The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) is a key agency that supports trade and enhances business competitiveness through the implementation of standards. Standards are primarily voluntary, but they play an important role in Guyana’s economy by facilitating easy business interactions and confidence in the products and services emanating from the various sectors.
Over the years, the GNBS has been zealously advocating for local food manufacturers, food operators and agro-processors to purchase and implement the national food standards which it has available. The majority of these food standards were developed from regional and/or international food standards. Hence, their contents are in harmony with regional and international requirements. Two such standards are the Guyana Standard, GYS 508:2013, ‘Specification for Packaged natural coconut water’ and GCP 30:2013, ‘The Code of Practice for Packaged natural coconut water’. These standards are identical to the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) Standards and were adopted by the GNBS for use in the local coconut water industry to facilitate trade among CARICOM member states and other jurisdictions. It is therefore necessary for our local manufacturers to provide objective evidence that they are conforming to these minimum requirements.
The GCP 30 was developed with the aim of streamlining the coconut water industry by defining requirements for the hygienic preparation of packaged natural coconut water. This Code of Practice gives recommendations for the hygienic preparation of packaged natural coconut water; detailing the harvesting, packaging, storing, transporting and distributing of the product. For example, under ‘Harvesting’, the standard states that the ‘Free fall of coconuts should not be allowed; coconuts should be lowered to the ground.’ Proper harvesting techniques ensure minimal or no damage to the coconuts; thus contributing to an untainted end product. The standard also provides guidance as to the location, internal structure and fittings, floor design, drains, windows and doors of buildings and facilities for processing coconut water.
Meanwhile, the GYS 508 was developed to differentiate the production of undiluted natural coconut water; that is, coconut water which has been packaged in its natural state without the use of additives. According to the standard, additives can be considered as, ‘…artificial substance or ingredient…added to the coconut water to enhance quality or preservation.’ This standard also includes analytical parameters/limits for composition of the coconut water, physiochemical limits for coconut water, and microbiological limits for coconut water, which provides objective evidence and the necessary assurance that the coconut water is conforming to the recognized requirements. Additionally, the standard gives guidance for the labelling of natural coconut water; that is, ‘the name of the product shall be Packaged Natural Coconut Water.’
For coconut water processors who desire to guarantee their customers that they are producing coconut water which is safe for human consumption, these standards are for you!
Contact the Guyana National Bureau of Standards, Marketing and Communication Department today to obtain copies of these standards.
GNBS – Promoting a culture of Standardisation in Guyana.