GHANA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana, has charged Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), to ensure high standards in packaging their products to be competitive.

Mrs. Delese Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA said packaging had been the major limitation for entrepreneurs in Ghana, adding that, if MSMEs wished to access the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), then there was the need for them to pay attention to packaging.

The regulator organized a two-day workshop on flexible food packaging for MSMEs in collaboration with ePac-Ghana, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), and Ecobank Ghana Limited in Accra.

It was on the theme, “Building Capacity in Flexible Packaging to Enhance Food Safety & Quality for MSMEs in the Africa Free Trade Area”.

The workshop seeks to introduce the latest international standards in food packaging and safety to the FDA and the GSA to fully equip them to support local brand owners and consumers.

Participants at the workshop included regulators, Consumer Protection Agency, Ghana Enterprises Agency, Ghana Standards Authority, Academia, Ghana Export Promotion and officials from the Food and Drugs Authority.

The CEO explained that the landscape for food packaging was transforming, especially with scientific advancements, and that as regulators and stakeholders, it was important to keep up with technological advancements to be ahead of time.

She noted that ensuring an acceptable level of food quality and safety was necessary to achieve adequate protection for consumers and to facilitate trade.

“For this reason, everyone involved in the food chain, from the smallholder farmer in the hinterland to urban consumer shares in the responsibility to keep food safe by taking necessary precautions to protect it from hazards that can increase human health risks,” she said adding that these actions will also prevent or reduce food losses, which is especially important as the country faces the growing risks of climate change and food scarcity,” Mrs. Darko stated.

She commended ePac Ghana, a flexible packaging provider, on its position to strengthen SMEs capacity in flexible packaging to promote safe handling, storage and transportation of products.

Mrs. Velda Sosah, the Chief Financial Officer of ePac Ghana, said the limited availability of packaging solutions, which met both local and international market requirements presented a challenge for Made in Ghana products.

“This also limits producers’ ability to enhance product quality to meet the standards of the increasingly discerning consumer, which has resulted in an increase in imported products” she added.

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