Global Shea Alliance trains 50 SMEs on product labelling and standards compliance

BY: Fredrick Daoyenikye

The Global Shea Alliance (GSA) has trained 50 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) on labelling and standards compliance to build their capacity on the registration and export processes that go into product certification in the country.

The capacity building programme, which was supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), was to enable the members of the GSA, who were mainly into shea products to process their products for export.

Speaking at the event on Wednesday, Jannuary 20, 2021 in Tamale, the Members Project Manager of GSA, Mr Prince Nunoo stated that many of the SMEs did not understand the processes involved in product registration, adding that the cosmetic products from shea needed to go through laid down procedure before getting onto the market.

“The idea is to train them to let them understand their product processing to promote their main focus as entrepreneurs, which is the cosmetic formulation and getting the products unto the market,” he said.

He added that it was wrong for owners of the enterprises to sell their products without going through the due processes.

“You need to go through the regulatory process, understand why you should label your product, what goes into the labelling as required by law, and understand the standard process and the export certification to be able to prepare your product for both domestic and international market,” Mr Nunoo indicated.

The Chief Technical Adviser of WACOMP, Mr Charles Kwame Sackey added that many SMEs produced good products but did not go through the necessary compliance requirements to get the products to the market because they had no knowledge on the processes.

Mr Sackey explained that as a result, WACOMP supported the GSA with 40 thousand Euros from its sub-contracting matching scheme component to bring experts from FDA and the Ghana Standards Authority to educate the SMEs on the processes and requirements for registration of their products.

Labelling requirements

The Northern Regional Director for Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mr Martin Kusi said the FDA had its requirement which producers had to follow to label their products and make them suitable for both the domestic and international markets.

According to Mr Kusi, some manufacturers in several occasions brought labels that were defective and did not match with the product, which he said, made it impossible for the FDA to certify the products without due corrections.

The Director was however with the firm believe that the GSA’s labelling and standards compliance training session was going to expose the SMEs to some of the errors that sometimes delayed product certification by the FDA.

“Indeed we have a lot of people who engage in the production of cosmetics using shea but the biggest challenge is the labelling requirement of both FDA and Standards Authority,” he said.

Product standards

A Chief Scientific Officer at the Ghana Standards Authority, Mr Charles Kuranchie adding to product certification, said the products needed to meet some standards before they receive certification to go onto the market.

He said before a shea product could be certified, the Ghana Standards Authority had to take the producer through processes including the production process to ensure reliability and consistency in the quality of the product.

“The certification is to give you the license to use the certification mark on the product. The mark on the product will indicate that the product has been tested, inspected and meets the standards which will further give confidence in the consumers in relation to the product,” she explained.