BY SAMIE WAIKORI
THE country will soon trade its goods, especially consumable products for the first time to the rest of the world.
Work is currently in its preparatory stage and focus is on pursuing accreditation for services which will be provided by the country’s National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) on local products for the matter.
Director of NPHL, Mr Dickson Manongi told islandsun during a one day inception workshop yesterday that the workshop is a break-through to one of the trade barriers that the country has.
He said currently one of the problems that the country faced with its products is to certify them under the ISO 17025 accreditation.
Mr Manongi said now the possible trade that the country has in its export failed to meet the standard requirement.
“That is one of the trade barrier we have because we lack accredited facilities to certify export productions.
“But having the NPHL accredited to ISO 17025, the world is open. And it will be a privilege for our local market to access any markets in the world.
“Because having an accredited laboratory we’ll also have accredited facilities that will certify food and water or consumable goods that can meet international standard,” he said.
Mr Manongi said although the programme is small, it came under lots of issues in regards to quality to trades and health aspects of the products.
He also said that under the initiative a new project was launched yesterday aimed at developing the capacity of the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) in Honiara.
Mr Manongi said under the project they are to look first at the microbiological testing on water and food products in compliance with international standards.
He said there is lots of packaging of micro-food where people can eat that leads to disease, this is the reason to first look at the microbiological test for safety hygiene on food and water.
Mr Manongi said the second aspect of the project will cover chemistry methods, but the government is yet to secure the project.
Interestingly, he said the motivating aspect about having this accredited laboratory in the country is to ensure every consumable items coming in (import) and going out (export) will be checked for their health status.
“For export food products like water, tuna and others, we must ensure they go through the microbiological testing to prove they meet the standard requirement with ISO 17025 stamp before exporting.
“The same for importing food products. All food items coming into the country must be checked in the lab to know its health status before putting them for public consumption,” Mr Manongi said.