FDA LAUNCHES A PROGRESSIVE LICENSING SCHEME FOR COTTAGE AND SMALL SCALE SIZED FOOD PROCESSORS

Story by: nacem news online www.nacemnewsonline.com The Food and Drugs Authority(FDA) on July 9 2020, launched a progressive licensing S...

Story by: nacem news online

www.nacemnewsonline.com

The Food and Drugs Authority(FDA) on July 9 2020, launched a progressive licensing Scheme for Cottage and Small Scale Sized Food Processors.The  Scheme would have three (3) stages of licensing that is ( Pink, Yellow and Green).

 This scheme is aimed at helping the local food industry grow to an extent that all grocery shops and supermarkets will be stocked with at least 60% of made in Ghana food products.

The launch saw dignitaries such as the The Director General for Food Research Institute, President of the Food Beverage Association of Ghana, The President of the Association of Ghana Industries and other important dignitaries.

During the the launch the CEO of FDA ,Mrs Delese Mimi Darko   stated that, majority of the cottage and small scale units have limited resources for effective technological inputs and are ill-equipped to deal with the maintenance of food safety and quality in a scientific and sustained manner. The average number of facility license applications received annually from 2017 – 2019 in the Greater Accra Region was 600 and about 300 facilities representing 50% were unsuccessful in the registration processes. Indeed 2019 statistics from FDA market surveillance showed that 661 locally manufactured products in the Greater Accra Region were not registered as per the Public Health Act 851 (2012) but were on the market.

The Authority could not vouch for their safety. Reasons for the unsuccessful applications include the following:
Cost of laboratory testing of products as part of registration requirements for which the FDA is currently applying risk-based approach to its registration process and has therefore applied indicator testing regime of food products without compromising on safety.

 This has drastically
 reduced the cost of laboratory analyses of food product testing.
Lack of adequate knowledge of required processes and documentation.

 The FDA through its Food Industrial Support Service Department is providing expertise and guidance to the Industry.

She  added that the Cottage or Small-scale food processing sector plays an important role in the country’s economy. These cottage and small scale food processors need to be offered greater opportunities to market their produce and share in the benefits of economic growth. Similarly, they also serve as hubs for thriving local industry sector, which would drive broad-based economic growth and structural transformation of the economy as a whole.

The local food manufacturing transformation can only be possible if regulators such as the FDA decide to make it happen by ensuring that the Cottage and Small scale sized food processors conform to safety and quality requirements.

She continued by saying  it’s worth noting that the FDA bases its food regulatory actions on scientific principles to achieve improved food safety and quality. The FDA in carrying out its mandate of ensuring food safety and quality in the interest of public health and safety, has introduced this scheme to encourage cottage and small scale sized food processors to be compliant with the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851).

This new scheme which is based on high quality, transparent, and independent scientific advice following risk analysis, provides a high level of health protection for all.

Furthermore, food products produced by cottage and small scale sized food processors can be traced and recalled when necessary.
In developing this Progressive Licensing Scheme for cottage and small scale sized food processors, the FDA has taken into consideration a number of principles and values that underpin food regulation such as:
Establishing emergency procedures for dealing with particular hazards example ( recall of products).

Developing Science-based food control strategies;
Establishing priorities based on risk analysis and efficacy in risk management;
Establishing holistic, integrated initiatives which target risks and impact on economic well- being
Indicating that primary responsibility for food safety and quality tests with processors; sampling food during processing, storage, transport or sale to establish compliance, to contribute data for risk assessments and to identify offenders;

She concluded by saying the FDA wishes to assure citizens that this newly introduced Progressive
Licensing Scheme will be implemented in a transparent manner. Marks will be awarded to facilities and the colour of the licence issued will be dependent on the grades scored.  Factors which contribute to potential hazards in foods such as poor hygiene practices, lack of preventive controls in food processing operations, contaminated raw materials / ingredients, poor storage practices, will be addressed at every stage of the licensing process.

The FDA will work assiduously to protect the consumer against unsafe, impure and fraudulently presented food by prohibiting the sale of food not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser.

The FDA will continue to protect public health and safety by reducing the risk of foodborne illness and contributing to economic development by maintaining consumer confidence in the food system and providing a sound regulatory foundation for domestic and international trade in food.

www.nacemnewsonline.com

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NACEM NEWS Online: FDA LAUNCHES A PROGRESSIVE LICENSING SCHEME FOR COTTAGE AND SMALL SCALE SIZED FOOD PROCESSORS
FDA LAUNCHES A PROGRESSIVE LICENSING SCHEME FOR COTTAGE AND SMALL SCALE SIZED FOOD PROCESSORS
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