TANZANIA – The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has sensitized business people and importers in Zanzibar on the need to observe quality standards of goods to get rid of counterfeits in the domestic market.
The TBS Marketing Officer Rhoda Mayugu made the remarks in the just ended 8th Mapinduzi Trade Fair launched by the Second Vice-President Zanzibar, Othman Masoud Othman. Mapinduzi is a Kiswahili word for “Revolution.”
The trade fair is held annually in January as part of activities marking Zanzibar’s 1964 revolution that toppled the sultanate rule.
Rhoda said TBS used the Mapinduzi Trade Fair as an opportunity to offer education to business people and importers on its obligations including certification of goods and systems, registration of business premises as well as food and cosmetics, measurements, preparation of quality and control of imported goods.
“TBS is an institution with a mandate to oversee the quality of goods produced in the country and those imported and, in that manner, importers and distributors should make sure that imported goods and those produced within the country reach required quality standards,” she said.
She added that consumers have a greater chance to make sure goods in the market meet the required quality standards.
“Citizens as final consumers have been the victims of low-quality goods in the market. But if they cultivate the culture of purchasing goods that have been certified by TBS, it will help the nation in the fight against counterfeits in the market,” she noted.
The Marketing Officer expressed that the obligation of reaping off fake products in the market can not only be done by TBS alone but every citizen including manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are obliged to remove counterfeits from the market.
She said they used the 8th Mapinduzi Trade Fair to provide awareness to the business people, importers and other participants on the need to have all certified goods bear the quality standard mark. TBS has continually provided awareness to business people throughout the country to make sure their goods meet the required quality standards in order to penetrate wider markets.
Taking over from the former Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA’s), TBS now deals with registration of premises and food products, a process which kicked off in the previous year.
She urged business people who wanted to continue or engage in businesses to contact TBS before embarking on it.
With the government covering all costs as an incentive to promote small scale businesses to grow and contribute to economic growth, business people can now acquire quality standard marks for their products free of charge.
This stands as long as they furnish an introduction letter from the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO).
Tanzania’s Zanzibar authorities have revealed that plans are underway to scale up the Mapinduzi Trade Fair, which mostly attracts local traders, to international level, opening doors to traders from across the world.