African Union launches s 

Thursday, November 21, 2013 

Tanzania launches honey traceability

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania--The National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC), a government firm, in partnership with GS1 (TZ) has launched Honey Traceability Project aimed at marketing 

Tanzanian honey to the international market. 

 Launching the system recently, the State Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Investment and Empowerment, Dr. Mary Nagu urged managers of the project to ensure  the project starts with immediate effect to enable Tanzanian honey to be sold abroad to benefit farmers.

“By having these systems,  Tanzania would be able to export its honey as a finished product  because the traceability system can show the history of the brand from the field through to a consumer, the information when followed  is readily available,” said Dr. Nagu. 

She said the government through NEEC and her ministry will ensure that traceability systems are made to all the products made in Tanzania to end the sale of raw products to the market.

Speaking at the same function, the Minister for Industry and Trade, Dr. Abdallah Kigoda said currently honey industry is experiencing many challenges including lack of quality packaging, poor marketing, poor materials for harvesting and processing honey. 

“The government through the ministry of Industries and Trade has charted ways with some of the local industries including Kioo Limited and Omar Packaging which have agreed to manufacture special packaging materials for honey products,” said Dr. Kigoda.

Previously the GS1 (Tanzania) Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Fatma Kange said her company has a vast experience of  establishing traceability systems worldwide for over 40 years.

“But for Tanzania, this is the first digital traceability system to be established,” she said.

 She added: “So far, Tanzania has only two products that are contained in the traceability system—fish fillet and coffee traceability systems.”

She stressed further that the basis for making honey traceability system was to ensure that quality honey that can attract and meet international standards is produced by farmers in Tanzania.

“But we don’t only see this in the eyes of meeting the international market standard alone. We need Tanzanians also to consume honey which meets all the standards,” said Ms. Kange.

The GS1 (TZ) expert, Paul Mikongoti explained at the launching ceremony that Tanzania has no option but to enter into the use of traceability systems if it wants its products to capture the European market. 

According to him, the European Union Food and Drugs Act No.78 of 2002 demands that all  edible products must comply to the system in order for them to be known their origin from the first manufacturer before reaching the last consumer. 

“All is made to protect the rights of the consumer,” he noted.For its part, the Tanzania Private sector Foundation of which GS1 (TZ) is a member said it was proud to see that for the last two years, the firm (GS1 (TZ) has began to deliver deserving products to Tanzanians 

The Tanzania Bureau of Standards, the country’s standard body has already established a standard for honey which is being accepted worldwide, a move which made it easier to make honey traceability system.

The government is expected to start applying the system in ten regions including Morogoro, Coast, Tanga, Manyara, Dodoma, Singida, Katavi, Kigoma, Rukwa, and Tabora. 

Tanzania is a member of GS1, an internationally established organisation that provides bar codes and supports traceability of services, e-commerce and other trade related issues, globally. GS1 (TZ) has so far registered over 370 companies and issued barcodes to 6,000 products since it started operations in August 2011. 

The company has succeeded to secure a Bar Code right from GS1 Global, now Tanzanian business community will not have to travel to Kenya and South Africa for bar codes, bar codes are now issued in Tanzania with a code of ‘620’,.

GS1 (TZ) is a Tanzanian registered company by guarantee registered by the business society in Tanzania as a way to improve traceability and add value to their products. 

It also expects to increase access to domestic and global markets of locally produced products, product identity, value addition, and increase traceability of the value chain system in Tanzania.

By Brian Coutinho, Thursday, November 21st, 2013