By Momodou Jarju
Officials of The Gambia Standards Bureau (TGSB) have disclosed that the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, has tasked them to develop Standards for bread.
The officials made this statement recently at the Information Sharing Meeting held at TGSB in Bakau, to discuss the organization of the second edition of the National Quality Awards, and the benefits therein for participants.
Amadou Jallow, an officer of the bureau, said their office has developed standards based on need; that the Trade Ministry expressed the need to have standards on bread which is why they are responding to this legitimate need. Jallow said the process is not a short one saying it might take between six to eight months; that they always make sure that there would be no queries after standards are developed.
Papa Secka, director general of Standards Bureau, said once they are done with the development of standards for bread, it will not be their role to enforce the standards but they will work to assist in awareness creation and promote standards.
“If we have the standards which indicate how it should be, it should be in conformity with the requirements. There would be an objective way of confirming as specified in the standards,” he said.
Mr. Secka said before finalizing the standardization process, stakeholders in the industry will be invited to be part of the regulatory committee. “As we speak, we are expecting to receive those stakeholders in the industry because they should constitute the technical committee. We will be expecting it this week. So, certainly this month, the technical committee would complete their review of the available standards,” he said.
The stakeholders include bakeries, institutions such as the Food Safety Authority, Ministry of Trade, and consumers. This he said is to ensure that the voices of all and sundry are heard, in order to produce the best standards for bread.
According to him, standard could be voluntary but everybody will have access to it; that regulation is not essentially a policy. “Regulation is to ensure there is clarity, transparency, coordination and organization, and violators are clear on what would be done, should they violate. So, the first step is standard,” he explained.
Established by the Government of the Gambia through an Act of Parliament in 2010, TGSB’s vision is to be the leading standardization institution in promoting industrial growth and consumer welfare.
Its mission is to standardize goods, services and systems in accordance with internationally-recognized procedures, to enhance industrial growth and efficiency, facilitate trade, promote health, safety and environmental protection.