UGANDA – The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has embarked on a vigorous standards awareness campaign targeted at Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to elevate the quality and marketability of their products.

This initiative, bolstered by support from the Standards Partnership Project under the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO)-UKAID, aims to streamline key hygiene and labeling standards for the food and drink manufacturing industry.

UNBS, in collaboration with FCDO-UKAID, has simplified crucial standards such as US 28 EAS 39:2002 (Code of practice for hygiene in the Food and Drink Manufacturing Industry) and US EAS 38:2014 (Labelling of Pre-packaged Foods – General requirements).

In making these standards more accessible and comprehensible, the campaign seeks to ensure that MSMEs grasp the significance of adhering to quality benchmarks, particularly regarding hygiene practices and product labeling.

At the handover ceremony of the simplified standards held at UNBS head office in Bweyogerere, Mrs. Patricia Bageine Ejalu, UNBS Deputy Executive Director in charge of standards, underscored the pivotal role of standards in guaranteeing product safety.

She emphasized that the simplified standards would equip MSMEs with the knowledge needed to enhance the quality and safety of their offerings, ultimately boosting their competitiveness both domestically and internationally.

Focus on export capacity and certification

Mrs. Ejalu also highlighted the imperative to bolster Uganda’s export capacity by ensuring that all MSMEs’ products meet stringent quality standards. Certification, she noted, is a critical component in building trust with international markets, ensuring that Ugandan products uphold high standards of quality and safety.

Echoing these sentiments, Mr. Enoch Mutumba, a Local Expert under the Standards Partnership Project FCDO-UKAID, stressed the importance of standardization and certification for manufacturers. He urged UNBS to ramp up efforts in raising standards awareness among MSMEs, noting that this is vital for enhancing market access and fostering growth in the sector.

To facilitate this drive towards improved standards compliance and market access, UNBS has received 28,000 brochures containing simplified standards guidelines. These materials will be utilized in capacity-building and training activities geared towards empowering MSMEs to produce high-quality goods that meet local and international standards, thereby expanding their market reach and contributing to Uganda’s economic growth.

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