New label system boost for traders

Kenya Horticultural Exporters staff grade groceries stored in a cold room depot where they receive and package produce destined for overseas markets. [Photo, File]

Kenyan traders are set to benefit from a new pan-African labeling and certification system.

Championed by the African Organisation for Standardisation, the Eco Mark Africa (EMA) seeks to promote the production and marketing of safe, green goods and services internationally.

Speaking on Friday during the launch in Nairobi, African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) President Eve Gadzikwa said the new mark of quality came at a time when the continent was preparing to welcome the Continental Free Trade Area which is expected to significantly boost Africa’s position in international trade.

“The African certification system comes when the branding and positioning of African goods and services is very weak, but with the coming of EMA, our goods will soon be labelled and positioned accordingly,” said Dr Gadzikwa.

She said the new system positioned Africa to vet and certify goods and services coming into the continent.

This could see a significant reduction of counterfeit, substandard and dangerous goods that have plagued the continent for years.

ARSO Secretary-General Hermogene Nsengimana said all businesses, including hotels, food production systems and markets were required to be certified by the standards body.

“This will be done through the national standardisation bodies of respective countries,” said Dr Nsengimana.