The Americas – Jamaica: Heart Foundation pressing forward with front-of-package labelling advocacy

The Heart Foundation of Jamaica (HFJ) has sent a strong message that it is not relenting in its advocacy for front-of-package labelling, particularly the black octagon, which will enable Jamaicans to better understand the nutritional value of ultra-processed foods.

The HFJ’s assertion comes months after Jamaica voted against using the label.

Deborah Chen, executive director of HFJ, said the entity is advocating for this for all ultra-processed, packaged foods — both locally produced and imported.

Situation in the Caribbean 

In the Caribbean, the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is leading, since 2018, the revision of the (2010) CARICOM Regional Standard for Specification for labelling of pre-packaged foods (CRS 5:2010) to incorporate front-of-package labeling specifications. 

This process is supported by strong regional mandates and has involved extensive consultations through National Mirror Committees with all relevant stakeholders, including industry and commerce. The current CARICOM draft standard meets the highest level of scientific excellence, including the octagon-shaped warning system and a nutrient profile model based on WHO recommendations.

Front-of-package warning labeling (FOPWL) in the Caribbean