The Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB) recently organised a one-day information-sharing seminar on the reviewed packaging standards for its stakeholders within the Greater Banjul Area.
Declaring the forum opened on behalf of the Director General of The Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB), the Director of Standards at TGSB, Bai Dodou Jallow said his institution received a sub-grant from the Enhance Integrated Framework (EIP) at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment to develop key food packaging standards.
The main objective of this project, he went on, is to ensure that food packaging is available for use by processors and manufacturers in the food industry.
He reminded stakeholders that the purpose of the seminar was to raise awareness on the food processing and manufacturing industry in the country, noting that the mandate of the Bureau is to standardised food packaging industry in the country.
According to him, food packaging is a challenge in the country but expressed optimism that the standardization process will help the food processors to package their products to international standards.
He informed the stakeholders that his institution has received seven packaging standards that were developed in the country as national standards.
Amadou G Jallow, Standards Officer at TGSB, in his power point presentation, said EIF deemed it necessary to develop standards of food packaging since good packaging of food products is vital to the socio-economic development of the country.
“The food packaging Technical Committee was formed through an initiative funded by the Enhanced Integrated Framework and also part of the EIF funding, TGSB has conducted a nationwide sensitisation on food packaging standards,” Jallow stated.
He described food ackaging as the technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, sale and use, noting that it can also be referred to as the process of designing, evaluating and producing packages.
Jallow stated that in many countries it is fully integrated into government, business and industrial policies as food packaging provides protection among others. “Food packaging comes with a lot of benefits, especially the health benefits which includes; protection against damage or contamination by micro-organisms, moisture and toxins, prevention of product from leakage, product identification and packaging to gives a better market value to products,” he said.
He thus described the exercise as vital for both local and industrialised food producers in their bid to compete in the local and international markets.
Jallow also encouraged all food producers in the country to get these seven standards as soon as possible in order to improve their chances in both the local and international markets.
by Lamin B. Darboe