In a bid to attain international standards, local food enterprises across the country yesterday started a one week training on food safety standards.
The training, which is taking place at Hotel La Pallise Nyandungu, aims at assisting local industries upgrade to ISO 22000 standards, a move that should promote exports.
The training is conducted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS).
According to Charles Rutagyengwa, the national coordinator of the trade capacity building project under UNIDO, the project support targets to train on ISO 22000 standards and help industry employees get conversant with the standard contents and be able to implement.
“The Standard is like a passport to individuals because products can not be exported if they don’t conform to it,” Rutagyengwa emphasized.
Participants will be trained on food safety management system, requirements for hazard analysis critical control points and traceability as well as control of nonconformity.
In his presentation, Rutagyengwa said that the project will look into general infrastructure requirements, staff capacity development, standards implementation level and administrative requirements.
Athanasie Mukeshiyaremye, the head of standards unit at RBS currently about only three enterprises in the country have the ISO 22000 certification.
She mentioned that Sulfo Rwanda and Sorwathé are the local enterprises that acquired the standard.
Théonase Munana, the product manager of Sorwatom, is optimistic that after the training participants will implement what they trained in their respective enterprises.
“In four to five months we hope to have the certification, start exporting and provide quality products to the local market,” he assured.