TANZANIA – The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) is embarking on a special campaign to enlighten food service providers on the significance of adhering to food standards, after discovering that there aren’t enough verified food service providers in Dar es Salaam.
Acting Manager of the TBS’ Food Risk Assessment Unit, Dr. Ashura Kilewela, reports that there are currently more food-related service providers than there are verified.
“The number of food service providers such as food transporters and millers of various grains verified by the TBS is not satisfactory compared to the number of service providers in Dar es Salaam,” Dr. Kilewela said.
The officer was representing TBS Director General Mr. Athuman Ngenya when launching a special training for food-related stakeholders held recently in Dar es Salaam.
The primary goal of the training was to increase people’s understanding of the value of being verified for food vendors and small grain millers in Dar es Salaam.
“Since food is health, business, and also a country’s economy… it is important that stakeholders are complying with the rules and regulations so that they produce good and safe food,” said Dr. Ashura.
She added that the training’s main goal was to educate the vendors on how to follow TBS rules and laws so that the local population may eat food that is safe.
Dr. Ashura stated that the government is giving council and local officials this training because it wants to have a sizable network that deals with the quality and safety of food.
“We do not do these tasks alone, we collaborate with health and business experts from various areas and since we are in Dar es Salaam today, those who participated in the training are from here,” she added
Despite all of the efforts taken, Ms. Ashura said, including the announcements inviting people to the training, the number of attendees was still insufficient. She urged those in attendance to act as ambassadors to others.
One of the participants in the program, Mr. Ally Shaban, claimed that the course would primarily benefit food vendors because it would serve the community by adhering to the TBS’s criteria.
To obtain the product quality mark, applicants must submit an application through the electronic system (i-SQMT) available on the TBS website.
Each year, the government sets aside funds to serve small and medium entrepreneurs, when they request certification services.
The entrepreneurs get this service for free, but in the fourth year, they are required to pay 25% of the cost, in the fifth year 50%, sixth year 75%, and in the seventh year onwards they will pay 100%.