Trade impasse between Barbados and TT over for now
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday July 4, 2012 – Swiftly following on the heels of the news that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart declared that Barbados would be moving to address the current trade imbalance that exists with Trinidad and Tobago, officials of Pine Hill Dairy are reporting a resolution to their seeming impasse with Trinidadian authorities.
Reports are that Chief Executive Officer of Banks Holdings Limited, Richard Cozier, who travelled to Trinidad yesterday (July 4) for a meeting with the Trinidad and Tobago Chemical, Food and Drug Agency, has brokered a deal that will see the Barbadian milk returning to Trinidadian shelves.
After returning home yesterday afternoon, Cozier told the media that authorities in Trinidad also agreed to allow the Barbados company to sell its existing “disputed” packaging of evaporated milk, fresh milk and flavoured milk, until it could change the labels.
In return, Cozier said Pine Hill Dairy (PHD) had agreed to change its “non-compliant” labelling within six months.
Moreover, Cozier said they had agreed to change the artwork of the labels and submit it to Trinidad for vetting before printing it. Cozier said too that he received clarification on what Trinidad meant by product common name not being in the same size and font.
With respect to the evaporated milk, Trinidad had suggested the Pine Hill Dairy package did not indicate the heat process used. But as Cozier noted, the authorities in Trinidad had subsequently found out that Nestle was guilty of the same problem and it too had been given six months to change its labelling.
He explained that Trinidad’s concern was that any food or beverage that had gone through a process was no longer natural. But he insisted that this interpretation was a “very narrow” view, suggesting that even water had to go through a process.
The CEO disclosed that he would be getting back to Trinidad on this matter. He also said that Trinidadians were yearning for another milk product other than Nestle and believed the dairy now stood a good chance of exporting its flavoured milk to that island.