Upgrading Quality Infrastructure in Tanzania
Introduction and Background
In today’s business environment, a functioning Quality Infrastructure is a prerequisite for access to regional and global markets and a key determinant of competitive advantage. Globalization of world trade and the requirements of the Agreements on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the reduction of technical barriers to trade urgently call for measures to consolidate quality infrastructure
Under this project, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) and other institutions of the Tanzania quality infrastructure such as the Weights and Measures Agency (WMA), the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), are being supported to provide improved metrology and calibration services, including maintenance and accreditation, certification and testing services to institutional and private sector customers through mobile calibration, measurement facilities, consumer packaging and implementation of quality and productivity improvement/ management systems. Actions to achieve international recognition of tests, certificates and products will be also pursued to ensure access to export markets and overcome potential barriers to trade for Tanzanian goods. Promotional activities will inform on the improved services and sensitize on issues related to standards, quality and safety of food.
Metrology Laboratory and Packaging Center upgrading and establishment of a Mobile Calibration Unit
An initial needs assessment was carried out to define the requirements for equipment to upgrade the Metrology Laboratory and the Packaging Technology Center (PTC) at TBS as well as to establish a Mobile Calibration Unit to be operated by the WMA. The equipment supply contract was awarded to Proras Ltd. in Italy, who were also charged with installation and training of the responsible personnel at TBS.
In December 2006 the Metrology Laboratory was accredited in the fields of mass, small volumes, timers and temperatures by SANAS (South African National Accreditation System). In May 2007 accreditation was reconfirmed by SANAS. It is expected that the enhanced capacities of the metrology laboratory with the installation of new equipment, will result in the accreditation of new fields.
TBS capacity in quality system certification as well as in implementation of product standards, in particular for the export are enhanced
TBS, TFDA as well as other Tanzanian stakeholders were trained on ISO 22’000 standards and guides to certification and inspection in July 2006.
A pilot demonstration project to promote the adoption of the ISO 22’000 food safety management system standard in the agro-food sector was initiated in June 2007. 10 food-processing companies were selected and 2 quality managers form each of the enterprises received introduction training on the ISO 22’000 in June 2007. Thereafter the UNIDO ISO 22’000 expert assisted by TBS staff undertook a gap analysis of all the beneficiary enterprises to determine the required interventions in order to set up a Management System.
Support of the product quality chain in the coffee and cashew sector
An analysis on the current testing and certification in the two sectors was undertaken and broad consultations with the main stakeholders were undertaken. It was agreed to focus in particular on traceability: A task force has been formed to establish the details for the implementation of a pilot traceability system in the specialty coffee quality chain. Participants in the task force are MITM, MoAFS, TIRDO, TBS, UNIDO, Tanzania Coffee Board, Tanzania Coffee Research Institute, KNCU, Kilicafe and Tanzania Coffee Curing Ltd.
Promotional activities on Food Quality and Safety
Promotional activities include an awareness campaign in secondary schools and in higher learning institutes to sensitize the future producers and consumers as well as training for the tourism industry on the introduction of HACCP standards for hotel and restaurant staff.
Currently, a manual on Quality and Safety of Food for secondary schools teachers is being developed.