CAHFSA was created as an Inter-Governmental Organization by the signing of an Agreement among Member States of the Caribbean Community. This Agreement establishing CAHFSA was originally signed by Member States of CARICOM in Roseau, Dominica, on March 12, 2010. Six (6) days later, on March 18, 2010, CAHFSA was officially launched and a Headquarters Agreement for CAHFSA was signed between the Secretary-General of CARICOM and the Government of Suriname.  On February 25, 2011, the Agreement establishing CAHFSA was replaced by the Revised CAHFSA Agreement at a meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government held in St. George’s Grenada.

In October 2014, CAHFSA became operational with the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer.

Located in Paramaribo, Suriname, CAHFSA is governed by a Board of Directors comprising one representative of each Member State representing the specialized areas of focus of CAHFSA as well as a representative from the CARICOM Secretariat who is represented on the Board as an observer.  The day-to-day activities of CAHFSA is managed by a Chief Executive Officer and three (3) Department Heads.

CAHFSA is mandated to perform a coordinating and organizing role for the establishment of an effective and efficient regional sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime and to execute on behalf of Member States such SPS actions and activities that can be more effectively and efficiently executed through a regional mechanism.

Legal Instruments
The following Agreement gives force to CAHFSA:

  • Revised Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA): February 25, 2011;
  • Revised Treaty of Chagaramas (Articles 57 and 74).


The primary objectives of CAHFSA are  to :

  1. establish an effective regime of sanitary and phytosanitary measures pursuant to Article 57(1)( k) of the Treaty, in support of the goals of the Community Agriculture Policy as set out in Article 56 of the Treaty;
  2. provide regional and national support to the Community in the establishment,  management  and  operations  of  their  national agricultural health and food safety systems as they relate  to  the sanitary  and  phytosanitary  measures  of  the  SPS  Agreement;   and
  3. execute on behalf of those countries such actions  and  activities that can be more effectively and efficiently executed through a regional mechanism.


  1. facilitate the development and  use  of  regional,  as  well  as international  standards,   measures   and  guide lines;
  2. facilitate the harmonisation of technical procedures in relation to matters such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP's), Good Manufacturing  Practices  (GMP's),  Hazard  Analysis  Critical Control Point (HACCP), quarantine systems and surveillance and good  laboratory  practices and services;
    provide a framework for the:
    1. continuous monitoring and evaluation of national and regional agricultural health and food safety programmes;
    2. conduct of tests; and
    3. provision  of technical  support  directed  at strengthening the respective programmes ;
  3. provide a framework for the identification and definition of the human and  financial resource requirements of national  health and food safety systems, and the determination and execution of strategies to address deficiencies, including the training of personnel and the mobilisation of funds;
  4. provide a mechanism for achieving regional consensus on sanitary and phytosanitary issues that can be represented in international fora;
  5. provide a mechanism for the coordination and integration of technical support to stakeholders by relevant regional and international organisations;
  6. provide an effective mechanism for partnership in the efficient use of human and financial resources and infrastructure, including laboratory services, in
  7. protecting human, plant and animal health;
  8. provide an effective mechanism to respond rapidly to emergencies and emerging issues;
  9. strengthen the policy and legal framework for sanitary and phytosanitary issues; and
  10. provide a framework for communicating changes in sanitary and phytosanitary measures with a view to ensuring transparency and compliance by Contracting Parties in a timely manner.