The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has organised a training programme for pre-packaged food and sachet water producers in the Upper West Region on regulations regarding food manufacturing such as record keeping and personal and environmental hygiene.
The 85 participants from 58 pre-packaged food and sachet water campanies from the Wa, Jirapa, Nandom and Lawra Municipalities, Lambussie, Nadowli and Daffiama-Bussie-Issa Districts were encouraged to ensure proper documentation and records keeping at the companies.
The FDA was to also organise similar programme for producers in the Sissala enclave.
Mr Albert Ankomah, the Upper West Regional Head of the FDA, addressing participants at the training in Wa, noted that the training was necessitated by the non-compliance among some producers in the Region, which the FDA observed during its monitoring activities.
“During our monitoring, we realised that some of these companies were not documenting their activities among other non-compliance that we observed, like personnel not dressing properly when they are on the production floor.
“So we decided to call for the training programme to educate them on some of these good manufacturing practices that they are supposed to adhere to,” he explained.
Mr Ankomah indicated that the FDA found it difficult to recall produce from the market when the need be due to lack of proper documentation of information such as batch number.
He explained that records keeping were very important because it helped in traceability, as well as helped the manufacturer in terms of legal and regulatory issues.
Other areas the training centred on were causes and prevention of food contamination, standard operation procedure development, pest control, waste management, equipment management and cleaning among others.
On his part, Mr Mahammed Abdul Moomin, the Upper West Regional Manager, National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), told participants that regulatory bodies such as the FDA had come to help them sustain their businesses and not to collapse them.
He therefore urged business operators to cease the training opportunities organised by the FDA to enable them acquire necessary regulatory knowledge to operate effectively and efficiently.
Mr Moomin also observed that records keeping in business could help the business operator to access credit and funding from institutions to support their businesses.
Mr Kwadwo Blay, the acting Upper West Regional Director, Ministry of Trade and Industries, said the Ministry was working to create an enabling environment for Ghanaian producers to export their produce.
He encouraged the producers to take advantage of the Africa Intercontinental Free Trade Area to boost their businesses.