About 50 Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) engaged in shea-based cosmetic processing within the Tamale Metropolis have undergone a capacity-building exercise in labeling and standard compliance with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA).
The exercise was organised by the Global Shea Alliance in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); which provided the technical assistance in the implementation of the Ghana Component of the European Union funded West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) as well as the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI).
The second of its kind, the exercise was geared toward increasing the quality of the shea-based cosmetics products that are marketed for local and international consumption, with emphasis on formulation and packaging, developing marketing strategies as well as providing increased access to market.
According to the organisers, this will only be achieved by ensuring the operators of the SMEs understand the registration process and related requirements as they seek to export their products to the international market.
This will in turn strengthen the export competitiveness of local producers through enhanced value-addition, low carbon emission, sustainable production and processing and an increased access to regional and international markets.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Northern Regional Director for the FDA, Martin Kusi commended the GSA and partner organisations for the initiative, stating that poor labeling and packaging represents one of the biggest challenges for shea-processing SMEs in the region, as it affects marketability of the products.
He stated that many of the entrepreneurs do not understand the scope and importance of the product registration process, as such; they fail to take the necessary steps before sending their products unto the market and consequently draw the disapproval of the regulatory bodies, particularly the FDA and GSA.
“Most of the local entrepreneurs are seen producing labels that are ineffective; without batch numbers, manufacturing dates, location address and other relevant details. This makes it difficult for management to certify the products for the market, hence the need for the training to take the participants through the requirement of both FDA and GSA,” he said.
Taking his turn, Chief Quality Assurance officer at the GSA, Charles Kuranchie stressed that it is an offense to put products on the market without preapproval by the FDA and GSA. He added that there are severe legal repercussions for breaching this directive.
On his part, Project Manager at the GSA, Prince Nunoo reaffirmed his outfits commitment to helping businesses scale up and be sustainable.