PARAMARIBO—Vegetable exporter Gopex International NV has become the first in district Saramacca to receive a hygiene standard certificate in its branch. Lead Auditor Ton Kolk of certifying company Det Norske Veritas presented the declaration to company director Bhiesnoe Gopal at Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Ministry LVV. The certificate awards the way the company procceses its export merchandise fruit and vegetables cargo, from production to cold storage and transport.
Grace Delprado, head of the department of vegetable research of the ministry praised the input and tenacity of Gopal in order to reach this milestone. She and her department have been closely involved in this process since 2006. Ton Kolk, who attended to the inspection in order to present the certificate, is full of praise for Gopal’s perseverance and persistence. LVV Acting Director Gerrit Breinburg offered the company the Ministry’s assistance. He said it is a pleasure for the Ministry, to see that agrarians develop initiatives themselves and in this way increase their possibilities. Breinburg said it fits within the policies of the ministry in guaranteeing food security and food safety.
Gopal himself considers the certification a huge success. This year he wants his company to be GlobalGap certified. “We are 70% ready for it.” With GlobalGap his products will go from ‘seed to plate’ certified according to international standards. Gopex International NV exports vegetables to the Netherlands twice or three times a week. He now also wants to enter the Caribbean market.
District commissioner Roline Samsoedin of Saramacca said this is a unique moment. “We know that it was not easy to attain this success as the food safety system sets very high standards. Today is the reward for the hard work,” she said. She hinted that the certification of Gopex International NV is an important step in the direction of increasing the export production in the agriculture sector.
Source: Dagblad Suriname