The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has intensified standards awareness campaigns amongst Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to improve the quality of their products.
With support from DFID through the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) project and the lead implementer British Standards Institution (BSI), UNBS simplified and translated key hygiene and labelling standards; 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.
These have been handed over to Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) for distribution to MSMEs in various regions of the country in a bid to create awareness on Standards.
During the handover ceremony, the UNBS Deputy Executive Director in charge of standards, Ms. Patricia Bageine Ejalu said that the simplification of standards is going to help MSMEs understand standards better because they are of great importance in ensuring that products and services in Uganda are safe.
Ms.Baigene further revealed the need to build export capacity for Uganda through certification of all MSMEs’ products, to ensure that what they produce for export is of good quality.
M/s. Veronica Namwanje, the Executive Secretary at the Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) emphasized that standardisation and certification is the way to go, however, an assessment done by USSIA revealed that MSMEs need to understand standards.
She thus thanked UNBS and the CSN for the partnership to have the standards simplified and encouraged all MSMEs to enrol for the certification process.
Of the 14,000 brochures of simplified standards guidelines printed by UNBS, 7000 are in the English language and 7,000 in the Luganda language.
The development is aimed at improving market access for MSMEs’ products both locally and internationally.