By Latrishka Thomas
The government will no longer tolerate sub-standard products and labelling of goods in Antigua and Barbuda. Within the next few months residents can expect to hear of shelves being raided.
This is what Minister of Trade EP Chet Greene said on Thursday during talks in Guyana with officials from the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC).
“Just before I left home I had a talk with my Permanent Secretary in Trade, that we were pulling a number of things off the shelves very shortly, because … people bring all kinds of things to the country in some languages we don’t understand,” Greene said.
“And so as we welcome you with your expo, please ensure that labelling is intact and packaging is competitive. also ensure that packaging is competitive. We all consume items and we know [when] we go to the stores, packaging is a major thing for all of us. It is embedded in our psyche. We don’t even know that we are doing it but we look at two items and one is superior or supremely packaged and automatically we gravitate to that one.”
Greene mentioned the fact that a large Guyanese diaspora resides in Antigua and continued, saying, “I want to go on record here in Guyana indicating our appreciation for those Guyanese who have come to Antigua and made it their home and who have and continue to make critical contributions to national advancement and development.”
Greene was speaking to several GMC officials who will be hosting the Guyana Trade Show to be held in Antigua from July 19th -20th. The two-day event is entitled “Guyana on Show Part 3.”
The General Manager of GMC, Ida Sealey-Adams, said that the demand for Guyanese products in Antigua is one of the major reasons for the hosting of the trade show.
“Guyana has enjoyed a good trading relationship with Antigua over the years. As a matter of fact, Antigua is our fourth largest exporting destination for fresh and agro-processed products regionally,” Sealey-Adams stated.
“Our main products include our sauces, our pepper sauce and as it relates to our fresh commodities the ones that rank very high there are the pumpkin, watermelon, eddoes and a few others.”
While detailing the reason for conducting the trade show on the island she also said they “thought it best as the mandate of the Guyana Marketing Corporation, to find ways in which we can improve the current existing trade relationship we have with Antigua and also find opportunities where we can expand such a trade”.
And as did the Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration Minister, Sealey-Adams also made note of the demand for Guyanese products by the Guyanese community living in Antigua.
“We know of the very large Guyanese diaspora in Antigua and the questions that they usually ask usually center on ways in which they can enjoy more of the products that are known to them,” Sealey-Adams said.