By Nation Reporter
PROVISION of standardisation and quality assurance services to industry will help promote competitiveness, quality and safety of local products, says Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) head of marketing and public relations Hazel Zulu Mafwenko
Ms Mafwenko said ZABS had started inspecting and sensitising local manufacturers on the need for them to ensure that they followed all the obligatory and legal requirements or conditions to supply safe products on the market.
She explained that the exercise was aimed at ensuring that products were of high quality, competitive and safe for humans and the environment.
Ms Mafwenko said that her organisation had a responsibility under the Standards Act to ensure that only products that met set standards were available for consumers.
“We have started inspecting and sensitising local manufacturers on the need for them to ensure that they follow all the obligatory and legal requirements or conditions to supply safe products on the market, to promote the quality, competitiveness and safety of local products.
“ZABS has a responsibility under the Standards Act to ensure that only products that meet set standards are available to consumers,” she explained.
Ms Mafwenko said that some of the conditions that such companies should meet included adherence to the relevant Zambian standards, good manufacturing practices and adequate management systems that ensured consistently good product quality.
She further said that other conditions included hygienic and safe environment, adequate and correct protective clothing for floor staff, cleaning, maintenance, pest control and training programs.
“Between April and July this year, ZABS conducted initial or preliminary inspections on 21 local companies across the country to check that the companies met the conditions to obtain a licence to supply products that fall under mandatory standards,” said Ms Mafwenko.
Ms Mafwenko emphasised that the Standards Act, only allowed manufacturers with permission or authorisation from the Bureau to supply products to which compulsory or mandatory standards apply.
She disclosed that companies inspected during the period April and July included, Thirsty Data Limited of Lusaka, Northern Cooperative Marketing Union of Kasama, producers of poultry feed, and New World Grain of Livingstone, who are producers of mealie-meal.
“Other companies inspected include, Nyankuwa Breweries of Chadiza, Mongu Joinery of Mongu and Atlantic Breweries of Lusaka who are manufacturers of bottled water,” said Ms Mafwenko.