In an effort to improve the overall packaging quality and restrict poor production for local Tanzania manufacturers, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has introduced a new Packaging Technology Center (PTC).
In a recent interview with the East African Business Week (EABW), Charles Ekelege, the TBS Managing Director, encouraged manufacturers, particularly those dealing with packaging, to take full advantage of the opportunity and to use the center to make their products competitive in the market.
“One of the challenges facing our local manufacturers is poor packaging,” said Mr. Ekelege, “therefore, because of this technology their products should be able to compete with others in any market.”
In addition, Mr. Ekelege went on to explain that packaging was particularly important because it has a direct influence on the cost and efficient movement of goods, with the ability to add value and minimize damage to the goods when presenting them in the next stage of the supply chain.
“I challenge the manufactures and packaging industry to use the business development services, namely services related to entrepreneurship, marketing, technology development, business training, testing, design and knowledge – all readily available at the PTC,” he said.
According to the TBS Managing Director, not only does the PTC have well developed, state-of-the-art equipment and skilled staff to run the packaging technology and quality control units, it is also dedicated to the overall promotion of packaging standards and is prepared to provide training to both Tanzania industry investors and SME’s in the graphic and structural design of packages and then to test their packages and provide them with information on packaging standards.
“Lack of quality on packages has hindered Tanzania’s efforts to have an impact in international trade,” said Mr. Ekelege, “The establishment of the PTC is a great opportunity for local industries to sharpen their competitive edge.”
Over the past few years, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards has begun inspections of small and medium industries throughout the country, in an effort to eliminate the substandard products that exist in the local market
The inspection exercise was conducted in 14 regions countrywide between February and November in 2009 and, to date, the Bureau has inspected approximately 320 SME’s.
“During the inspection, TBS officials were educating the SMEs on the importance of quality products in the market,” explained Mr. Ekelege, “The inspection team is now visiting some industries in Morogoro Region [and] after completion, the team will move to other regions.”