Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to Seminar On Potable Water Quality Safety And Management Issues
Home Up Address by The Hon. Philip J. Pierre on the Occasion of the Return of Air Jamaica to Saint Lucia Message from Hon. Philip J. Pierre On the Occasion of World Standards Day October 14th, 2005 Address by Hon Philip J. Pierre at the Official Launch of the Business Opportunities Organization of Saint Lucia Statement on the death of Dame Eugenia Charles Address By The Hon. Philip J. Pierre at The Official Launch of The CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME) National Public Education Programme Address By The Hon. Philip J. Pierre, at The Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association 41st Annual General Meeting Ministerial Address To The Nation On The Occasion Of World Tourism Day Address By Hon. Philip J. Pierre At The Opening Of Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEX) Thursday, June 24, 2004 Address by Honourable Philip J. Pierre in Observance of World Consumer Rights Day - March 15, 2003 WORLD STANDARDS DAY - October 14, 2002 Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre the Meeting of Caribbean Small Business Entrepreneurs, Organizations and Agencies - 3 April 2002 Address by the Hon. Minister to the Tourism Forum held on March 8, 2002 Statement by Hon. Philip J. Pierre at Press Conference - March 7, 2002 Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to Chamber of Commerce at 117th AGM Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to the Launching Ceremony of Creole Heritage Month "Baron Foods Bouyon Ek Kalalou" at the Folk Research Centre - October 19, 2001 Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to the Regional Workshop on the Music Industry in the OECS, Bay Gardens Hotel, St. Lucia on July 26, 2001 Address by Hon. Philip J. Pierre to Seminar On Potable Water Quality Safety And Management Issues


August 16, 2001  

NIS Conference Centre


Mr. Cosmos Richardson, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, International Financial Services and Consumer Affairs, Mr. Mr. Ben Emmanuel, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Tedburt Theobalds, Chairman, Bureau of Standards Council, Dr. Alison Plummer – Director, Bureau of Standards, staff of the Bureau, panelists, participants.


I am pleased to see the bottled water industry and all other sectors so well represented here this morning. This seminar addresses issues that are not only crucial to the work of the Ministry Commerce and Consumer Affairs, but to the general public.  Water quality has always been a topical issue as it is the most widely consumed commodity among all age groups. It is not surprising therefore, that consumers will continue to be concerned about the wholesomeness of the water they drink. This seminar is of particular importance to the Ministry because we are concerned with both the needs of consumers and the responsibility of ensuring that Saint Lucia can sustain a viable industrial bottled water sector, which has demonstrated substantial growth over the past few years.


A total of five (5) bottled water companies are in operation today. In addition, there are many underground reservoirs that have not yet been exposed to pollution, and are capable of exploitation to satisfy the growing demand for natural water, or water containing certain minerals. This industry has not been spared from competition and purified waters from other sources are also entering the island.  It is crucial that we set standards and guidelines for the production and promotion of these water products to protect both consumers and producers.


It is my opinion that the bottled water industry is vital to the success of industrialization and growth of the economy.  This industry impacts on many other sectors.  Linkages are possible with Tourism and Health, and the need for proper standards cannot be over-emphasized.


The manufacturing sector has to face up to the reality of the global slowdown in economic activity.  Adjustments have to be made and all interests in the economy i.e. service providers, producers, consumers and other business owners have to take the necessary steps to ensure our survival through these times.


In this regard I want to call on financial institutions operating in St. Lucia to exercise tolerance and adopt measures that will not compromise their profitability but at the same time allow businesses to remain in operation.


Financial institutions must consider giving special support to the small business sector especially those involved in manufacturing.  Consideration for the rescheduling of loans and innovative repayment schemes, new lines of credit are measures that can be adopted by financial institutions to ensure the survival of small business.


Small business owners for their part must re-engineer and ensure proper business and cash follow management.  Changes in personal lifestyles may also be a consideration to ensure survival of business ventures.


The experts tell me that water is a universal solvent and a perfect medium for microbial growth and bottlers of water have a huge responsibility to protect the health of consumers.  Most hotels serve bottled water, and the vulnerable sectors of the population i.e. infants, the elderly and the sick tend to drink bottled water.  This exposure makes the need for sound food safety management practices compulsory in the operations of bottled water plants.   Water produced must be safe and of consistent good quality. It is only with “Best practice management practices" that consumers will be confident and the viability of your business ensured.


The demands for quality are high and international standards are being forced upon local producers with limited resources to implement them. The question arises as to how are we going to survive this global competition?


Playing the “Blame game” will not help and we must devise policies to face the reality of globalisation.


Priority number one must be quality.


The Bureau of Standards has recently been strengthened with additional professional staff to work with manufacturers and guide them in implementing the requirements of these international standards.  The purification of water is a very technical process and this seminar is the start of the Bureau’s efforts in assisting manufacturers with their operations.  The success of the Bureau’s technical assistance programme depends almost entirely on your willingness to work with the institution.  Co-operation is essential if bottled water manufacturers are to benefit from the technical assistance being offered.


I have outlined the critical value of water to the health and safety of consumers, that is why the standard for this product has recently been declared compulsory.  This means that in the not too distant future, the requirements will be forced under a Compulsory Standards Compliance Programme currently being developed by the Bureau.  I urge you to make use of the opportunities being offered by the Bureau and the Ministry to strengthen your operations.


I wish the participants of the seminar well and hope that the information received is simple and understood by all participants.  Congratulations to the Chairman, Director, Board members and staff for staging this seminar.


- end - 


[Back] [Up]

© 2012 CompanyLongName. All rights reserved.

Read our privacy guidelines.