The Food and Drugs Authority has launched a Progressive Licensing Scheme (PLS) for food processors on the country to enable them to meet the appropriate regulatory requirements.
This is also to prevent the majority of the food processors identified as either Cottage or Small Sized Food Processors (CSSFP), from operating through unauthorized means.
Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mimi Delese Darko who launched the scheme said 2019 statistics of the FDA showed that 661 locally manufactured products in the Greater Accra Region were not registered but were on the markets.
She said that 50 per cent of the CSSFP have been unsuccessful in the registration process, but had gone ahead to sell on the markets.
“It is for these reasons that the FDA had to step in with the introduction of the progressive licensing scheme to support these small units as they provide employment and generate income for their operators”, she explained.
She said the new scheme would provide a high level of health protection for all adding that, food products produced by the cottage and small scale sized food processors could be traced and recalled when necessary.
For his part, Chairman of the Governing Board of the FDA, Dr. Sammy Ohene, noted that the program was launched at a time when cottages and small-scale businesses are being supported financially by the government.
This, he said, is to improve the well-being of cottage or small-scale food processors without compromising food safety.
He said, “the launch of this licensing program is a step in the right direction; it will encourage every cottage or small scale food processor to comply with the rules and regulations of the FDA”.
The Progressive Licensing Scheme (PLS) is a risk-based approach scheme where three types of food manufacturing facility license certificates assuring the safe production of food will be given to qualifying applicants.
It is based on a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Standard where applicants get scored during an inspection and are awarded certificate ranges from pink (level 1) or yellow (level 2) or green (level 3) hence the progressive nature.
Its objective is to help the local food industry grow to the extent that all grocery shops and supermarkets are stocked with at least 60% of made in Ghana food products.
By Agnes Melissa Yovo | talksafrica.com