Authorities in Beijing yesterday kicked off a new campaign aimed at eradicating fake goods and unsafe food before the start of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games in August 2008.
The program will encourage Beijing-based companies in the commercial and service sectors to seek accreditation in international management standards.
The Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce have been assigned to run the campaign.
"The management standards include the ISO 9001 quality management standard, the ISO14001 environmental management standard, the OHSAS 18001 health and safety management system standard and HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), which are used to guard against chemical, physical and biological hazards in the food production process," Liu Yuping, director of the bureau's certification and supervision division, told China Daily. Their primary targets are Beijing's department stores, supermarkets, restaurants and hotels, as well as companies that sell agricultural and farm products. Some companies that will be providing food for the Olympics will also be involved.
Wei Chuanzhong, head of the inspection and quarantine bureau, said 98 percent of the food export companies in Beijing had answered the bureau's call to promote management standard certificates last year.
"This year, the bureau will continue to persuade public transportation companies, hotels and healthcare agencies to join the accreditation-holders' force," Wei said.
In addition, goods imported specifically for the Olympics will be subject to strict and quick inspections and quarantine. And every catering company is required to keep its kitchen and dining room in sanitary condition.
Olympic partner companies will have to adhere to certain requirements, and accreditation will weigh in favor of candidate companies. All the selected candidates will be required to comply with certain international management systems before the Olympics.
In addition to these requirements, the government intends to lobby businesses to improve their operations. The inspection and quarantine bureau will use its official website, www.bjciq.gov.cn, as a portal to display information concerning accreditation, accreditation providing agencies and the benefits associated with adopting management standards. It has also worked with the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Commerce to provide training courses to government officials and company employees.
"Anyway, for the companies, whether to take the accreditation is simply a matter of choice. It will take them a while to realize why we have worked so hard to encourage them to do so," Wei said.
(China Daily February 8, 2007)