COMESA implores businesses to invest more in packaging

Source: COMESA implores businesses to invest more in packaging | The Herald 30 AUG, 2019

COMESA implores businesses to invest more in packaging

Michael Tome Business Reporter
A Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) representative has implored local entrepreneurs to invest more in packaging to raise the amiability of their products in the regional and international markets.

This was revealed at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) -Comesa Business Council buyer-seller platform which ran under the theme “Promoting Efficient and Sustainable Local Supply Chain Systems”.

Buyer seller platform is the second phase of the Local Sourcing for Partnership (LSP) training and capacity building workshop on food safety and standards and was held in June 2019.

The occasion was designed to establish business relationships between suppliers and buyers dovetailing well with the source 21 Comesa High level business summit that was held from 17 – 18 July this year in Kenya which strived to ensure increased local sourcing within the Comesa region, promoting industrial competitiveness and advance regional integration.

In a brief on the sidelines of the workshop Comesa Business Council (CBC) digital financial inclusion manager Dr Jonathan Pinifolo said local entrepreneurs were producing high quality products yet all their efforts were futile in the end considering the poor packaging skills.

“On this meeting we are trying to educate entrepreneurs mainly those in agribusiness in terms of food and safety standards. We are trying to enlighten them on how to meet standards for them to access good markets be it nationally, regionally within the Comesa region.

“About 90 percent of entrepreneurs have lucrative products but they need proper packaging,. Good packaging improves buyers’ appetite,” said Dr Pinifolo.

ZNCC president Tamuka Macheka weighed in encouraging locals to improve on their standards and level of consistency to be taken seriously by local and international procurers.

“This event aims to link entrepreneurs (SMEs) with the buyers to create market for them, we don’t want them to just go and produce without knowing what the market wants, we want producers to get specifications and projections of what is required.

“Key issues being addressed here include quality, at times buyers actually shun the local produce because they feel the quality is not up to standard so the idea is for them to be able to upscale and produce goods according to standard and consistence, we don’t want them to just produce once and go without continuity,” he said.

The process of producing goods from raw materials to finished products is increasingly fragmented and carried out wherever the necessary skills and materials are available hence need for entrepreneurs to be competitive especially on quality front.