upgrad<strong>in</strong>g the AMC fruit/vegetable pack<strong>in</strong>g center<br />

Indicative of the need to upgrade sanitary <strong>and</strong> phytosanitary st<strong>and</strong>ards (SPS) controls through the supply cha<strong>in</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

the recognition of this with<strong>in</strong> the Jamaican government is the case of the Agricultural Market<strong>in</strong>g Corporation<br />

(AMC). This statutory body was established <strong>in</strong> 1963 to stimulate <strong>and</strong> promote local agriculture by provid<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

guaranteed market for farmers’ crops. The AMC operates from a facility <strong>in</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gston that was converted to an agroexport<br />

center <strong>in</strong> the mid-1980s. Historically, the AMC also operated a series of branches around the country through<br />

which produce was procured. Although these are no longer functional, they still form the basis of the supply cha<strong>in</strong> to<br />

the center. Currently, the agro-export complex has 14 residents, although not all of these are <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> exports of<br />

agricultural <strong>and</strong> food products. Exporters operat<strong>in</strong>g at the complex assemble products <strong>and</strong> perform clean<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong><br />

basic process<strong>in</strong>g operations prior to dispatch to the export complex at K<strong>in</strong>gston airport.<br />

In December 2002 a Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) audit was undertaken of the AMC facility that exam<strong>in</strong>ed the<br />

modifications that would be required to implement GAP <strong>and</strong> HACCP. This audit identified a wide range of hygiene<br />

problems that prevented effective food safety <strong>and</strong> plant pest controls be<strong>in</strong>g implemented. These <strong>in</strong>cluded the need<br />

for upgrades to floor<strong>in</strong>g, walls, <strong>and</strong> ceil<strong>in</strong>gs to facilitate effective clean<strong>in</strong>g; rigorous clean<strong>in</strong>g regimes; effective pest<br />

control measures; enhanced ma<strong>in</strong>tenance; water treatment facility (<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g chlor<strong>in</strong>ation); removal of debris <strong>and</strong><br />

obsolete equipment; enhanced bathroom <strong>and</strong> chang<strong>in</strong>g facilities; better dra<strong>in</strong>age; <strong>and</strong> changes to layout <strong>and</strong> process<br />

flow. The cost of the overall upgrade of the facility was estimated to be US$1.35 million (table 8).<br />


Table 8. Cost of upgrad<strong>in</strong>g AMC facility to GAP <strong>and</strong> HACCP st<strong>and</strong>ards<br />

Build<strong>in</strong>g Suitability Cost (US$)<br />

3 2-3 pack-houses/process<strong>in</strong>g operations 124,271<br />

4 Process<strong>in</strong>g operation 55,576<br />

2 Pack-houses 118,271<br />

5 Pack-houses/process<strong>in</strong>g operations 244,131<br />

Ma<strong>in</strong> 12 pack-houses 804,766<br />

Total 1,347,016<br />

Source: Technological Solutions 2002.<br />

The overall picture <strong>in</strong> Jamaica is of a system of food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health management that has<br />

not evolved <strong>in</strong> response to changes <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards, the requirements of Jamaica’s<br />

major trad<strong>in</strong>g partners, <strong>and</strong> the shift <strong>in</strong> composition of agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports toward<br />

nontraditional products for which SPS issues are a more important issue. While the basic<br />

elements of capacity are <strong>in</strong> place <strong>and</strong> exist<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>stitutions operate relatively well, enabled by<br />

generally high levels of human capital, these <strong>in</strong>stitutions are directed at outdated pr<strong>in</strong>ciples <strong>and</strong><br />

procedures. Furthermore, the current level of resources is clearly <strong>in</strong>adequate to meet the needs of<br />

the export sector <strong>and</strong> to direct compliance efforts toward a proactive strategy. This proactive<br />

strategy must be to foresee emerg<strong>in</strong>g problems <strong>and</strong> offset their impacts before they arise <strong>and</strong>/or<br />

turn them to competitive advantage. 3<br />

The limited resources made available for SPS management is compounded by Jamaica’s lack of<br />

a clear <strong>and</strong> coherent adm<strong>in</strong>istrative structure relat<strong>in</strong>g to food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural health. In a<br />

number of cases, there is a clear overlap of responsibilities with little or no communication <strong>and</strong><br />

coord<strong>in</strong>ation among the agencies <strong>in</strong>volved. Moreover, the allocation of responsibilities to certa<strong>in</strong><br />

agencies does not conform to <strong>in</strong>ternational norms, as <strong>in</strong> the case of the JBS. While the necessity<br />

to streaml<strong>in</strong>e exist<strong>in</strong>g adm<strong>in</strong>istrative structures <strong>and</strong>, ideally, create a s<strong>in</strong>gle body with<br />

responsibility for food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural health has been recognized, efforts toward this end<br />

have been delayed through <strong>in</strong>ertia <strong>and</strong> political debate.<br />


The Jamaican government has recognized the need to enhance SPS management capacity as part<br />

of more general efforts to improve national quality <strong>in</strong>frastructure. The government has pursued<br />

two programs of technical assistance <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> recent years to address capacity<br />

weaknesses <strong>and</strong> facilitate more effective participation <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards-sett<strong>in</strong>g<br />

processes. These are briefly discussed here.<br />

The Agricultural Support Services Project (ASSP) is a four-year, US$31.5 million project,<br />

supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). The project aims to enhance the<br />

competitiveness of Jamaican agriculture <strong>in</strong> domestic <strong>and</strong> global markets, thereby advanc<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

goal of <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g the <strong>in</strong>comes of Jamaican agricultural producers. The project has three<br />

3 For a discussion of strategy related to SPS issues <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational trade, see Jaffee <strong>and</strong> Henson 2004.<br />


components: (1) strengthen<strong>in</strong>g the delivery of agricultural support services; (2) strengthen<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong><br />

consolidat<strong>in</strong>g agricultural health <strong>and</strong> food safety services; <strong>and</strong> (3) f<strong>in</strong>anc<strong>in</strong>g selected activities <strong>in</strong><br />

high pay-off productive projects. The project started <strong>in</strong> February 2001 <strong>and</strong> ends <strong>in</strong> 2005; yet, it is<br />

expected to be extended for 2 additional years.<br />

The second component of the project is most pert<strong>in</strong>ent to the focus of this study. 4 Up to US$10<br />

million has been allocated to strengthen <strong>and</strong> consolidate food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural health <strong>and</strong><br />

services <strong>in</strong> Jamaica. This component aims to improve the effectiveness of SPS management<br />

capacity to protect domestic consumers from illness <strong>and</strong> domestic production from disease <strong>and</strong><br />

contam<strong>in</strong>ation, while ensur<strong>in</strong>g that Jamaica’s exports meet <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards. The ma<strong>in</strong><br />

outputs are to be:<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Develop<strong>in</strong>g an appropriate policy, updat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> enact<strong>in</strong>g legislation, <strong>and</strong> strengthen<strong>in</strong>g<br />

coord<strong>in</strong>ation mechanisms<br />

Hir<strong>in</strong>g/tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g personnel <strong>in</strong> food safety, animal health, <strong>and</strong> plant health<br />

Acquir<strong>in</strong>g relevant equipment <strong>and</strong> supplies<br />

Strengthen<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> upgrad<strong>in</strong>g pert<strong>in</strong>ent <strong>in</strong>frastructure<br />

Implement<strong>in</strong>g a public awareness campaign<br />

Develop<strong>in</strong>g databases <strong>and</strong> strengthen<strong>in</strong>g record-keep<strong>in</strong>g systems<br />

Updat<strong>in</strong>g methodologies<br />

Implement<strong>in</strong>g surveillance programs.<br />

The project is look<strong>in</strong>g to restructure adm<strong>in</strong>istrative controls for food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural<br />

health. It has already funded a status report <strong>and</strong> assessment of the exist<strong>in</strong>g systems <strong>in</strong> Jamaica<br />

that focus on legislation <strong>and</strong> the distribution of adm<strong>in</strong>istrative responsibilities (see Focal Po<strong>in</strong>t<br />

2004). The aim is to create a s<strong>in</strong>gle agency for all SPS matters that builds on the exist<strong>in</strong>g<br />

NAHFSCC, which meets monthly <strong>and</strong> has representatives from MoA, MoH, FSPID, JBS, <strong>and</strong><br />

JEA. However, an <strong>in</strong>termediate step toward a s<strong>in</strong>gle body is likely to be the better def<strong>in</strong>ition of<br />

adm<strong>in</strong>istrative responsibilities <strong>and</strong> enhanced communication <strong>and</strong> coord<strong>in</strong>ation. This s<strong>in</strong>gle body<br />

is likely to be based on the exist<strong>in</strong>g NAHFSCC, augmented with a secretariat <strong>and</strong> legislative<br />

powers.<br />

An <strong>in</strong>itial assessment was undertaken of the needs for <strong>in</strong>frastructural development related to food<br />

safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural health <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g upgrad<strong>in</strong>g build<strong>in</strong>gs, purchas<strong>in</strong>g computers, <strong>and</strong> tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.<br />

More recently, an assessment has been completed that confirms whether these identified needs<br />

still exist. Two priorities are to upgrade the export complex at K<strong>in</strong>gston airport <strong>and</strong> to <strong>in</strong>stall<br />

fumigation facilities at the complex <strong>in</strong> Montego Bay. The former <strong>in</strong>cludes an expansion of the<br />

facility, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g extended warehous<strong>in</strong>g area. This expansion is expected to beg<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> the first<br />

half of 2005. Fund<strong>in</strong>g has also been provided to upgrade laboratory facilities, for example, at the<br />

VSD.<br />

4 Some aspects of the other two components have also been pert<strong>in</strong>ent. For example, under the first component, the<br />

previously mentioned audit of the AMC facility was undertaken plus there are efforts to secure loans for HACCP<br />

implementation. Under the third component, various product competitiveness studies have been undertaken <strong>and</strong><br />

specific <strong>in</strong>vestments f<strong>in</strong>anced with<strong>in</strong> the private sector.<br />


Alongside the ASSP, the National Quality Infrastructure Project aims to support the development<br />

of national quality policy <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>frastructure <strong>in</strong> Jamaica to enhance <strong>in</strong>ternational competitiveness.<br />

This support takes the form of a technical cooperation project between the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Industry,<br />

Commerce <strong>and</strong> Technology <strong>and</strong> the Swedish Board for Accreditation <strong>and</strong> Conformity<br />

Assessment (SWEDAC) with fund<strong>in</strong>g from the Swedish International Development Agency<br />

(SIDA). The project started <strong>in</strong> October 2001 <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>itially was <strong>in</strong>tended to last for 30 months.<br />

However, it was extended for two years, <strong>and</strong> a second extension is expected to be granted <strong>in</strong><br />

2005.<br />

The aims of the National Quality Infrastructure Project are:<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Develop<strong>in</strong>g an overall policy for the organization of national quality <strong>in</strong>frastructure <strong>in</strong><br />

Jamaica<br />

Adapt<strong>in</strong>g one important product sector to the new pr<strong>in</strong>ciples for technical regulation <strong>and</strong><br />

conformity assessment<br />

Establish<strong>in</strong>g a national accreditation body<br />

Prepar<strong>in</strong>g of selected laboratories for accreditation<br />

Enhanc<strong>in</strong>g the activities of the Packag<strong>in</strong>g Department <strong>in</strong> the JBS.<br />

Specifically related to food <strong>and</strong> agricultural products, the project aims to develop new legislation<br />

consistent with <strong>in</strong>ternational requirements by review<strong>in</strong>g exist<strong>in</strong>g legislation <strong>and</strong> enhanc<strong>in</strong>g<br />

cooperation among relevant agencies. Furthermore, the project aims to develop proposals for the<br />

reorganization of adm<strong>in</strong>istrative responsibilities for food safety. The scope of the project <strong>in</strong> this<br />

area clearly overlaps with the ASSP, as has been recognized by the Jamaican government.<br />

Efforts have been made to coord<strong>in</strong>ate the activities funded by the two projects <strong>and</strong> prevent<br />

duplication of effort. 5<br />

The project has funded an assessment of national laboratory capacity to identify the need for<br />

assistance to upgrade to achieve <strong>in</strong>ternational accreditation. In total, this assessment has covered<br />

25 laboratories <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g those operated by the MoA, MoH, JBS, <strong>and</strong> FSPID. The project itself<br />

funds the establishment of laboratory procedures but not capital <strong>in</strong>vestments. In certa<strong>in</strong> cases,<br />

fund<strong>in</strong>g has been provided by the ASSP, while, <strong>in</strong> others fund<strong>in</strong>g is still to be allocated. In many<br />

cases, the sums of money <strong>in</strong>volved are considerable, especially for required major equipment<br />

upgrades. Likewise, the establishment of a national accreditation body has been delayed through<br />

lack of fund<strong>in</strong>g. The national accreditation body will likely not be fully operational until 2006.<br />

The ongo<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>vestments by the Jamaican government both with<strong>in</strong> <strong>and</strong> outside of the context of<br />

the ASSP <strong>and</strong> National Quality Infrastructure Project clearly highlight the priority that it gives to<br />

the development of the country’s capacity to manage food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural health, as well<br />

as national quality <strong>in</strong>frastructure more generally. However, the slow progress of many of these<br />

efforts reflects the enormity of the task. On the one h<strong>and</strong>, major adm<strong>in</strong>istrative reforms are<br />

5 Initially, the National Quality Infrastructure Project was based at the JBS but subsequently moved to the MoH. The<br />

reposition<strong>in</strong>g of the project was deemed necessary because of the st<strong>and</strong>ards-sett<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> certification activities of<br />

the JBS that were not conducive to the establishment of the JBS as the national accreditation body. The<br />

reposition<strong>in</strong>g created some delays <strong>in</strong> the project, hence the need for the <strong>in</strong>itial extension to the lifetime of the<br />

project. Furthermore, some of the <strong>in</strong>itial activities def<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> the work plan took longer than anticipated to<br />

complete. In particular, the def<strong>in</strong>ition of a national quality policy <strong>and</strong> associated legislation orig<strong>in</strong>ally was<br />

scheduled to take six months; <strong>in</strong> practice, it alone took two years to complete.<br />


equired to improve the efficiency <strong>and</strong> effectiveness of even exist<strong>in</strong>g capacity. On the other,<br />

considerable <strong>in</strong>vestments need to be made <strong>in</strong> public sector SPS capacity to prevent exist<strong>in</strong>g<br />

controls from fall<strong>in</strong>g further beh<strong>in</strong>d the st<strong>and</strong>ards-related requirements of <strong>in</strong>ternational trade. The<br />

fact that the Jamaican government has recognized these needs is positive, although it clearly<br />

needs to f<strong>in</strong>d more effective ways <strong>in</strong> which to convert its <strong>in</strong>tentions <strong>in</strong>to action.<br />


This section exam<strong>in</strong>es <strong>in</strong> some depth the problems that food safety <strong>and</strong>/or agricultural health<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards have imposed on Jamaica’s nontraditional food exports. It focuses on:<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Plant pests <strong>and</strong> health controls on exports of fresh fruit <strong>and</strong> vegetables, most notably <strong>in</strong><br />

relation to trade with the United States<br />

Hygiene controls on exports of fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products, especially for trade to the<br />

European Union<br />

Limits on pesticide residues <strong>and</strong> exports of fresh <strong>and</strong> processed fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables<br />

Food safety <strong>and</strong> label<strong>in</strong>g requirements for processed <strong>and</strong> packaged foods<br />

Food safety controls <strong>and</strong> the tourism sector.<br />

Like all countries, Jamaica faces rout<strong>in</strong>e problems export<strong>in</strong>g agricultural <strong>and</strong> food products.<br />

While some of these problems are sporadic <strong>and</strong> reflect the problems experienced by <strong>in</strong>dividual<br />

exporters, others are cont<strong>in</strong>uous <strong>and</strong> reflect constra<strong>in</strong>ts <strong>in</strong> SPS management capacity. Some<br />

<strong>in</strong>dication of the magnitude <strong>and</strong> nature of the problems that Jamaica faces <strong>in</strong> regard to<br />

agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports is provided by data on import detentions, which is available for the<br />

United States <strong>and</strong> European Union. Tables 9 <strong>and</strong> 10 provide a summary of import detentions <strong>in</strong><br />

the United States from March 2001 to October 2004. These data were recorded by the US Food<br />

<strong>and</strong> Drug Adm<strong>in</strong>istration. There were no detentions with<strong>in</strong> the European Union from June 2002<br />

to June 2004, for which data are available.<br />

For Jamaica, problems occur most frequently for fresh <strong>and</strong> processed vegetables <strong>and</strong> a range of<br />

processed <strong>and</strong> packaged foods <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g pepper sauces, season<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>and</strong> dr<strong>in</strong>ks/juices. With<br />

respect to fresh <strong>and</strong> processed vegetables, these problems relate ma<strong>in</strong>ly to residues of pesticides,<br />

most notably for callaloo, for which there have been persistent detections of residues that exceed<br />

US MRLs. Processed <strong>and</strong> packaged foods are subject to a wide range of food-safety-related<br />

problems, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the failure to have products (<strong>and</strong> the processes by which they are<br />

manufactured) prior approved by the FDA, the use of approved colorants, <strong>and</strong> label<strong>in</strong>g<br />

<strong>in</strong>fractions. Exam<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g these data more closely, it is evident that even the largest exporters of<br />

processed foods are subject to these detentions.<br />


While these data provide a broad picture of the<br />

range of food safety problems faced by<br />

exporters of agricultural <strong>and</strong> food products, <strong>in</strong><br />

themselves they do little to identify the specific<br />

nature of these problems <strong>and</strong> the extent to<br />

which they relate to weaknesses <strong>in</strong> SPS<br />

management capacity. Thus, the authors now<br />

turn to certa<strong>in</strong> specific case studies, which<br />

represent the major SPS-related problems<br />

related to food exports <strong>in</strong> recent years.<br />




As described <strong>in</strong> section 2, Jamaica has been<br />

successful at develop<strong>in</strong>g exports of a range of<br />

nontraditional fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables to Canada,<br />

the European Union, <strong>and</strong> the United States,<br />

directed predom<strong>in</strong>antly to markets that serve the<br />

African, Asian, <strong>and</strong> Caribbean immigrant<br />

communities <strong>in</strong> these countries. In the case of<br />

exports to the United States, however, there are<br />

a number of challenges associated with<br />

compliance with phytosanitary controls. Exports<br />

of some products is prohibited altogether. In<br />

other cases, products can be exported only to<br />

certa<strong>in</strong> ports <strong>in</strong> the United States <strong>and</strong>/or must be<br />

fumigated.<br />

One product that cannot be exported to the<br />

United States is mango because both the West<br />

Indian Fruit Fly <strong>and</strong> Caribbean Fruit Fly are<br />

present <strong>in</strong> Jamaica. Furthermore, currently,<br />

comprehensive surveillance has not been<br />

undertaken to identify the prevalence of these<br />

Table 9. US border detentions of Jamaican food<br />

products, March 2001–October 2004, by<br />

product<br />

Commodity<br />

Frequency<br />

Vegetables 61<br />

Callaloo 35<br />

Ackees 13<br />

Yam 6<br />

Dasheen 4<br />

Breadfruit 1<br />

Auberg<strong>in</strong>e 1<br />

Beans 1<br />

Dr<strong>in</strong>ks/juices 30<br />

Sauces 29<br />

Season<strong>in</strong>gs/flavor<strong>in</strong>gs 19<br />

Confectionery 9<br />

Fish 7<br />

Dairy products 18<br />

Tea/coffee 5<br />

Baked goods 3<br />

Source: USFDA.<br />

Table 10. US border detentions of Jamaican<br />

food products, March 2001–October 2004, by<br />

reason for detention<br />

Reason<br />

Frequency<br />

No process 85<br />

Low-acid canned food 66<br />

Label<strong>in</strong>g 27<br />

Pesticide residues 24<br />

Unsafe additives/colors 18<br />

Filthy 11<br />

Poisonous 9<br />

Salmonella 4<br />

Can leak/swell 2<br />

Unapproved 1<br />

Source: USFDA.<br />

pests <strong>and</strong> the existence, or not, of any pest-free areas. Exports could be undertaken if mangoes<br />

were first subjected to hot water treatment. However, no such facility currently, exists <strong>in</strong><br />

Jamaica. It is estimated that the cost of construct<strong>in</strong>g such a facility <strong>in</strong> an exist<strong>in</strong>g build<strong>in</strong>g would<br />

be approximately US$175,000, ris<strong>in</strong>g to US$250,000 if a new build<strong>in</strong>g were to be constructed.<br />

Such a facility could h<strong>and</strong>le 1,000 tons of products per month. It is doubtful whether there is<br />

sufficient export-quality Jamaican production <strong>and</strong> market dem<strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong> the United States to support<br />

even one such facility. Indeed, no private <strong>in</strong>vestor has made such a commitment. 6<br />

6 It has been argued that there has been little reason for such <strong>in</strong>vestment, given (1) that Jamaican exporters can still<br />

supply to the Canadian <strong>and</strong> UK markets, (2) that Jamaica does not have any particular seasonal niche <strong>in</strong> the US<br />

market, <strong>and</strong> (3) competition from much stronger suppliers—<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Brazil, Haiti, <strong>and</strong> Mexico—<strong>in</strong> which there<br />

has been widespread <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> hot water treatment systems <strong>and</strong> the realization of economies of scale. Jamaica<br />


As described <strong>in</strong> section 3, responsibility for the <strong>in</strong>spection, treatment, <strong>and</strong> certification of fresh<br />

fruit <strong>and</strong> vegetables with respect to plant pests lies with the PQ/PI Unit, which has an annual<br />

budget of US$1.4 million. This unit operates two one-stop facilities at the <strong>in</strong>ternational airports<br />

<strong>in</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gston <strong>and</strong> Montego Bay. The K<strong>in</strong>gston facility was developed through a World Bank loan<br />

provided <strong>in</strong> 1989 <strong>and</strong> then extensively upgraded <strong>in</strong> the late 1990s with a government <strong>in</strong>vestment<br />

of over JMD30 million. The facility <strong>in</strong> Montego Bay was acquired from the Airports Authority<br />

by the MoA, which refurbished a section of the old charter term<strong>in</strong>al <strong>in</strong> 1996. This facility does<br />

not have cold storage. Both facilities are be<strong>in</strong>g further upgraded through the ASSP.<br />

Table 11 details the <strong>in</strong>terceptions of plant pests <strong>and</strong> diseases by the PQ/PI from 1999 to 2003.<br />

Certa<strong>in</strong> products have persistent problems with particular pests or diseases, for example,<br />

callaloo, papaya, <strong>and</strong> jack fruit. Where problems are identified, the PQ/PI Unit undertakes<br />

<strong>in</strong>spections of farms <strong>and</strong> pack-houses to identify the sources of the problems <strong>and</strong> potential<br />

solutions. However, the unit is hampered by the lack of active surveillance for many pests, which<br />

weakens its position <strong>in</strong> negotiations with trad<strong>in</strong>g partners. Furthermore, the fragmented nature of<br />

the supply cha<strong>in</strong>–with sourc<strong>in</strong>g through middlemen <strong>and</strong> lack of effective controls <strong>in</strong> packhouses–means<br />

it is difficult to implement effective control measures. Furthermore, although the<br />

trade is dom<strong>in</strong>ated by 35 regular exporters, there are many more that enter <strong>and</strong> leave the market<br />

from month to month. These sporadic exporters have little economic <strong>in</strong>centive to implement<br />

more effective plant pest controls. A notable exception, however, is papaya, exports of which are<br />

<strong>in</strong> the h<strong>and</strong>s of three <strong>in</strong>tegrated producer-exporters (discussed below).<br />

Table 11. Interceptions of fresh produce for export to all dest<strong>in</strong>ations, 1999–2003<br />

Product 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003<br />

Assorted roots 2 3 4 1<br />

Avocado 2 1 2 2<br />

Banana/planta<strong>in</strong> 1 1 1 1<br />

Basil 1 1<br />

Breadfruit 35 20 5 26 15<br />

Callaloo 17 13 32 24 18<br />

Cerasse 1<br />

Coco 1 1 1<br />

Coconut 1<br />

Dasheen 12 6 12 8 9<br />

Egg plant 1<br />

Escallion 1 4 2 1<br />

Flowers 9 15 9 10 1<br />

Gu<strong>in</strong>ep 1 3 5 3 3<br />

G<strong>in</strong>ger 1<br />

Jack fruit 15 20 17 25 12<br />

Gungo peas 11<br />

Mango 1 1 2 1<br />

thus faces someth<strong>in</strong>g of a “chicken <strong>and</strong> egg” situation, <strong>in</strong> which <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> this phytosanitary treatment would<br />

be worthwhile only if parallel <strong>in</strong>vestments were be<strong>in</strong>g made <strong>in</strong> plant<strong>in</strong>gs/orchards of improved mango varieties.<br />


Table 11. Interceptions of fresh produce for export to all dest<strong>in</strong>ations, 1999–2003<br />

Product 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003<br />

Papaya 25 1 8 2<br />

P<strong>in</strong>eapple 2 1<br />

Pepper 10 2 16 9<br />

Pumpk<strong>in</strong> 2 5 4 4 1<br />

Sorrel 3 7 28 4 7<br />

Sorrel leaf 1<br />

Sugar cane 1 1<br />

Sweet potato 1 1 1 1<br />

Star apple 1<br />

T<strong>in</strong>dora 1<br />

Thyme 1 4 1<br />

Tobacco 1 1<br />

Tumeric 1<br />

Yam 7 8 6 6 1<br />

Source: Plant Quarant<strong>in</strong>e <strong>and</strong> Product Inspection Division, M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture.<br />

To facilitate exports of nontraditional fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables to the United States, a preclearance<br />

program was established <strong>in</strong> 1984 with support from USAID. The preclearance program operates<br />

at the one-stop export complexes <strong>in</strong> K<strong>in</strong>gston <strong>and</strong> Montego Bay. It is operated by an APHIS<br />

resident officer <strong>and</strong> three Foreign Service Nationals who provide oversight of the <strong>in</strong>spections by<br />

PQ/PI officials to preclear exports to the United States. Currently, 49 products <strong>and</strong> cut flowers<br />

are approved for preclearance <strong>in</strong> Jamaica. Exports to other dest<strong>in</strong>ations are <strong>in</strong>spected <strong>and</strong><br />

certified separately from the preclearance program.<br />

It is evident that the Jamaican government has guarded the preclearance program aga<strong>in</strong>st<br />

problems that might jeopardize its <strong>in</strong>tegrity <strong>in</strong> the eyes of APHIS. For example, the government<br />

requires a 10 percent level of <strong>in</strong>spection of all produce, whereas the APHIS requirement is only 2<br />

percent. Where problems occur, the government is quick to act, even go<strong>in</strong>g so far as to suspend<br />

products from the program. For example, there have been persistent <strong>in</strong>terventions of plant pests<br />

dur<strong>in</strong>g preclearance on callaloo, as a result of which the MoA voluntarily removed the option of<br />

preclearance so as not to devalue the program as a whole <strong>and</strong> to prevent the imposition of a<br />

fumigation requirement by the US authorities. In such cases, the APHIS officials <strong>in</strong> Jamaica also<br />

work closely with the MoA. In the callaloo case, for example, they suggested that farmers be<br />

certified follow<strong>in</strong>g surveillance by RADA, with exporters demonstrat<strong>in</strong>g their sources of supply<br />

through some form of traceability system. Likewise, detections of mealy bugs <strong>in</strong> jack fruit have<br />

been recorded at the 20 percent–25 percent level. To prevent the suspension of this product from<br />

the program, both PQ/PI Unit <strong>and</strong> APHIS officials undertook <strong>in</strong>spections of pack-houses <strong>and</strong><br />

demonstrated the checks needed to detect this <strong>in</strong>sect. S<strong>in</strong>ce that time, detections have decl<strong>in</strong>ed.<br />

S<strong>in</strong>ce 1996, the preclearance program has been self-support<strong>in</strong>g. 7 Initially, it was operated by the<br />

JEA, but <strong>in</strong> 2001 control of the program was assumed by the MoA with fund<strong>in</strong>g from a 20<br />

percent cost recovery <strong>in</strong>spection fee. In pr<strong>in</strong>ciple, the cost of the scheme should be covered by<br />

7 Before that, it was supported by USAID.<br />


this fee. However, s<strong>in</strong>ce the late 1990s, the scheme has run <strong>in</strong>to arrears. Indeed, the MoA<br />

considers the program to be rather costly to operate; the budget for 2003–04 was US$390,000<br />

represent<strong>in</strong>g 25 percent of the total budget for the PQ/PI Unit. Much of this cost is associated<br />

with the resident APHIS official. The PQ/PI Unit would like to operate the preclearance program<br />

itself without a resident APHIS official, given that the unit already undertakes the vast majority<br />

of <strong>in</strong>spections <strong>and</strong> the official is present only to provide oversight. This change would allow a<br />

sav<strong>in</strong>gs of some US$150,000 per annum. However, there is no example of this elsewhere, <strong>and</strong> it<br />

is highly unlikely that the US government would agree to such a proposal. 8<br />

The preclearance program confers a potentially significant competitive advantage on Jamaica<br />

over its regional competitors. Moreover, Jamaica is a rather special case <strong>in</strong> that it is the only<br />

country <strong>in</strong> which <strong>in</strong>-country fumigation is accepted by APHIS. Once a consignment has been<br />

precleared, exporters can be confident that it will be admitted at the US border. APHIS officials<br />

at the border generally undertake only periodic <strong>in</strong>tegrative checks unless persistent problems are<br />

identified. This program significantly reduces the risks associated with fresh produce exports to<br />

the United States. If a consignment is rejected at the border, the cost <strong>in</strong> terms of freight <strong>and</strong> the<br />

value of the rejected product is typically very high. Indeed, some exporters <strong>in</strong> the region do not<br />

export to the United States because of the risk of possible rejection at the border. At the same<br />

time, exporters can choose whether to preclear their consignments, <strong>and</strong> absorb the cost <strong>in</strong>volved,<br />

or take the risk of US border <strong>in</strong>spection. Exporters of products that are not precleared lose the<br />

option to divert their consignments to other dest<strong>in</strong>ations if the products are rejected, because the<br />

latter are automatically destroyed at the po<strong>in</strong>t of entry. In the case of yam, for example, only 50<br />

percent of exporters are fumigated <strong>and</strong> precleared <strong>in</strong> Jamaica. Conversely, almost all hot peppers<br />

<strong>and</strong> breadfruit are precleared.<br />

To some extent, the use of the preclearance program along with other elements of phytosanitary<br />

controls can be regarded as a public good. If rates of detection of plant pests <strong>and</strong> diseases are<br />

low, all exporters will face reduced rates of <strong>in</strong>spection at the US border, dim<strong>in</strong>ish<strong>in</strong>g their costs,<br />

reduc<strong>in</strong>g delays, <strong>and</strong>, <strong>in</strong> turn, enhanc<strong>in</strong>g product quality <strong>and</strong> shelf-life. Thus, some government<br />

officials <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>dustry representatives have argued that there should be a regulatory requirement<br />

for all exporters to use the preclearance program. Indeed, it is evident that rates of <strong>in</strong>terception of<br />

plant pests <strong>and</strong> diseases <strong>in</strong> Jamaican agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports have decl<strong>in</strong>ed s<strong>in</strong>ce the early<br />

1990s, although with a major surge dur<strong>in</strong>g 1997 <strong>and</strong> 1998 related to the specific problem of hot<br />

peppers (see below) (figure 5). These data suggest that there may be a major pay-off from more<br />

effective phytosanitary controls.<br />

8 Dur<strong>in</strong>g the past four years, the volume of produce go<strong>in</strong>g through the preclearance program has actually decl<strong>in</strong>ed as<br />

some exporters have opted to save money <strong>and</strong> take their chances with potential border detentions at US entry<br />

po<strong>in</strong>ts. In other countries, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Chile <strong>and</strong> Haiti, export associations have made it m<strong>and</strong>atory to use such<br />

preclearance programs. While Jamaican exporters are concerned with the fees charged, they generally amount to<br />

only approximately 1 percent of the FOB value of produce.<br />


Figure 5. Total US <strong>in</strong>terceptions relat<strong>in</strong>g to phytosanitary controls on exports from Jamaica, 1990–July 2003<br />

Source: APHIS.<br />

Jamaica’s experiences with the preclearance program illustrate the considerable benefits that can<br />

be achieved from be<strong>in</strong>g proactive <strong>in</strong> implement<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> manag<strong>in</strong>g phytosanitary controls. It also<br />

highlights the potential advantages to be ga<strong>in</strong>ed from establish<strong>in</strong>g an active relationship built on<br />

trust <strong>and</strong> cooperation with the regulatory authorities <strong>in</strong> a major export market. At the same time,<br />

however, Jamaica is still experienc<strong>in</strong>g considerable problems with exports of certa<strong>in</strong> products to<br />

the United States, which reflect prevail<strong>in</strong>g capacity problems through the supply cha<strong>in</strong> <strong>and</strong> with<br />

respect to public phytosanitary controls. A case <strong>in</strong> po<strong>in</strong>t is hot pepper, discussed <strong>in</strong> detail below.<br />


Hot peppers have been identified as a priority crop by the Jamaican government, aimed at both<br />

local markets <strong>and</strong> exports to Canada, the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom, <strong>and</strong> the United States. The<br />

government also promotes hot peppers as a suitable crop for small producers to enhance <strong>in</strong>come.<br />

In 2000 a plot size of only 0.005 hectares (ha), which can support approximately 1,000 plants,<br />

was estimated to produce a weekly <strong>in</strong>come of JMD10,000 at current market prices. An<br />

assessment <strong>in</strong> 1998 also identified hot peppers as hav<strong>in</strong>g significant potential as an export crop<br />

for the Caribbean region as a whole (FAO/IICA 1998). Nevertheless, despite the efforts of the<br />

MoA <strong>and</strong> regional organizations such as the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation <strong>in</strong><br />

Agriculture (IICA) <strong>and</strong> the Caribbean Agricultural Research <strong>and</strong> Development Institute<br />

(CARDI), the planted area of hot peppers s<strong>in</strong>ce the mid-1990s has been <strong>in</strong> decl<strong>in</strong>e. Overall<br />

production has also fallen, despite some productivity ga<strong>in</strong>s (figure 6). Jamaica is recognized as<br />


an important producer of the Scotch Bonnet cultivar, a yellow hot pepper with a fruit shape that<br />

has traditionally been grown for local consumption. 9<br />

Figure 6. Hot pepper plant<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>and</strong> production, 1990–2003<br />

Source: M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture.<br />

Jamaica has managed to susta<strong>in</strong> a certa<strong>in</strong> level of exports of fresh hot peppers, although the<br />

current trade is below what it was a decade ago (figure 7). In the hot peppers trade, Scotch<br />

Bonnet is the most notable, even though it exhibited little or no growth through the 1990s<br />

(figures 10 <strong>and</strong> 11). In 2003, only 310 tons of hot peppers were exported, valued at US$696,000.<br />

Exports of hot peppers have suffered from a number of market<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> production problems<br />

(Dormer 2003, McDonald 2001, Stewart <strong>and</strong> Fletcher 2000). Most production is ra<strong>in</strong>-fed <strong>and</strong><br />

highly variable accord<strong>in</strong>g to the weather, mak<strong>in</strong>g it impossible to synchronize supply with<br />

market dem<strong>and</strong>. Furthermore, productivity <strong>in</strong> Jamaica is significantly lower than <strong>in</strong> certa<strong>in</strong> other<br />

parts of the Caribbean, most notably Tr<strong>in</strong>idad <strong>and</strong> Tobago (McDonald 2001). This low<br />

productivity is exacerbated by ad hoc <strong>and</strong> weak procurement <strong>and</strong> distribution systems. Product<br />

quality is also highly variable, due <strong>in</strong> part to the <strong>in</strong>sufficient availability of high quality seed.<br />

Perhaps the greatest impediment to Jamaican fresh hot pepper exports is the domestic market.<br />

Jamaica is actually a net importer of hot peppers, <strong>and</strong> there is a healthy dem<strong>and</strong> from both local<br />

9 However, this cultivar is more prone to certa<strong>in</strong> pests <strong>and</strong> diseases than the West Indian Red, which is widely grown<br />

elsewhere <strong>in</strong> the Caribbean. CARDI, <strong>in</strong> collaboration with the Jamaican government, has worked on establish<strong>in</strong>g<br />

susta<strong>in</strong>able hot pepper production <strong>in</strong> Jamaica through the <strong>in</strong>troduction of a high-yield<strong>in</strong>g cultivar of the West<br />

Indian Red pepper <strong>and</strong> adoption of improved technologies validated <strong>in</strong> the Eastern Caribbean, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g efficient<br />

use of fertilizer <strong>and</strong> effective pest management practices. This cultivar has been demonstrated to be more<br />

resistance to the major pests <strong>and</strong> diseases found <strong>in</strong> the Caribbean. Moreover, us<strong>in</strong>g current production practices, its<br />

marketable yields are 34%–122% greater than those of the Scotch Bonnet cultivar. Simultaneously, the Jamaican<br />

government has worked on improv<strong>in</strong>g the Scotch Bonnet cultivar <strong>in</strong> terms of tolerance to the most prevalent pests<br />

<strong>and</strong> diseases.<br />


consumers <strong>and</strong> manufacturers of hot pepper sauces. In the late 1990s, exports typically<br />

accounted for only approximately 5 percent of total production. Indeed, the domestic market<br />

price frequently exceeds the export price. Comb<strong>in</strong>ed with the additional risks <strong>and</strong> problems, this<br />

higher domestic price frequently makes exports an unattractive proposition. The phytosanitary<br />

problems experienced with exports to the United States that are described below have made<br />

matters worse, largely expla<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g the decl<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong> exports s<strong>in</strong>ce the high of the mid-1990s.<br />

Figure 7. Exports of hot peppers, 1994–2003<br />

Sources: Jamaican Exporters Association <strong>and</strong> FAOSTAT.<br />

In 1997 the United States detected an <strong>in</strong>festation of gall midge on hot peppers from Jamaica, a<br />

pest that is not normally a problem with peppers. The gall midge is widely established <strong>in</strong> the<br />

region <strong>and</strong> is not a quarant<strong>in</strong>e pest under <strong>in</strong>ternational protocols. In fact, Jamaican research has<br />

shown the presence of the gall midge <strong>in</strong> Florida. However, as a result of this <strong>in</strong>festation, the<br />

United States implemented a m<strong>and</strong>atory requirement for fumigation with methyl bromide. This<br />

m<strong>and</strong>atory fumigation applied to all peppers exported from Jamaica, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g bell <strong>and</strong> chili<br />

peppers, although gall midge had been detected only <strong>in</strong> hot peppers.<br />

The Jamaican government was proactive <strong>in</strong> address<strong>in</strong>g this problem, quickly establish<strong>in</strong>g a<br />

National Pepper Task Force to identify the source <strong>and</strong> potential corrective actions. For example,<br />

the PI/PQ Unit began <strong>in</strong>spections of shipments prior to fumigation at the two export complexes.<br />

These <strong>in</strong>spections confirmed that gall midge is found on hot peppers at very high rates,<br />

especially dur<strong>in</strong>g ra<strong>in</strong>y months, with over 70 percent of shipments be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>fected <strong>in</strong> certa<strong>in</strong><br />

months. However, at the same time, the MoA questioned the justification for the action taken by<br />

APHIS <strong>and</strong> requested documentary evidence. Repeated requests for such documentary evidence<br />

have been made s<strong>in</strong>ce 1998, to no avail.<br />

The fumigation requirement for hot peppers has had a significant impact on the competitiveness<br />

of Jamaican exports <strong>in</strong> terms of both price <strong>and</strong> quality. Most Jamaican peppers can be sold <strong>in</strong> the<br />

United States only for process<strong>in</strong>g rather than the fresh market. Fumigation with methyl bromide<br />


<strong>in</strong>creases the cost of export<strong>in</strong>g hot peppers <strong>in</strong> comparison with competitors <strong>in</strong> the Caribbean that<br />

do not face a similar requirement. 10 Furthermore, it causes physical damage to the product,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g loss of sheen, <strong>and</strong> reduces the shelf life. As a result, exports to the United States have<br />

virtually collapsed. 11<br />

Figure 8. Number of US <strong>in</strong>terceptions of hot peppers from Jamaica, 1990–July 2003<br />

Source: APHIS.<br />

In response to the concerns raised by the Jamaican government (<strong>and</strong> also by the US ambassador<br />

to Jamaica), <strong>in</strong> 2002 APHIS <strong>and</strong> the National Hot Pepper Task Force developed a set of<br />

guidel<strong>in</strong>es to facilitate the removal of the fumigation requirement. The result was a 10-po<strong>in</strong>t<br />

system based on sourc<strong>in</strong>g product from areas identified to be free of gall midge <strong>and</strong> on rigorous<br />

controls through the supply cha<strong>in</strong> to the po<strong>in</strong>t of export (box 2). This system concurred with the<br />

task force’s own perspective that the means to resolve the problem was to reduce the <strong>in</strong>cidence<br />

of the pest <strong>in</strong> the field. The system also built on research on <strong>in</strong>tegrated pest management (IPM)<br />

<strong>in</strong> Jamaica done under a Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) funded by USAID<br />

(Norton 2003).<br />

10 This fumigation cost is equal to approximately 8% of the FOB value of hot peppers (APHIS estimate). Jamaica<br />

already operates at a cost disadvantage with other competitors. While unit costs of production average between<br />

$0.14 <strong>and</strong> 0.22/lb.<strong>in</strong> Belize, Dom<strong>in</strong>ica, Grenada, <strong>and</strong> Tr<strong>in</strong>idad, Jamaica’s Hot Pepper Focus Group found the<br />

average production costs for Jamaican Scott Bonnet peppers to equal $0.32/lb.<br />

11 Hot pepper exports to the United States fell from over 200 tons <strong>in</strong> 1997 to only 25 tons <strong>in</strong> 2002 <strong>and</strong> 2003.<br />


Box 2. APHIS conditions to remove the fumigation requirements for hot pepper exports to the United States<br />

This 10-po<strong>in</strong>t system was arrived at collaboratively by the Jamaican National Hot Pepper Task Force <strong>and</strong> the US<br />

Animal <strong>and</strong> Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) <strong>in</strong> 2002. The system is based on sourc<strong>in</strong>g hot peppers from<br />

areas identified to be free of gall midge <strong>and</strong> on rigorous controls through the supply cha<strong>in</strong> to the po<strong>in</strong>t of export.<br />

1. Only precleared peppers would be eligible for entry without fumigation.<br />

2. Shipments would be pre-<strong>in</strong>spected by the Jamaican M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture (JMOA) <strong>and</strong> be accompanied by<br />

a phytosanitary certificate stat<strong>in</strong>g, “Shipment free of cedidomyiid midge based on field controls <strong>and</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>spection.”<br />

3. APHIS preclearance personnel must participate directly <strong>in</strong> each of these preclearance <strong>in</strong>spections.<br />

4. Only growers participat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the field control program will be allowed to ship without fumigation. These<br />

growers need to be listed by JMOA or the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) <strong>and</strong> certified<br />

as participat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the “non-Treatment Program” <strong>and</strong> the “trace-Back Program”.<br />

5. All growers <strong>and</strong> pack<strong>in</strong>g facilities will display colored posters <strong>in</strong>dicat<strong>in</strong>g midge symptoms. Both growers <strong>and</strong><br />

packers will be <strong>in</strong>structed to cull fruits with such symptoms.<br />

6. Fruits found with the midge or eggs will be rejected or fumigated. Recondition<strong>in</strong>g will not be allowed. The<br />

stems of 29 fruits will be cut <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>spected for the midge. The stem cutt<strong>in</strong>g should be aimed toward any fruit<br />

show<strong>in</strong>g the symptoms. Cutt<strong>in</strong>g will not be required for “de-stemmed” shipments. Inspections for “stem-less”<br />

peppers should be conducted on double-bottomed tables.<br />

7. If the rejection rate for all quarant<strong>in</strong>e pests reaches 15 percent, all peppers will require fumigation.<br />

8. Pepper shipments can also be precleared with treatment or shipped without preclearance for treatment <strong>in</strong> the<br />

United States. Shipments <strong>in</strong>spected <strong>in</strong> Jamaica <strong>and</strong> found <strong>in</strong>fested cannot be shipped for treatment to the<br />

United States.<br />

9. Growers with shipments rejected once for the midge will be removed from the program. These growers can<br />

apply for re-admittance by apply<strong>in</strong>g for a RADA/JMOA field <strong>in</strong>spection. If compliance with the program can<br />

be assured, the grower could be re<strong>in</strong>stated. Growers with a second rejected shipment will not be allowed <strong>in</strong><br />

the “Non-treatment Program” for the rema<strong>in</strong>der of the season. After a full review by RADA/MOA has been<br />

undertaken <strong>and</strong> corrective mitigations have been implemented, the grower may apply for re<strong>in</strong>statement for the<br />

next year.<br />

10. Each <strong>in</strong>spection site should have at least one <strong>in</strong>spection table that has slats or mesh bottoms, which allows<br />

hitchhikers or midges to be shaken through <strong>and</strong> captured on a solid secondary bottom. At a m<strong>in</strong>imum, sorrel<br />

<strong>and</strong> stem-less peppers should be <strong>in</strong>spected on these tables.<br />

To date, the 10-po<strong>in</strong>t protocol has not been implemented by the Jamaican government, <strong>and</strong> all<br />

shipments rema<strong>in</strong> subject to compulsory fumigation. Surveillance by RADA has <strong>in</strong>dicated that<br />

there are no areas of economic significance <strong>in</strong> Jamaica that would produce levels of <strong>in</strong>festation<br />

that could be controlled at pack-houses. The lack of implementation of the protocol reflects the<br />

fact that most exporters do not consider the required changes <strong>and</strong> efforts to be worth the<br />

<strong>in</strong>convenience nor the requisite staff time to be cost-effective. Indeed, many have chosen to<br />

cease exports to the United States to avoid exposure to the risk of rejection at the po<strong>in</strong>t of entry.<br />

More generally, the supply cha<strong>in</strong>s rema<strong>in</strong> highly fragmented, mak<strong>in</strong>g it difficult to achieve<br />

effective traceability. Although some progressive exporters have made efforts to improve the<br />

coord<strong>in</strong>ation of their supply cha<strong>in</strong>, they have faced resistance from producers, many of which are<br />


small <strong>and</strong> owned by older age groups, who see little reason to change when the domestic market<br />

rema<strong>in</strong>s lucrative. F<strong>in</strong>ally, even the progressive exporters are concerned that their efforts will be<br />

<strong>in</strong> va<strong>in</strong>. The 15 percent detection level for all actionable pests specified <strong>in</strong> the 10-po<strong>in</strong>t protocol<br />

means that these farmers run a significant risk that a fumigation requirement will be re-imposed<br />

This case illustrates the very considerable problems that phytosanitary controls <strong>in</strong> the United<br />

States can <strong>and</strong> have caused Jamaican exporters of fresh fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables. While the<br />

Jamaican government was proactive <strong>in</strong> respond<strong>in</strong>g to the emergence of gall midge as an issue for<br />

hot pepper exports, the pay-offs from these efforts have been m<strong>in</strong>imal. The requirements rema<strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong> place. Whether they are justified scientifically rema<strong>in</strong>s an open question. The nature of the hot<br />

pepper supply cha<strong>in</strong> renders most system-based controls <strong>in</strong>effective. Clearly, there is a need for<br />

enhanced <strong>in</strong>tegration <strong>and</strong> consolidation of production. Indeed, the 10-po<strong>in</strong>t plan def<strong>in</strong>ed by<br />

APHIS is a potential source of considerable competitive advantage to an <strong>in</strong>tegrated producerexporter.<br />

However, at the same time, such an entrepreneur would be reliant on more general<br />

efforts to control the pest more widely, highlight<strong>in</strong>g the public good nature of phytosanitary<br />

controls.<br />


Through the 1990s, Jamaica established a small but lucrative trade <strong>in</strong> fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products,<br />

valued at US$16–19 million <strong>in</strong> the late 1990s (figure 9). Exports consist predom<strong>in</strong>antly of conch,<br />

tilapia (from aquaculture production), <strong>and</strong> lobster. Indeed, Jamaica has been a major player <strong>in</strong> the<br />

<strong>in</strong>ternational market for conch, with most exports dest<strong>in</strong>ed for the French Caribbean territories of<br />

Guadalupe <strong>and</strong> Mart<strong>in</strong>ique, <strong>and</strong> smaller quantities exported to the United States <strong>and</strong> other parts<br />

of the European Union. Overall, fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products accounted for 1.2 percent of total<br />

merch<strong>and</strong>ise exports <strong>in</strong> 1999.<br />

Figure 9. Jamaican exports of fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products, 1985–2003<br />

Sources: FAOSTAT <strong>and</strong> COMTRADE.<br />


In mid-2004, the export supply cha<strong>in</strong> consisted of 8 process<strong>in</strong>g plants, of which 5 or 6 h<strong>and</strong>le<br />

predom<strong>in</strong>antly conch. Some process<strong>in</strong>g plants operate their own boats that collect the l<strong>and</strong>ed<br />

conch from small vessels. <strong>Other</strong>s purchase from boat owners who have quota (see below) <strong>and</strong>/or<br />

process for them under contract. One processor produces its own tilapia us<strong>in</strong>g aquaculture as<br />

well as contract<strong>in</strong>g production from other aquaculture operators. Overall, the Jamaican fishery<br />

<strong>in</strong>dustry employs 20,000 fishers along 184 l<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g beaches <strong>and</strong> 3 off-shore keys. However,<br />

many of these fishers are not <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the export supply cha<strong>in</strong>, <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>deed have been excluded<br />

from it due to stricter hygiene requirements (see below).<br />

Through the late 1990s, exports of fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products, <strong>and</strong> conch <strong>in</strong> particular, were<br />

compromised by two major issues. First were the hygiene requirements imposed by the European<br />

Union on fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products. Although promulgated <strong>in</strong> 1991, these requirements were not<br />

fully implemented until the end of the 1990s. 12 The second issue was the controls on l<strong>and</strong>ed<br />

volumes of conch due to the CITES convention on endangered species. Each issue is described<br />

below.<br />

Historically, the fish process<strong>in</strong>g sector <strong>in</strong> Jamaica was largely unregulated with respect to the<br />

approval <strong>and</strong> certification of products for export. While the Veter<strong>in</strong>ary Public Health division of<br />

the MoH was responsible for <strong>in</strong>spect<strong>in</strong>g process<strong>in</strong>g facilities, there was no effective mechanism<br />

through which compliance with food safety requirements <strong>in</strong> export markets could be assessed.<br />

This latter function fell under the responsibility of the VSD, which lacked the <strong>in</strong>spection capacity<br />

<strong>and</strong> arguably had no legislative power to undertake such <strong>in</strong>spections <strong>and</strong> certify products. As a<br />

result, the controls <strong>in</strong> place fell far short of the hygiene st<strong>and</strong>ards required to be <strong>in</strong> place for<br />

exports to the EU.<br />

The European Union had established a deadl<strong>in</strong>e of June 31, 1998 for countries to have<br />

implemented hygiene controls that were at least equivalent to its own requirements for bivalve<br />

mollusks, ech<strong>in</strong>oderms, tunicates, <strong>and</strong> mar<strong>in</strong>e gastropods. 13 Countries that had not achieved this<br />

were prohibited from export<strong>in</strong>g to the European Union. The latter <strong>in</strong>cluded Jamaica, which<br />

overnight lost its ma<strong>in</strong> markets for conch. Jamaica was, however, permitted to export other fish<br />

<strong>and</strong> fishery products on a provisional basis <strong>and</strong> was <strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>in</strong> Part II of the list of approved<br />

countries.<br />

Table 12. Major fish <strong>and</strong> fishery product exports, 1999–2003 (kg)<br />

Year Conch Tilapia Lobster <strong>Other</strong><br />

1999 43,636 306,975 1,796<br />

2000 0 250,193 56,280 1,457<br />

2001 1,065,024 358,747 25,645 0<br />

2002 265,670 282,182 28,482 45<br />

2003 363,038 183,827 116,100 53,933<br />

Source: M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture, K<strong>in</strong>gston.<br />

In response to these restrictions, the Jamaican government implemented the necessary legislative<br />

reforms <strong>and</strong> promulgated the Aquaculture, Inl<strong>and</strong>, Mar<strong>in</strong>e <strong>Products</strong> <strong>and</strong> By-products (Inspection,<br />

12 For a discussion of the nature of the EU’s hygiene requirements for fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products, see Henson <strong>and</strong><br />

Mitullah 2004.<br />

13 These are shellfish that filter feed off of plankton <strong>and</strong> other small creatures. In circumstances <strong>in</strong> which their liv<strong>in</strong>g<br />

environment <strong>in</strong>cludes contam<strong>in</strong>ated water, it is <strong>in</strong>gested <strong>in</strong>to these creatures. <strong>Other</strong> common examples of such<br />

species <strong>in</strong>clude oysters <strong>and</strong> clams.<br />


Licens<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> Export) Act <strong>in</strong> 1999. This Act was broadly based on the respective EU legislation,<br />

namely, Directives 91/492/EC <strong>and</strong> 91/493/EC. The Act identified the VSD as the Competent<br />

Authority. However, when the European Commission undertook <strong>in</strong>spections <strong>in</strong> April 1999, it<br />

found a number of rema<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g violations: 14<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Although the relevant national legislation was broadly equivalent to EU legislation, it had<br />

not been entirely implemented. Furthermore, monitor<strong>in</strong>g of production conditions were<br />

not considered adequate <strong>and</strong> were not fully documented.<br />

The majority of process<strong>in</strong>g establishments did not comply with EU requirements, for<br />

example, regard<strong>in</strong>g water control, pest <strong>and</strong> verm<strong>in</strong> control, <strong>and</strong> general conditions of<br />

ma<strong>in</strong>tenance <strong>and</strong> production.<br />

Although the implementation of HACCP had commenced <strong>in</strong> many process<strong>in</strong>g plants, <strong>in</strong><br />

most cases, Critical Control Po<strong>in</strong>ts had only been identified <strong>and</strong> were not be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

implemented, monitored, or verified.<br />

Laboratory facilities for certa<strong>in</strong> microbiological analyses <strong>and</strong> residue test<strong>in</strong>g were<br />

considered <strong>in</strong>adequate.<br />

The EC made a second <strong>in</strong>spection visit <strong>in</strong> April 2000, which identified limited cont<strong>in</strong>ued<br />

discrepancies. 15 The Jamaican government subsequently provided written assurances that these<br />

discrepancies had been rectified. Consequently, <strong>in</strong> December 2000 the EC established special<br />

import conditions for Jamaica, <strong>and</strong> it was added to List I of the list of approved countries. These<br />

conditions <strong>in</strong>cluded the def<strong>in</strong>ed area from which conch exported to the EU could be derived,<br />

namely, Pedro Bank. Thus, as of February 2001, Jamaica was able to recommence its conch<br />

exports. Initially, 3 plants were approved to export to the European Union, although this number<br />

now st<strong>and</strong>s at 6, with an additional 6 freezer vessels also approved.<br />

The Jamaican government’s response to the EU’s hygiene requirements was delayed, <strong>and</strong> the<br />

reforms took a considerable period to implement. These delays <strong>in</strong> part reflect the fact that exports<br />

of other fishery products were permitted to cont<strong>in</strong>ue dur<strong>in</strong>g this period, while there was no<br />

capture of conch dur<strong>in</strong>g 2000 (see below). However, the delays also resulted from the<br />

considerable <strong>in</strong>vestments that had to be made, estimated at US$1.25 million. For example,<br />

coherent mechanisms to approve process<strong>in</strong>g plants, issue export health certificates, <strong>and</strong> monitor<br />

water <strong>and</strong> fish for environmental contam<strong>in</strong>ants had to be put <strong>in</strong> place. The VSD did not have the<br />

number of <strong>in</strong>spectors required to undertake these tasks <strong>and</strong> signed a memor<strong>and</strong>um of<br />

underst<strong>and</strong><strong>in</strong>g (MOU) with the MoH to ga<strong>in</strong> access to its <strong>in</strong>spectors who were already present <strong>in</strong><br />

fish process<strong>in</strong>g plants. Laboratories needed to be upgraded to perform the required analyses,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> HPLC equipment. Most of these expenses were directly funded by the<br />

Jamaican government.<br />

The government is fac<strong>in</strong>g considerable ongo<strong>in</strong>g costs associated with further upgrades <strong>in</strong><br />

capacity <strong>and</strong> operational expenditures. It is acknowledged that current capacity represents the<br />

“bare bones” of what is required <strong>and</strong> that further <strong>in</strong>vestments will be needed, especially <strong>in</strong><br />

laboratory test<strong>in</strong>g capacity. For example, the VSD laboratory is not accredited by an approved<br />

accreditation agency, although certification is scheduled to be rectified under the National<br />

Quality Infrastructure Project <strong>and</strong> is planned for early <strong>in</strong> 2005. Furthermore, the VSD laboratory<br />

14 Report XXIV/1985/99-ME F<strong>in</strong>al.<br />

15 Report DG (SANCO)/1166/2000-MR F<strong>in</strong>al.<br />


does not have the equipment to tests for diox<strong>in</strong>s or steroids <strong>and</strong> cannot perform quantitative<br />

analyses of antibiotics. There is also concern at the magnitude of the costs to ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> this<br />

capacity. Although fees are levied for laboratory analysis equal to 50 percent of the total cost, the<br />

government makes no equivalent charge to <strong>in</strong>spect process<strong>in</strong>g facilities. Although the<br />

government acknowledges that some form of cost recovery is required, currently, do<strong>in</strong>g so is<br />

considered politically unacceptable.<br />

Considerable <strong>in</strong>vestments <strong>and</strong> changes <strong>in</strong> procedures were also required by fish process<strong>in</strong>g<br />

facilities (boxes 3 <strong>and</strong> 4). It is acknowledged that most plants started from a situation <strong>in</strong> which<br />

hygiene controls were largely absent. Thus, the estimated average cost per plant is US$750,000,<br />

suggest<strong>in</strong>g an <strong>in</strong>dustry-wide cost of US$4.5 million. Although all of the plants that have been<br />

approved have made very significant improvements, they still rema<strong>in</strong> reliant on external<br />

capacity. For example, none of these facilities has laboratory capacity <strong>and</strong> utilize the VSD to<br />

undertake the required tests. As described above, 50 percent of the cost of these tests is<br />

subsidized by the Jamaican government.<br />

The Jamaican government has expressed concern, although not formally to the European<br />

Commission, that the European Union’s requirements are <strong>in</strong>appropriate for a deep water fishery<br />

such as Pedro Bank. Specifically, Jamaica claims that the maximum levels <strong>and</strong> monitor<strong>in</strong>g<br />

requirements for coliforms <strong>and</strong> biotox<strong>in</strong>s are more applicable to the <strong>in</strong>-shore <strong>and</strong> shallower<br />

waters <strong>in</strong> which bivalve mollusks, ech<strong>in</strong>oderms, tunicates, <strong>and</strong> mar<strong>in</strong>e gastropods are typically<br />

produced <strong>in</strong> Europe. However, there are also claims from the fish process<strong>in</strong>g sector that the<br />

Jamaican government has <strong>in</strong>terpreted some aspects of the European Union’s requirements too<br />

strictly, <strong>in</strong> particular, the requirement for fish<strong>in</strong>g boats to have toilets, which effectively excludes<br />

small artisanal boats.<br />

Because conch is a recognized endangered species, harvest<strong>in</strong>g it is restricted under the CITES<br />

Convention. Conch was added to CITES <strong>in</strong> 1992. Subsequently, a survey was undertaken by the<br />

Jamaican government <strong>and</strong> the conch population monitored to assess the maximum susta<strong>in</strong>able<br />

harvest <strong>in</strong> any one year from Jamaican waters. The controls take the form of an export quota set<br />

under the CITES Convention. Currently, the susta<strong>in</strong>able harvest from Jamaican waters is<br />

estimated at approximately 900 tons. However, there is significant poach<strong>in</strong>g by neighbor<strong>in</strong>g<br />

countries, especially <strong>in</strong> Central America, so the actual quota is generally significantly below this<br />

level. The United States banned imports of conch from some of these countries, notably the<br />

Dom<strong>in</strong>ican Republic, Haiti, <strong>and</strong> Honduras for 6 months <strong>in</strong> 2003 because they did not have an<br />

established quota system. In 2003 the total allowable harvest <strong>in</strong> Jamaica was 500 tons, although<br />

this <strong>in</strong>creased to 550 tons <strong>in</strong> 2004.<br />

With<strong>in</strong> Jamaica, an annually renewable quota is distributed by the Jamaican government to<br />

named <strong>in</strong>dividuals to harvest conch <strong>in</strong> fulfillment of the export quota set by CITES. Historically,<br />

the quota to harvest conch was distributed by the Jamaican Government under a conch<br />

management plan based on a “gentleman’s agreement.” Currently, however, the quota is based<br />

on a formula that takes account of historical <strong>in</strong>volvement <strong>in</strong> conch harvest<strong>in</strong>g, ownership of a<br />

motorized vessel, <strong>and</strong> use of artisanal fishers. These revised criteria led to a significant<br />

redistribution of quota, which <strong>in</strong> 1999 motivated one quota-holder to legally dispute the authority<br />

of the MoA to allocate quota. Although the dispute was eventually settled out of court, it<br />

prevented any quota be<strong>in</strong>g distributed, <strong>and</strong> therefore any harvest<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>in</strong> 1999 <strong>and</strong> 2000. Thus,<br />


there were no exports <strong>in</strong> these years irrespective of the restrictions on exports to the European<br />

Union. 16<br />

Box 3. Reform of fish hygiene controls by Firm A<br />

This company started as a small exporter of fresh fish to New York <strong>in</strong> 1983. It started harvest<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> process<strong>in</strong>g<br />

conch <strong>in</strong> 1984–85. Its major export market for conch is the European Union, although it has exported to the United<br />

States when the EU market has been closed. Their current quota is 81.8 tons per annum, which is harvested with<br />

their own vessel. Currently, all exports of conch are to the EU, namely, Guadalupe <strong>and</strong> Mart<strong>in</strong>ique. The company<br />

also exports lobster, although supply problems have limited their ability to fully develop this trade.<br />

The company saw the need to upgrade its facilities <strong>and</strong> started construction of a new process<strong>in</strong>g plant <strong>in</strong> 1996.<br />

Operations started <strong>in</strong> the new facility <strong>in</strong> 1998. However, when the process<strong>in</strong>g plant was <strong>in</strong>spected by the European<br />

Commission <strong>in</strong> 1999, a number of major violations were identified, <strong>and</strong> significant additional <strong>in</strong>vestment was<br />

required. The company was visited aga<strong>in</strong> as part of the second round of <strong>in</strong>spections by the European Commission <strong>in</strong><br />

2000. It achieved approval to export to the EU as part of the first cohort of companies <strong>in</strong> 2001.<br />

The upgrades required to comply with the EU’s hygiene st<strong>and</strong>ards <strong>in</strong>cluded record-keep<strong>in</strong>g, pest control, water<br />

monitor<strong>in</strong>g, sanitation, microbiological <strong>and</strong> chemical contam<strong>in</strong>ant analyses, <strong>and</strong> enhanced plant ma<strong>in</strong>tenance.<br />

Freezer capacity had to be <strong>in</strong>creased to enable product to be stored until the results of laboratory analyses were<br />

available. On-site ice-mak<strong>in</strong>g facilities were also <strong>in</strong>stalled; previously, ice had been purchased. Although HACCP<br />

was nom<strong>in</strong>ally <strong>in</strong> place as a response to US requirements, major changes were needed to ensure effective monitor<strong>in</strong>g<br />

of CCPs <strong>and</strong> verification. The vessel also needs to be upgraded, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>stallation of sta<strong>in</strong>less steel storage<br />

conta<strong>in</strong>ers, toilet facilities based on the number of crew, <strong>and</strong> a freez<strong>in</strong>g system. Most of the resources used to make<br />

these improvements were borrowed, <strong>and</strong> the company is still repay<strong>in</strong>g this debt.<br />

The comb<strong>in</strong>ed impact of the various restrictions <strong>and</strong> dislocations are apparent <strong>in</strong> the recent<br />

pattern of Jamaica’s fishery product exports. Nevertheless, the country should now be <strong>in</strong> a<br />

position to better compete, particularly for conch. Most other countries that hold CITES quotas<br />

to harvest conch, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the Bahamas, Belize, Colombia, Dom<strong>in</strong>ican Republic, Haiti,<br />

Honduras, <strong>and</strong> Puerto Rico, are not approved to export to the European Union. Thus, Jamaica<br />

should be virtually a monopoly supplier of conch, a position entirely created by the EU’s hygiene<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards for fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products with which only Jamaica has achieved compliance.<br />

16 Currently, 9 <strong>in</strong>dividuals hold quotas to harvest conch <strong>in</strong> Jamaica, of whom 6 operate process<strong>in</strong>g plants <strong>and</strong> 3 have<br />

a fish<strong>in</strong>g boat but no plant. Of these process<strong>in</strong>g plants, five are approved to export to the EU. However, one of<br />

these plants accounts for a significant proportion of the total volume of conch be<strong>in</strong>g processed. Two plants have<br />

ceased operat<strong>in</strong>g due to the costs of comply<strong>in</strong>g with stricter hygiene requirements.<br />


Box 4. Reform of hygiene controls by Firm B<br />

This Jamaican company started as a shrimp farm <strong>in</strong> 1983 but switched to farm<strong>in</strong>g f<strong>in</strong> fish <strong>in</strong> 1987–88. Its emphasis<br />

is now almost entirely on red tilapia. Historically, the company has supplied both domestic <strong>and</strong> export markets,<br />

although the latter have decl<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> the face of new <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>tense competition from Ecuador. Ecuador started<br />

export<strong>in</strong>g tilapia after the collapse of its own shrimp aquaculture due to disease. That country is now the world’s<br />

largest exporter of tilapia <strong>and</strong> dom<strong>in</strong>ates the US market. Currently, exports of Firm B account for approximately 15<br />

percent of sales, most of which are directed at the European Union. Frozen prepared products are sold to local <strong>and</strong><br />

regional markets, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g major fast food cha<strong>in</strong>s <strong>and</strong> hotels.<br />

The company has its own production cover<strong>in</strong>g 205 acres <strong>and</strong> also contracts 11 farmers. It supplies f<strong>in</strong>gerl<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>and</strong><br />

feed to these contractors under credit. VSD <strong>in</strong>spects these farms on a regular basis, at considerable cost to itself. In<br />

all cases, the company stocks <strong>and</strong> harvests the fish itself. Fish are brought live from the production sites to the<br />

factory for slaughter <strong>and</strong> process<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

The process<strong>in</strong>g facility has been upgraded extensively to comply with EU hygiene requirements at a total cost of<br />

approximately US$2 million. HACCP <strong>and</strong> ISO 9000 were implemented <strong>in</strong> 1998, <strong>in</strong> part to comply with US<br />

requirements. However, additional upgrades were required <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g documentation, pest control, monitor<strong>in</strong>g of<br />

water, <strong>and</strong> microbiological <strong>and</strong> chemical analyses. The facility was <strong>in</strong>spected as part of the two European<br />

Commission <strong>in</strong>spections.<br />

Production costs have <strong>in</strong>creased as a result of these enhanced hygiene controls, although the company considers that<br />

the benefits outweigh the costs. It also claims to have ga<strong>in</strong>ed a competitive edge over other Jamaican <strong>and</strong> Caribbean<br />

companies, <strong>in</strong> that the enhanced controls exclude companies with lower st<strong>and</strong>ards <strong>and</strong> erect barriers to entry. Indeed,<br />

the company has been visited by all its European customers, which <strong>in</strong>clude some major UK retailers, <strong>and</strong> uses this<br />

fact to emphasize the efficacy of the hygiene st<strong>and</strong>ards with which it now complies. <strong>Other</strong> issues loom, however.<br />

Economical feed supplies come from the US, but the company cannot certify that this feed is GMO-free, as some of<br />

its buyers require.<br />

Jamaica’s effort to address stricter hygiene requirements for fish <strong>and</strong> fishery products <strong>in</strong> the<br />

European Union can be categorized as reactive compliance. Initially, <strong>in</strong>vestments were made to<br />

comply with US food safety regulations, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the implementation of HACCP, although<br />

st<strong>and</strong>ards generally rema<strong>in</strong>ed lax. However, it was not until the loss of access to EU markets,<br />

ma<strong>in</strong>ly the French Caribbean territories, that concerted efforts were made across the <strong>in</strong>dustry by<br />

both the public <strong>and</strong> private sectors to upgrade hygiene controls. Broadly, these efforts were<br />

predom<strong>in</strong>antly driven by the public sector. Indeed, the cont<strong>in</strong>ued compliance by most fish<br />

process<strong>in</strong>g plants rema<strong>in</strong>s dependent on the laboratory test<strong>in</strong>g services provided by the MoA,<br />

given that it is not considered economically viable for <strong>in</strong>dividual processors to make <strong>in</strong>vestments<br />

<strong>in</strong> such facilities. Some process<strong>in</strong>g plants have exited from the sector altogether, while others<br />

have not achieved approval to export to the EU <strong>and</strong> focus <strong>in</strong>stead on the United States <strong>and</strong><br />

regional markets. An additional irony is that, while Jamaica lost access to the EU for 17 months,<br />

the fact that its major competitors <strong>in</strong> the market for conch have not yet achieved compliance is a<br />

major competitive advantage.<br />


An ongo<strong>in</strong>g issue <strong>in</strong> the export of nontraditional fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables to Canada, the European<br />

Union, <strong>and</strong> the United States is Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for pesticides. On the one<br />

h<strong>and</strong>, the specter of seem<strong>in</strong>gly ever stricter limits hangs over the <strong>in</strong>dustry <strong>and</strong> is seen as a<br />

potentially major threat to the future development of trade <strong>in</strong> these products. On the other h<strong>and</strong>,<br />


specific problems have been experienced with residues of agrochemicals, most notably with<br />

yams (see below) <strong>and</strong> callaloo.<br />

In Jamaica, responsibility for control of pesticides lies with the Pesticides Control Authority<br />

(PCA), a semi-autonomous agency of the MoH. The PCA is responsible for register<strong>in</strong>g<br />

pesticides, licens<strong>in</strong>g imports, <strong>and</strong> register<strong>in</strong>g/licens<strong>in</strong>g pesticide retailers <strong>and</strong> pest controls<br />

operators. In the case of pest control operators, the responsibility for licens<strong>in</strong>g is shared with the<br />

FSPID regard<strong>in</strong>g stored commodities. Broadly, these controls provide a comprehensive<br />

framework for the regulation of pesticides. It also is evident that controls have been enhanced <strong>in</strong><br />

recent years, at least <strong>in</strong> relation to retailer distributors (figure 10).<br />

The major weakness <strong>in</strong> the use <strong>and</strong> control of pesticides lie <strong>in</strong> agricultural production. 17 As<br />

described above, Jamaican agriculture is characterized by small hold<strong>in</strong>gs operated predom<strong>in</strong>antly<br />

by farmers from older age groups. Overall, there is a lack of awareness <strong>and</strong> tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the<br />

appropriate use of pesticides <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g GAP, application procedures, <strong>and</strong> preharvest <strong>in</strong>tervals.<br />

Efforts have been made by RADA to tra<strong>in</strong> farmers <strong>in</strong> the appropriate use of pesticides, although<br />

these efforts have not been extensive due to resource limitations. In many cases, such tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g<br />

has been sponsored by the agrochemical companies <strong>and</strong> essentially has addressed how to address<br />

particular pests us<strong>in</strong>g their products rather than limit<strong>in</strong>g the use of pesticides overall. There is<br />

also a lack of crop-specific approval of pesticides <strong>in</strong> Jamaica with many chemicals be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

approved for agricultural use <strong>in</strong> general. More generally, there is chronic misuse of pesticides <strong>in</strong><br />

Jamaica, with application of chemicals that are available, often at the wrong concentration,<br />

frequency, <strong>and</strong>/or <strong>in</strong>terval before harvest (Reid 2000). 18<br />

17 As an example, one crop that has been subject to repeated detentions <strong>and</strong> rejection at the US border is callaloo,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g both the fresh <strong>and</strong> canned product. The MoA has acknowledged that there are problems with pesticide<br />

use <strong>in</strong> the production of this crop, <strong>and</strong> efforts have been made to <strong>in</strong>troduce alternative agronomic practices. For<br />

example, callaloo is one of the focus crops of the CRSP (IPM) Program <strong>in</strong> Jamaica be<strong>in</strong>g coord<strong>in</strong>ated by CARDI.<br />

In practice, however, efforts to <strong>in</strong>troduce IPM methods have met with resistance from farmers. Indeed, there is<br />

little <strong>in</strong>centive to change established practices when the domestic market predom<strong>in</strong>ates. At the same time,<br />

pesticides are generally packaged <strong>in</strong> quantities that are <strong>in</strong>appropriate for small-scale production <strong>and</strong> have dilution<br />

<strong>in</strong>structions that are for <strong>in</strong>ord<strong>in</strong>ately large volumes. These <strong>in</strong>structions confuse farmers <strong>and</strong> can lead to excessive<br />

concentrations be<strong>in</strong>g applied. To address these issues, action is required on the part of the PCA.<br />

18 To a certa<strong>in</strong> extent, <strong>and</strong> ironically, pesticide misuse may have been exacerbated by the preclearance program for<br />

exports of fresh produce to the United States, because producers have responded by <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g pesticide use to<br />

prevent detection of pests.<br />


Figure 10. Number of <strong>in</strong>spections by Pesticides Control Authority, 1999–2003<br />

Source: PCA 2003.<br />

A great concern for Jamaica is that MRLs have not been established, either <strong>in</strong>ternationally<br />

through the Codex Alimentarius or by its major trad<strong>in</strong>g partners, for many of its nontraditional<br />

fruit <strong>and</strong> vegetable exports. As discussed above, Jamaica’s trade <strong>in</strong> this area consists of a large<br />

number of local varieties, all of which are m<strong>in</strong>or <strong>in</strong> world trade. For this reason, there is little or<br />

no motivation for agrochemical companies to furnish the data on which an MRL might be<br />

established. The result is that a limit at the level of determ<strong>in</strong>ation (LOD) is applied dur<strong>in</strong>g border<br />

<strong>in</strong>spections <strong>in</strong> the European Union <strong>and</strong> the United States. Comb<strong>in</strong>ed with the lack of effective<br />

controls on pesticide use, this lack of established MRLs is perceived to present a serious threat to<br />

the trade <strong>in</strong> such products.<br />

S<strong>in</strong>ce 1993, the European Union has been implement<strong>in</strong>g a program to establish harmonized<br />

MRLs for foodstuffs (Jaffee 2003). This program aims to overcome <strong>in</strong>consistencies <strong>in</strong> the<br />

national limits of Member States. 19 Alongside the establishment of MRLs, there has been an<br />

ongo<strong>in</strong>g review of pesticides approved for use <strong>in</strong> the EU. Under this program, all active<br />

<strong>in</strong>gredients approved before July 1993 are be<strong>in</strong>g reviewed. It is anticipated that a significant<br />

proportion of currently approved active <strong>in</strong>gredients will be withdrawn. In the case of importers,<br />

19 MRLs have been established where sufficient data are available for specific crop/active <strong>in</strong>gredient comb<strong>in</strong>ations.<br />

Where data is unavailable or <strong>in</strong>sufficient, the MRL position has been left <strong>in</strong> an “open position” for a limited<br />

period of time, dur<strong>in</strong>g which data (collected <strong>in</strong> accordance with strict procedures def<strong>in</strong>ed by the EU) can be<br />

submitted. Once this period has expired, the MRL is set at the Limit of Determ<strong>in</strong>ation (LOD). While data can be<br />

submitted to defend the establishment of an MRL after this period, <strong>in</strong> practice it can take a considerable period,<br />

extend<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>to years, to gather the required data.<br />


however, tolerances may be granted subject to the submission of approved data on the hazards to<br />

consumers.<br />

The Committee for Liaison among Europe, Africa, the Caribbean <strong>and</strong> the Pacific (COLEACP),<br />

has recognized the problems faced by exporters of fruit <strong>and</strong> vegetables from the ACP States <strong>and</strong><br />

has implemented a Pesticides Initiative Programme (PIP). As part of this program, <strong>in</strong>formation<br />

has been gathered on pesticides used <strong>in</strong> ACP countries <strong>and</strong> an action plan launched for the<br />

collection <strong>and</strong> collation of data to support the establishment of MRLs for crops of <strong>in</strong>terest to<br />

ACP countries. Furthermore, advice has been provided on immediate measures that should be<br />

adopted by producers <strong>and</strong> exporters, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g harvest <strong>in</strong>tervals, choice of pesticides, <strong>and</strong> use of<br />

post-harvest pesticides. In the case of Jamaica, relations with the PIP started <strong>in</strong> 2000. One of the<br />

areas be<strong>in</strong>g addressed is the possibility of the established MRL for sweet potatoes be<strong>in</strong>g<br />

recognized for yams. However, to date, Jamaica had not seen results from these efforts.<br />

YAMS<br />

The one crop that has suffered from persistent problems due to pesticide residues is yams.<br />

Jamaica grows a comb<strong>in</strong>ation of both yellow <strong>and</strong> other yams that are supplied to both domestic<br />

<strong>and</strong> export markets. Major export markets are Canada, the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>and</strong> the United<br />

States, predom<strong>in</strong>antly directed at the African <strong>and</strong> Caribbean immigrant communities. More than<br />

5 percent of the agricultural area <strong>in</strong> Jamaica is dedicated to yam production, although both the<br />

planted area <strong>and</strong> production decl<strong>in</strong>ed through the 1990s. In recent years, national yam production<br />

has been approximately 150,000 tons, of which approximately 10,000–12,000 tons are exported.<br />

Jamaica accounts for approximately 50 percent of world exports of yams, the other important<br />

suppliers <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g Brazil, Costa Rica, <strong>and</strong> Ghana.<br />

Yams are grown predom<strong>in</strong>antly by small farmers <strong>in</strong> Jamaica <strong>and</strong> are an important source of<br />

<strong>in</strong>come. 20 Producers sell their yams to middlemen who supply both domestic markets <strong>and</strong><br />

exporters. Yams are selected <strong>in</strong> the field with the aim of m<strong>in</strong>imiz<strong>in</strong>g rejects at the exporter’s<br />

pack-house. The key quality characteristics exam<strong>in</strong>ed by exporters <strong>in</strong>clude cleanl<strong>in</strong>ess; similar<br />

varietal characteristics; shape; maturity; <strong>and</strong> the absence of nematodes, physical damage, <strong>and</strong><br />

disease. A typical exporter may rout<strong>in</strong>ely source from 200 producers, with whom s/he has no<br />

direct relation, <strong>and</strong> there is little or no traceability through the supply cha<strong>in</strong>. Dur<strong>in</strong>g recent years,<br />

there has been considerable consolidation of the export trade due to the <strong>in</strong>crease <strong>in</strong> the market<br />

price of yams. A number of exporters have been unable to assemble a complete order of product<br />

due to the subsequent <strong>in</strong>crease <strong>in</strong> their procurement costs <strong>and</strong> have shifted to other products or<br />

ceased export<strong>in</strong>g altogether.<br />

20 Upwards of 50,000 farmers are thought to produce yams for consumption <strong>and</strong> sale.<br />


Figure 11. Production of yams, 1994–2003<br />

Source: M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture.<br />

Exports of yam are now dom<strong>in</strong>ated by a relatively small number of traders. Several of them have<br />

made efforts to improve hygiene <strong>and</strong> pest controls, especially with<strong>in</strong> the pack-house but also<br />

through better coord<strong>in</strong>ation of their supply cha<strong>in</strong>s. For example, some exporters provide field<br />

crates <strong>and</strong> require a record to be kept of the lots supplied by each farmer. They have also<br />

improved the wash<strong>in</strong>g of the product, for example, <strong>in</strong>stall<strong>in</strong>g sta<strong>in</strong>less steel bas<strong>in</strong>s, <strong>and</strong> have<br />

attempted to ensure proper dry<strong>in</strong>g to prevent growth of mold. Broadly, however, traditional<br />

practices throughout the supply cha<strong>in</strong> have not changed, <strong>and</strong> there is little dist<strong>in</strong>ction between the<br />

products sold on domestic <strong>and</strong> export markets. In recent years, exports of yam have shown a<br />

susta<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong>crease, ris<strong>in</strong>g from approximately US$8 million <strong>in</strong> 1990 to nearly US$15 million <strong>in</strong><br />

2003. 21 (figure 12).<br />

21 The 2000 dip <strong>in</strong> the volume of trade was due to drought-<strong>in</strong>duced reductions <strong>in</strong> production.<br />


Figure 12. Exports of yams, 1990–2003<br />

Sources: Jamaican Exporters Association <strong>and</strong> FAOSTAT.<br />

Exports of yam to the United States have been subject to m<strong>and</strong>atory fumigation s<strong>in</strong>ce the 1940s<br />

to eradicate the yam weevil. This requirement is applied to most other importers to the United<br />

States. However, a survey of yam production <strong>in</strong> Jamaica by the MoA identified pest-free areas.<br />

Subsequently, the Jamaican government requested that a pest risk assessment be undertaken by<br />

APHIS with the aim of lift<strong>in</strong>g the requirement for fumigation of exports from these areas. To<br />

date, this issue has not been resolved.<br />

However, the most serious problem with exports to the United States relates to limits on<br />

fungicide residues. Fungicide is rout<strong>in</strong>ely applied to the cut ends of yams to prevent the growth<br />

of blue mold, <strong>in</strong> particular, dur<strong>in</strong>g sea shipments. Jamaica is almost unique <strong>in</strong> export<strong>in</strong>g large<br />

yams that are cut <strong>in</strong>to sections; thus, blue mold is not an issue for its competitors. The fungicide<br />

most widely used (Imazilil) is not registered for such use by the FDA <strong>and</strong>, as a consequence, the<br />

MRL is at the analytical LOD. In 2000 border <strong>in</strong>spection by the FDA detected residues of<br />

Imazilil; as a result, several large exporters lost consignments. The FDA required subsequent<br />

consignments to be certified as residue-free by an approved laboratory.<br />

In response, the Jamaican government established a Yam Task Force. It requested permission<br />

from the FDA to use two fungicides, Deccosol <strong>and</strong> Botran, which Jamaica was us<strong>in</strong>g on sweet<br />

potato <strong>and</strong> for which MRLs have been established. In the <strong>in</strong>terim, the task force recommended<br />

that calcium hypochlorite be used <strong>in</strong>stead of Imazilil, although the former provided less<br />

protection aga<strong>in</strong>st mold growth. The Yam Task Force also recommended that farmers switch to<br />

production of the smaller M<strong>in</strong>iset yam, which does not need to be cut prior to export. It also<br />

recommended that more careful dry<strong>in</strong>g procedures be used at pack-houses, because a properly<br />

dried yam can create its own natural protection aga<strong>in</strong>st mold.<br />


The FDA approved the use of calcium hypochlorite, Botran, <strong>and</strong> Deccosol to treat the cut ends of<br />

yams. Currently, however, Deccosol is not approved for use <strong>in</strong> Jamaica, <strong>and</strong> the PCA has had<br />

problems gett<strong>in</strong>g the manufacturer to furnish the required data. This chemical’s primary use is to<br />

fumigate greenhouses rather than as a post-harvest treatment. Subsequently, the MoA approved<br />

the use of calcium hypochlorite <strong>and</strong> Botran for the treatment of yams for export. Both of these<br />

approved treatments are acknowledged to be less effective at abat<strong>in</strong>g mold growth, <strong>and</strong> a number<br />

of exporters have reported problems, especially with sea shipments. At the same time, the MoA<br />

has worked with exporters to improve h<strong>and</strong>l<strong>in</strong>g practices, for example, proper <strong>and</strong> timely<br />

disposal of waste materials <strong>and</strong> appropriate wash<strong>in</strong>g procedures. The MoA suspects that Imazilil<br />

is still be<strong>in</strong>g widely used. 22<br />

As with many of the issues highlighted above, the problems that Jamaica has experienced with<br />

yams <strong>and</strong> other vegetables due to residues of agrochemicals reflect weaknesses <strong>in</strong> prevail<strong>in</strong>g<br />

control measures alongside highly fragmented supply cha<strong>in</strong>s that do not differentiate between<br />

production for local <strong>and</strong> export markets <strong>and</strong> have rema<strong>in</strong>ed largely unchanged despite the<br />

enhancement of food safety controls <strong>in</strong> major markets. Together with the problems experienced<br />

with hot peppers, however, the yam problem does illustrate the ability <strong>and</strong> will<strong>in</strong>gness of the<br />

Jamaican government to pursue SPS-related problems that impede agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports,<br />

especially where these requirements are considered questionable. The MoA sought to <strong>in</strong>fluence<br />

the measures adopted by a trad<strong>in</strong>g partner <strong>and</strong> to negotiate alternative remedies. Furthermore,<br />

although the government took action only when a problem arose <strong>in</strong> a major export market––that<br />

is, reactively rather than proactively––the response was quick <strong>and</strong> decisive. These experiences<br />

suggest that the SPS management system is able to act when it needs to. At the same time, it is<br />

not evident that the government <strong>and</strong> private sector are <strong>in</strong>terpret<strong>in</strong>g such product-specific events,<br />

<strong>in</strong>dividually <strong>and</strong>/or collectively, as <strong>in</strong>dicators that broader reforms are required urgently.<br />

PAPAYA<br />

Jamaica was one of the pioneer<strong>in</strong>g countries <strong>in</strong> the development of trade <strong>in</strong> papayas. The country<br />

accounted for a large share of European imports of this tropical fruit when the market there<br />

began to take off <strong>in</strong> the early 1990s. S<strong>in</strong>ce then, the Jamaican <strong>in</strong>dustry encountered major plant<br />

disease problems (<strong>in</strong> the mid-1990s there was an outbreak of Mosaic, a disease related to r<strong>in</strong>g<br />

spot virus) <strong>and</strong> was overtaken by several compet<strong>in</strong>g countries. 23 Recently, though, several<br />

companies have made <strong>in</strong>vestments to upgrade the quality of Jamaican-grown papaya, to address<br />

pesticide-residue <strong>and</strong> other concerns, <strong>and</strong> to modernize their pack-houses, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g through the<br />

application of HACCP pr<strong>in</strong>ciples. Three exporters have emerged to dom<strong>in</strong>ate this trade. They<br />

have <strong>in</strong>tegrated production <strong>and</strong>/or contract satellite producers while ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g effective control<br />

of the supply cha<strong>in</strong>.<br />

22 Jamaica has not experienced any rejections of yams by the European Union, although surveillance has been<br />

undertaken (for example, <strong>in</strong> the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom) <strong>and</strong> a warn<strong>in</strong>g has been issued. Regardless, it is expected that<br />

Imazilil will soon be delisted for approved use, not only <strong>in</strong> the European Union but also <strong>in</strong> the United States,<br />

necessitat<strong>in</strong>g the shift to an alternative treatment anyway.<br />

23 For example, Mexico <strong>and</strong> Brazil have emerged as the market leaders. In 1990 Mexico’s papaya exports were<br />

similar to those of Jamaica at just under $1 million. By 2003, Mexico’s grew to $44 million. Over that same<br />

period, Brazil’s papaya exports <strong>in</strong>creased from $2 to $29 million. Belize, which had no papaya trade <strong>in</strong> the early<br />

1990s, had exports of approximately $10 million by 2003.<br />


Figure 13. Exports of papaya, 1991–2003<br />

Note: The 2001 figure is questionable. FAOSTAT places trade <strong>in</strong> that year at US$3.3 million.<br />

Source: Plann<strong>in</strong>g Institute of Jamaica <strong>and</strong> FAOSTAT.<br />

For example, Advanced Farm Technology (AFT), a subsidiary of a US-owned firm, was<br />

established <strong>in</strong> 1982. The firm purchased a bankrupt w<strong>in</strong>ter vegetable project <strong>and</strong>, after some<br />

time, converted it to papaya production. The <strong>in</strong>itial five acres for papaya has exp<strong>and</strong>ed to 300<br />

acres, of which 150 is be<strong>in</strong>g used at any one time. New management was <strong>in</strong>troduced <strong>in</strong> the last<br />

24 months, after which significant improvements have been made to food safety <strong>and</strong> agricultural<br />

health controls <strong>and</strong> quality management. AFT is now a dedicated papaya exporter that focuses on<br />

the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom <strong>and</strong> the United States, ma<strong>in</strong>ly aimed at wholesalers that supply African,<br />

Asian <strong>and</strong> Caribbean immigrant markets.<br />

Alongside its own production, AFT contracts two farmers to produce papaya, each of which has<br />

his own satellite producers. These two farmers operate their own pack-houses from which<br />

produce is delivered to the central pack-house of AFT. However, their pack-houses are <strong>in</strong>spected<br />

on a regular basis <strong>and</strong> must operate to specified st<strong>and</strong>ards to ensure food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health<br />

controls <strong>and</strong> compliance with quality st<strong>and</strong>ards. All crates have a code for each farmer,<br />

facilitat<strong>in</strong>g traceability back to the place of production. AFT has been sourc<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> this way for<br />

four years <strong>and</strong> has established a reliable supply cha<strong>in</strong> that provides the required level of control<br />

<strong>and</strong> accountability. The aim is for fruit to be at the f<strong>in</strong>al market 48 hours after harvest<strong>in</strong>g.<br />

Currently, Advanced Farm Technology has almost fully implemented HACCP, which builds on<br />

already established GAP procedures. Its pack-house has been upgraded gradually over a six-year<br />

period, for example, with the repair of floors; <strong>in</strong>stallation of light covers, screens, fans <strong>and</strong> water<br />

chlor<strong>in</strong>ation; <strong>and</strong> reorganization of production to ensure correct product flow. All staff are<br />

provided with uniforms <strong>and</strong> must have food h<strong>and</strong>ler permits. Record-keep<strong>in</strong>g has also been<br />

extensively upgraded. Although some buyers have asked about HACCP certification, none has<br />

required it. However, the firm has seen how requirements are chang<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> wants to be ahead of<br />

the game to ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> market access <strong>and</strong> enhance competitiveness.<br />


Exports of papaya are aided by the fact that MRLs have been established for many of the major<br />

pesticides used <strong>in</strong> production. However, residues are still an issue, with respect to both<br />

regulatory requirements <strong>and</strong> the st<strong>and</strong>ards laid down by private buyers. For example, AFT has<br />

had a number of consignments deta<strong>in</strong>ed by the FDA <strong>in</strong> the United States, although all eventually<br />

passed <strong>and</strong> were released. However, it can sometimes take up to three days for samples to be<br />

taken, reduc<strong>in</strong>g shelf-life <strong>and</strong> thus the value of the consignment. The company has made efforts<br />

to address some of these problems, for example, through application of biopesticides, although<br />

these are typically more expensive.<br />

There are also quite regular detentions related to phytosanitary controls. One of the frustrations<br />

that exporters face here is that the US authorities do not provide feedback on the code <strong>in</strong> boxes <strong>in</strong><br />

which problems are identified, mak<strong>in</strong>g it difficult to trace back the source <strong>and</strong> take corrective<br />

action. To overcome this problem, Advanced Farm Technology has employed pack-house<br />

workers who are dedicated to the <strong>in</strong>spection of <strong>in</strong>dividual fruit for pests. AFT does not use the<br />

preclearance program prior to export because of high rates of re-<strong>in</strong>spection <strong>in</strong> the United States.<br />

To reduce the risk of detentions for whatever reason, AFT has reduced the size of each<br />

consignment to a maximum of 500 boxes.<br />


Alongside exports of fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables <strong>and</strong> fish, which are subject to only limited levels of<br />

process<strong>in</strong>g, Jamaica has established a trade <strong>in</strong> a wide range of processed <strong>and</strong> packaged foods,<br />

<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g pepper sauces, soups, season<strong>in</strong>gs, <strong>and</strong> juices. Historically, these processed foods<br />

served Caribbean immigrant markets <strong>in</strong> Canada, the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom, <strong>and</strong> the United States.<br />

However, the exporters of these foods have progressively shifted to a wider consumer base,<br />

reflect<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>creased dem<strong>and</strong> for spicier <strong>and</strong> “ethnic” foods. Such products are subject to a far<br />

wider range of food safety, quality, <strong>and</strong> label<strong>in</strong>g requirements that require more sophisticated<br />

systems of SPS controls, especially on the part of the manufacturer/exporter. In the case of<br />

Jamaica, it is evident that levels of such capacity vary widely, <strong>and</strong> even well-established <strong>and</strong><br />

sophisticated manufacturers, for example, Grace Kennedy, face regular problems, as illustrated<br />

by the rates of border detention <strong>in</strong> the United States.<br />

One product that has had very particular problems is ackee. Ackee are a traditional fruit widely<br />

consumed by Jamaicans <strong>and</strong> for which there is a lucrative market among the diaspora. Exports of<br />

canned ackee were valued at US$5.6 million <strong>in</strong> 2001 <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>creased to US$7.2 million <strong>in</strong> 2002.<br />

The ackee process<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> cann<strong>in</strong>g sector is estimated to employ approximately 3,700 people, of<br />

whom over 65 percent are women (Reid 2000). An additional approximately 50,000 people are<br />

estimated to derive their livelihood through ackee production.<br />

In 1973, because of concerns about hypoglyc<strong>in</strong>, a tox<strong>in</strong> present <strong>in</strong> unripe ackee, the United States<br />

imposed an import alert on canned ackee. The alert resulted <strong>in</strong> an effective US market ban on the<br />

product, although there apparently emerged a vibrant smuggl<strong>in</strong>g trade through the Canadian<br />

border. Jamaica’s trade <strong>in</strong> this product cont<strong>in</strong>ued with Canada <strong>and</strong> the United K<strong>in</strong>gdom. In the<br />

mid-to-late 1990s a series of discussions took place between Jamaican <strong>and</strong> US authorities on<br />

how the import alert might be lifted. To rega<strong>in</strong> access to US markets, the Jamaican authorities<br />

were required to implement a HACCP-based system of prior approval <strong>and</strong> regulation of ackee<br />

processors. The country prepared a Jamaican St<strong>and</strong>ard for Canned Ackee <strong>in</strong> Br<strong>in</strong>e. Exports to the<br />

United States of canned ackee restarted <strong>in</strong> 2001, although trade <strong>in</strong> fresh ackee is prohibited.<br />


Export earn<strong>in</strong>gs exp<strong>and</strong>ed considerably due to the comparatively higher prices for this product <strong>in</strong><br />

the US market (Gordon 2002).<br />

More generally, exporters of packaged food products to the United States are required to file<br />

details of their production process with the FDA before they are permitted access. Producers of<br />

low-acid <strong>and</strong> acidified canned food also are required to obta<strong>in</strong> prior approval of their products<br />

<strong>and</strong> production processes. The Scientific Research Council provides a service to companies<br />

wish<strong>in</strong>g to export processed food products to the United States. For a fee, the council will gather<br />

the required <strong>in</strong>formation <strong>and</strong> complete the required registration <strong>and</strong>/or prior approval<br />

documentation. However, a significant number of product consignments have been rejected by<br />

the FDA because they have not complied with these requirements <strong>and</strong>/or the importer has failed<br />

to submit the required documentation.<br />

Exporters of processed foods have also encountered problems related to label<strong>in</strong>g requirements,<br />

especially nutrition label<strong>in</strong>g, <strong>and</strong> the use of additives, especially colorants, that are not permitted<br />

<strong>in</strong> the United States. The JBS provides advice on label design <strong>and</strong> content <strong>and</strong> undertakes<br />

nutrient analysis for nutritional label<strong>in</strong>g. However, exporters have compla<strong>in</strong>ed about the amount<br />

of extra time required to obta<strong>in</strong> approval for a label <strong>and</strong> the costs associated with border<br />

rejections because a label is judged to be noncompliant.<br />


Although not related to agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports per se, a major SPS issue affect<strong>in</strong>g trade <strong>in</strong><br />

services <strong>and</strong> earn<strong>in</strong>gs of foreign exchange is the impact of food safety on tourism. In 2003<br />

Jamaica had approximately 1.3 million foreign tourists <strong>and</strong> a similar number of stopover cruise<br />

ship passengers, with these numbers <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g over time (figure 14).<br />

Figure 14. Number of foreign tourist arrivals, 1997–2003<br />

Source: Plann<strong>in</strong>g Institute of Jamaica.<br />


S<strong>in</strong>ce 1993, when a major outbreak of food-borne disease occurred <strong>in</strong> the tourist population, a<br />

program of hotel surveillance has been <strong>in</strong> place cover<strong>in</strong>g the popular dest<strong>in</strong>ation sites of<br />

Montego Bay, Negril, <strong>and</strong> Ocho Rios. In 1999 the K<strong>in</strong>gston <strong>and</strong> St Andrews region were added<br />

to this program. While this system provides valuable monitor<strong>in</strong>g data, it has been recognized that<br />

there are weaknesses <strong>in</strong> record<strong>in</strong>g at the parish level, <strong>and</strong> some caution should be used <strong>in</strong><br />

<strong>in</strong>terpretation. In 1996 one study <strong>in</strong>dicated that approximately 25 percent of tourists suffered<br />

from diarrhea dur<strong>in</strong>g their stay <strong>in</strong> Jamaica (Ashley 2002). By December 1998, however, there<br />

had been a significant reduction <strong>in</strong> the recorded <strong>in</strong>cidences of traveler diarrhea, <strong>and</strong> low rates are<br />

be<strong>in</strong>g susta<strong>in</strong>ed (table 13). At the same time, rates vary significantly among hotels, with some<br />

hav<strong>in</strong>g persistently high levels of traveler diarrhea. Major outbreaks, however, are a relatively<br />

rare occurrence.<br />

Table 13. Rates of traveler diarrhea per 10,000 guest nights, 2000–02<br />

Region 2000 2001 2002<br />

Ocho Rios 12.74 7.75 4.84<br />

Montego Bay 4.72 5.12 3.78<br />

Negril 6.3 5.6 5.7<br />

K<strong>in</strong>gston & St Andrews -

as exports of nontraditional products have grown alongside the evolution of stricter <strong>in</strong>ternational<br />

food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health controls, SPS issues have come to play a prom<strong>in</strong>ent role <strong>in</strong><br />

determ<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g market access <strong>and</strong> Jamaica’s competitiveness <strong>in</strong> its major export markets. A number<br />

of specific problems have emerged that have compromised a potentially lucrative trade <strong>in</strong> niche<br />

products. In this sense, Jamaica is probably <strong>in</strong>dicative of many smaller develop<strong>in</strong>g countries.<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Currently, it is evident that the core SPS management framework is <strong>in</strong> place, <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong><br />

particular, there is well-developed human capital, although it has not developed <strong>and</strong><br />

evolved <strong>in</strong> l<strong>in</strong>e with the food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health control needs of its exports. A<br />

number of assessments have highlighted the need for adm<strong>in</strong>istrative reform to avoid<br />

wast<strong>in</strong>g limited resources <strong>and</strong> better coord<strong>in</strong>ation of SPS controls to ensure that emerg<strong>in</strong>g<br />

issues are addressed <strong>in</strong> an effective <strong>and</strong> timely manner. While the need for reform of SPS<br />

controls is widely recognized <strong>and</strong> two broad programs of capacity development have<br />

been implemented <strong>in</strong> Jamaica, progress has been slow due to political <strong>in</strong>ertia. There is<br />

clearly a need for renewed urgency <strong>in</strong> this respect. Recent efforts to enhance<br />

coord<strong>in</strong>ation across agencies provide some positive signs, <strong>and</strong> these efforts need to be<br />

extended, build<strong>in</strong>g on progress step by step.<br />

Jamaica has addressed SPS challenges primarily <strong>in</strong> a reactive mode, develop<strong>in</strong>g plans of<br />

action <strong>and</strong> modified regulations after market access has been cut off or restricted due to<br />

SPS problems or trade partner concerns. In some cases, technical <strong>and</strong> adm<strong>in</strong>istrative<br />

solutions have been found, albeit with some delay. In other cases, either technical<br />

solutions rema<strong>in</strong> elusive or the adm<strong>in</strong>istrative or f<strong>in</strong>ancial implications of identified<br />

solutions have resulted <strong>in</strong> their limited adoption. These patterns have contributed to a<br />

very uneven development of Jamaica’s NTE trade, with still-frequent product<br />

<strong>in</strong>terceptions, by either Jamaican or trade partner authorities, <strong>and</strong> much uncerta<strong>in</strong>ty<br />

with<strong>in</strong> the private sector. What is recommended is that Jamaica take a proactive attitude<br />

<strong>and</strong> steps toward meet<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>ternational st<strong>and</strong>ards for the products that the country can<br />

profitably export.<br />

Much of the exist<strong>in</strong>g SPS management capacity <strong>in</strong> Jamaica rema<strong>in</strong>s embedded <strong>in</strong> the<br />

public sector, with the exception of certa<strong>in</strong> subsectors (for example, fish <strong>and</strong> fishery<br />

products) or among some larger-scale operators (for example, a few food processors <strong>and</strong><br />

those <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> papaya exports). While some progressive exporters of nontraditional<br />

fruits <strong>and</strong> vegetables are beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g to make some changes, overall private <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong><br />

improved food safety <strong>and</strong> plant health systems has been very limited. This slowness to<br />

change <strong>in</strong> part reflects overall uncerta<strong>in</strong>ties about export growth potential <strong>and</strong> a<br />

perception that overseas st<strong>and</strong>ards are either unfair or too complex. It also reflects the<br />

highly fragmented nature of the pert<strong>in</strong>ent export trades <strong>and</strong> supply cha<strong>in</strong>s, ag<strong>in</strong>g agrarian<br />

population, lack of pressures for change from overseas buyers, <strong>and</strong> still-predom<strong>in</strong>ant<br />

domestic market outlets for the featured commodities (for which few st<strong>and</strong>ards are<br />

enforced). These conditions result <strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>abilities to realize economies of scale <strong>and</strong> to<br />

<strong>in</strong>duce changes <strong>in</strong> farmer agronomic <strong>and</strong> record-keep<strong>in</strong>g practices. Clearly, efforts need<br />

to be made to enhance the coord<strong>in</strong>ation <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>tegration of supply cha<strong>in</strong>s for products for<br />

which there is real long-term potential for export competitiveness, build<strong>in</strong>g on the<br />

experiences of, for example, the papaya sector.<br />

Many of Jamaica’s nontraditional agrofood exports face a broad range of competitiveness<br />

constra<strong>in</strong>ts, related to <strong>in</strong>consistent raw material production, high post-harvest losses,<br />


elatively high-cost <strong>and</strong> limited-availability labor, macroeconomic factors, <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>tensified<br />

regional <strong>and</strong> other competition. Market access problems related to SPS materials have<br />

exacerbated <strong>and</strong> re<strong>in</strong>forced these constra<strong>in</strong>ts, reduc<strong>in</strong>g the profitability <strong>and</strong> rais<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

risks associated with the conduct of these trades. The resolution of such SPS constra<strong>in</strong>ts<br />

is necessary, although not sufficient, for restor<strong>in</strong>g <strong>and</strong> improv<strong>in</strong>g the competitiveness of<br />

Jamaica’s nontraditional agrofood exports. In addition, efforts must be made to enhance<br />

overall export competitiveness, for example, through enhanced productivity <strong>and</strong>/or<br />

product quality.<br />

Capacity weaknesses rema<strong>in</strong> significant <strong>in</strong> the private sector, <strong>and</strong> there are questions as<br />

to whether exports can be ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>ed, let alone <strong>in</strong>creased, on the basis of the current<br />

fragmented system of production among an ag<strong>in</strong>g farm<strong>in</strong>g population. Selected<br />

<strong>in</strong>terventions to develop more coord<strong>in</strong>ated supply cha<strong>in</strong>s <strong>and</strong> traceability systems for<br />

particular commodities could be pursued, perhaps through a jo<strong>in</strong>t public/donor-private<br />

<strong>in</strong>itiative. Nevertheless, it is likely that future export development will require private<br />

<strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong> (medium-scale) export-dedicated production for which ris<strong>in</strong>g quality, food<br />

safety, <strong>and</strong> plant health st<strong>and</strong>ards are factored <strong>in</strong>to production, post-harvest, <strong>and</strong> overall<br />

management systems. It is not certa<strong>in</strong> that this activity is sufficiently profitable to <strong>in</strong>duce<br />

such <strong>in</strong>vestment, whether by Jamaicans or others with prior experience <strong>and</strong> market<br />

l<strong>in</strong>kages. Furthermore, Jamaica has a number of notable disadvantages compared with<br />

compet<strong>in</strong>g supply sites <strong>in</strong> Africa, Central America, <strong>and</strong> elsewhere, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

availability <strong>and</strong> cost of freight, low <strong>and</strong> fluctuat<strong>in</strong>g yields, <strong>and</strong> fragmented supply cha<strong>in</strong>s.<br />

These disadvantages raise questions about the likely economic benefits of enhanced<br />

trade-related SPS controls unless broader efforts to enhance export competitiveness are<br />

undertaken. Thus, it seems clear that the development of SPS capacity needs to be<br />

undertaken with<strong>in</strong> the context of broader developments <strong>in</strong> the supply cha<strong>in</strong> for high-value<br />

agricultural <strong>and</strong> food exports.<br />

Future export development can also <strong>in</strong>volve efforts to exp<strong>and</strong> sales <strong>in</strong> sauces, season<strong>in</strong>gs,<br />

<strong>and</strong> other value-added processed food products, both <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g market shares among<br />

immigrant communities <strong>and</strong> extend<strong>in</strong>g sales to penetrate the more ma<strong>in</strong>stream market, for<br />

which dem<strong>and</strong> for many such products cont<strong>in</strong>ues to grow rapidly. These efforts may<br />

require some modification of product composition <strong>and</strong> recipes to meet consumer<br />

preferences <strong>and</strong> <strong>in</strong>creased attention to compliance with regulations related to label<strong>in</strong>g,<br />

additives, <strong>and</strong> packag<strong>in</strong>g. Rather than a fragmented, company-specific approach to these<br />

challenges, there is scope for a more coord<strong>in</strong>ated approach <strong>in</strong>volv<strong>in</strong>g jo<strong>in</strong>t <strong>in</strong>vestment <strong>in</strong><br />

product R&D, food hygiene tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, <strong>and</strong> market development.<br />



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Canale, F. 2002. “Strengthen<strong>in</strong>g the Phytosanitary Capabilities of CARICOM Countries.” FAO, Rome.<br />

Dormer, D. 2003. “Competitiveness <strong>in</strong> Jamaican (Fresh) Hot Pepper Industry.” ASSP, M<strong>in</strong>istry of Agriculture,<br />

K<strong>in</strong>gston.<br />

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October 22–24.<br />

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M<strong>in</strong>istry of Health, K<strong>in</strong>gston.<br />

Norton, G.W., G.E. Sanchez, D. Clarke-Harris, <strong>and</strong> H.K. Traore. 2003. “Food Safety <strong>in</strong> Food Security <strong>and</strong> Food<br />

<strong>Trade</strong>: Reduc<strong>in</strong>g Pesticide Residues on Horticultural Crops.” In L. Unnevehr, ed., Food Safety <strong>in</strong> Food<br />

Security <strong>and</strong> <strong>Trade</strong>. Wash<strong>in</strong>gton, DC: IFPRI.<br />

PCA (Pesticides Control Authority). 2003. Annual Report of the Pesticide Control Authority 2002–2003. K<strong>in</strong>gston.<br />

Reid, J. 2000. Needs Analysis of the Read<strong>in</strong>ess of Jamaican Institutions for WTO-SPS. K<strong>in</strong>gston: IICA.<br />

Russell, S. 2000a. “Hot Peppers.” In R. Hertford, ed., Measur<strong>in</strong>g the Competitiveness of Jamaica’s Agricultural<br />

Commodities. Costa Rica: IICA.<br />

_____. 2000b. “Yams.” In R. Hertford, ed., Measur<strong>in</strong>g the Competitiveness of Jamaica’s Agricultural Commodities.<br />

Costa Rica: IICA.<br />

Stewart, V., <strong>and</strong> D. Fletcher. 2000. “Hot Pepper Industry Study.” CARDI, K<strong>in</strong>gston.<br />

TSL (Technological Solutions Ltd.). 2002. “F<strong>in</strong>al Report on the GAP Audit of the Agricultural Market<strong>in</strong>g<br />

Corporation.” K<strong>in</strong>gston.<br />

_____. 2003. “Estimated Costs for the Implementation of the Improvements Required for HACCP Implementation<br />

at the AMC Complex.” K<strong>in</strong>gston.<br />

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