Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) hosted the first-ever practical training on the implementation of standards.
The training, which was conducted in a factory setting at Negonja Organics Ltd, was focused on the importance of standards in the food sector, its impact on fair trade practice and consumer health protection, harmonization of food standards for import, export as well as domestic production and consumption. The hands-on session was organized to impart practical knowledge and skills by a local manufacturer who has succeeded in exporting the certified products to the US.
Speaking at the inaugural training, the Deputy Executive Director-Standards Ms. Patricia Ejalu reiterated the UNBS commitment to supporting the industry in implementing standards.
“This initiative is designed to develop and deliver specific practical skills to address the requirement for all manufacturers in the food and beverage sector to adhere to standards and there is no better way to learn than from one of your own in the same sector,” she said.
She added that manufacturers had consistently requested for similar trainings to get a better understanding of implementing standards in their processes.
The session took a closer look at the benefits of adhering to standards in the sector, as well as the journey Negonja Organics Ltd took to implement food related standards that require good manufacturing practices (GMP), good hygiene practices (GHP) and food handling processes and the right tools to deliver quality products successfully.
The proprietor of Negonja Organics, Mr. Stephen Barasa noted that standards had made his products relevant to the target market because UNBS has helped ensure that his products are of the highest quality to remain competitive.
“Certification of products is the only way to go if one wants to survive in the market. We could have had the mind-set that we were doing a job but we need the competent authority who is mandated to affirm that the quality we are claiming to produce is actually true,” Mr.Barasa said.
He further urged fellow manufacturers to make UNBS their ally in order to consistently deliver high quality products to their customers.
UNBS continues to provide capacity building for the industry to promote the relevant standards and ensure their implementation in order to boost business.