LUSAKA - The International Trade Centre (ITC) on Monday urged Zambia's small and medium enterprises to improve packaging standards to make their products more competitive on international markets and also called for more investment into local packaging centres for agri-food processors.
Speaking at the opening of the World Export Development Forum in the capital Lusaka, ITC deputy executive director Dorothy Tembo said agri-food and agri-business sectors, which contribute the most to the formal and informal economy, faced stiff competition from imported processed and packaged foods.
Reducing these distortions and providing information and advice on good packaging materials should be a major priority, she said.
"It is the packaging that a customer sees first and it is the packaging that protects, improves food safety, demonstrates market conformity, conveys value, and differentiates between similar products," said Tembo.
"Packaging and labelling can make the difference between a sale or no sale, a profit or loss, and have an impact that reverberates along the whole chain right up to the farmers."