UGANDA – Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has for the very first time hosted a practical training for manufacturers in the food and beverage sector, 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 constantly 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 pertinent to the target market, all thanks to UNBS which helped ensure that his products were 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,” he 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,” said UNBS.

UNBS elected ARSO Board Member

In other news, Uganda, through Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has during the 28th ARSO General Assembly, been elected to the African Regional Standards Organization (ARSO) as a member of the Board.

UNBS will be part of the ARSO 12 Member Council/Board to represent 43 Member Countries.

Prior to this elevation, Uganda has been offering leadership in ARSO as Chairpersons and Secretaries to 3 Technical Committees of Horticulture, Cereals & Pulses and for Live Animals.

Uganda also Chairs the ARSO Consumer Committee (COCO) and is a Member of ARSO Conformity Assessment Committee (CACO). A number of Uganda Standards have also been used by ARSO as reference material for development of ARSO Standards.

“As a Member of Council, UNBS will use its experience and expertise in standardization to support ARSO in realizing aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), where we desire to have One Standard for One Market through harmonization of relevant standards to promote Intra-Africa Trade,” the standards regulator stated.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Safety Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food safety, quality and compliance. SUBSCRIBE HERE