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Octagonal Food Label- A Must

Octagonal Food Label- A Must

Official Remarks of the OECS Director General at the What Is Happening with Food Labels in CARICOM Webinar

Ladies and Gentlemen, distinguished guests, and fellow advocates of healthy and informed living.

Octagonal Warning Labelling is a critical initiative that must be actioned for many reasons. First and foremost, these labels are front-line tools in the fight against unhealthy food with excessive sugars, fats, and salt. Consumer awareness can empower buyers to make intelligent healthy choices about what they eat. This can benefit Caribbean manufacturers by opening new trade opportunities for tropical products that respond to the growing global consciousness and choice for healthy foods.

The OECS is proud to be part of this effort that weaves the threads of health, consumer rights, and cross-border collaboration into a cohesive tapestry.

Navigating the complex landscape of nutrition should not be a privilege, but a fundamental right accessible to all. Through the implementation of octagonal food labels, we seek to fortify public health by fostering informed food choices and nudging manufacturers towards reformulating their products to healthier alternatives.

In a world where non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, continue to climb the ladder of global health threats, it is imperative that we act collectively to stem this tide. The octagonal food labelling system not only assists in making immediate healthier food choices but also works as a subtle, yet constant reminder of the pertinence of nutritional vigilance.

As a region, embracing this system amplifies our unified commitment towards safeguarding the health and wellbeing of our citizens. It emphasizes our collective pursuit to advocate for transparency, accountability, and consumer empowerment in the food industry across our integrated nations.

Moreover, our unified adoption of octagonal food labelling builds a platform for harmonization among our member countries, simplifying trade processes, and reducing barriers by establishing a common language in food health and safety standards. This, in turn, ensures that the foods traversing our borders comply with a collective, stringent, and health-focused standard, protecting and promoting the welfare of our regional populace.

Let us illuminate a lifetime of healthier choices for our people. Let us envisage a future where the simplicity of an octagon ignites a profound change in our food industry, propelling our region towards a horizon where our citizens are empowered, our industries are responsible, and our nations stand united under the banner of health, sustainability, and cooperative prosperity.

As we forge ahead, may our efforts seed a future where each octagon serves as a shield, safeguarding the health of our communities, and bolstering the foundation upon which our regional integration stands tall.

Thank you for your attention, and may our path forward be shaped by collective responsibility, actionable change, and sustained wellbeing.

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Malika Thompson-Cenac Communications Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Malika Thompson-Cenac Communications Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia