Amidst woes of questionable quality of locally produced goods, Linga Fine Foods and Winery, a notable Food Processing company under the Buy Malawi Strategy has
gone an extra mile in ensuring Linga Wines meet the international standards for Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) also known as ISO 22000.
Speaking to an elated Margarete Ngwira, the Managing Director of Linga Fine Foods and Winery, the company is striving at giving their consumers a fine product that meets all safety and quality standards.
“This has been a long time coming, going through the first phase of the ISO 22000 is a huge milestone for our business.”
“The team at Linga is very happy to have reached this far as it brings confidence in our processes and our ability to produce a safe and quality product for the market.”
““The documentation process which needs every staff on it can be cumbersome but worthwhile. More so, the fact that we could continue with the process to the next stage, gives us greater hope for the growth of the business.” Said Ngwira.
Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) affirms that implementation of the standard enables a food manufacturing company to put controls aimed at ensuring that food is safe for consumption and that the food does not cause injury or even death on consumers through food hazards that may be physical, chemical or microbiological in nature.
“An organization implementing a FSMS provides confidence to consumers of its food products and about the safety of food products supplied.”
“This means food industries are beginning to see the relevance of FSMS to the success of their industries both for the local and international markets.” Said Steve Kamuloni, Director of Quality Assurance Services
Kamuloni further commended organizations that have taken a step to ensuring that they meet the required standards of ISO 22000.
“It should be appreciated though that FSMS issues are not extensively known to the food industry in Malawi where the majority of the food industries are struggling even to get certified on basic food hygiene standards.” He Said.
Concurring with MBS the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Mr Mayeso Msokera said that local manufacturers need to take standards seriously if they are to remain competitive on the market.
“Compliance to the FSMS (ISO) by Linga Fine Foods and Winery, will benefit the company through demand creation from both new and existing customers as they become more confident that the product is safe and of good quality.”
“Additionally, Standards remains a key driving factor when it comes to facilitating international market access. Thus, through FSMS, Linga Fine Foods and Winery brand will be recognized across the globe and hence improve the product’s Market access. “Said Msokera.
Local manufacturers are struggling to be competitive on the market due to standardization and quality assurance issues. However, the Expectation of the Malawi Bureau of Standards is that through comprehensive awareness activities, the food industry will appreciate the relevance of food safety standards and that they will endeavor to implement them and achieve certification as appropriate.
The Buy Malawi Strategy, among others, is working with companies to ensure a stable supply of quality goods and services on the market and change people’s mindset that local is inferior.
The strategy is a Government initiative that aims at moving Malawi from a predominantly importing to an exporting economy which also answers directly to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 8; Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all and 9; Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.