Food products brace for new compliance certification


The Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (FMHACA) is preparing a new directive that obliges food processing companies to obtain competency certification from the authority before they can release their products to the market.
Food processors that make or sell edible oil, milk, fish, fortified flour, egg, meat, fruits and vegetables should have the competency certificate before they can market their produce. Previously, the competency certificate was only required for infant formula and food supplements.
The new requirement, which is expected to be in force starting in the next Ethiopian year, will also require food additive producers to get certified. Tewodros Girma, FMHACA Food Licensing Director told Capital that application of the mandatory certificate is vital to ensure the safety and quality of food products.
“More than anything else, food is more susceptible to poisoning. Care must be taken when we produce it. In line with the country’s development, different kinds of foods packed by many companies are entering the market. The authority has the duty to ensure that these products do contain prohibited ingredients and that they are produced by certified producers.”  
“We are expanding our control channel. We have been checking many food products only for three negative impacts they could have on human health and their production place. But now, we need to verify that food producers and sellers are handling food in accordance with the competency requirements. Otherwise, we won’t let them stay in the market,” he added.
In related news, mineral water packing companies have demanded that the government strictly supervise the quality of bottled water. compliance. 
So far, only 22 of the 42 bottled water brands across the country have been given quality compliance certificates.
Ermias Kiros, Production Manager of Origin Food and Beverage Factory told Capital “We see bottled waterwithout compliance certificates sold to the public.Some also have low mineral content. The government should do more to stop such products that affect health and business from entering the market.”
Teka Berhane, Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise (ECAE) Corporate Communication and Service Head advised companies who are not issued with the compliance a certificate to enroll for certification.
“Companies should volunteer to come to our office and get compliance stamp on their products.  There are 21 companies who have applied to get the official recognition. We are aware that some producers work without the certificate,” he said, adding that stakeholders should collaborate to stop such types of operationg