FDA official advises Guyanese exhibitors on standards for exporting to US
Many of the participants in the Florida International Trade Conference and Expo (FITCE 2019) that are small manufacturers of sauces, cosmetics and other products which require US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in order to enter the US market met with Kim Prenter, a senior official of the Administration.
The invitation was extended to Prenter by Wesley Kirton, President of the Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce (GACC).
During visits to the various booths, Prenter discussed with the exhibitors the standards which their products need to meet in order to be legally imported and sold in the United States.
While many of the products can find markets in the US, it was pointed out that the labelling needs to be improved, in some cases to include ingredients and nutritional facts; caps need to be properly sealed, in cases where colouring is added, this needs to be stated; claims of benefits of the use of lotions and soaps either need to be medically proven or removed from the packaging, exporters need to be registered with the FDA in both Guyana and the United States and the processing/production process needs to be certified.
Quite a few companies have shown interest in some of the products from Guyana and impressed with the quality of especially the pepper sauces, green seasonings, bar-b-que sauces, soaps and coconut oil. Many were not too familiar with the cassareep and achar and information on their use were provided.
On Thursday, the Guyanese manufacturers, many of them small enterprises owned and operated by women, will participate in an FDA workshop that will include the agency’s legal team.
The FDA has agreed to prepare and provide to the GACC a number of documents regarding import guidelines which the Chamber will share with Guyanese manufacturers, as well as with Chamber of Commerce and the Private Sector Commission in Guyana.
Kirton also discussed with the FDA the possibility of hosting in workshop in Guyana for the manufacturers, as well as visit to their operations with a view to having these certified by the agency.