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UREP-GAP Sharpen Their Focus on Fruits and Vegetables

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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Tuesday, September 09, 2003 - A number of health and other pertinent issues surrounding food safety and consumer protection will come into sharp focus in 2004. That is when the European Retailers Working Group, UREP, implements Good Agricultural Practices or GAP.

The United States Department of Agriculture, (USDA), has also implemented control measures to address primarily agricultural commodities, particularly fruits and vegetables. Some of these measures include water safety, manure, worker hygiene, various chemicals, field sanitation and transport. These commodities will have to meet certain protocols and standards in keeping with GAP which will allow these fruits and vegetables to be marketed in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Acting Director of Agricultural Services, in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Joan Norville explains that at present measures are being instituted to facilitate the implementation of GAP throughout the OECS. Such a move, she says, would allow for easier export of fruits from this region to both the UK and the US.

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