Business News Thu, 8 Mar 2018

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Food and Beverage Association endorses import and export disinfection project

The Foods and Beverage Association has pledged its unalloyed support for the import and export disinfection project due to commence in the Tema and Takoradi ports later this month.

The Association which had earlier kicked against the project citing additional cost of doing business says the latest move to support and endorse the project emanates from further briefing it has received from the implementing agency, the Ghana Health Service.

Another motivation according to the Association is premised on the fact that it has sighted reports from the Foods and Drugs Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency which both agree that the chemicals to be used for the exercise are clean, healthy and organic.

The Association explains that its main preoccupation is to ensure the wholesomeness of foods and beverages for Ghanaians and that all such products coming into the country meet set standards.

A statement issued by the Association and copied to the M&T Digest stated that it was supporting the disinfection project based on the fact that the country is positioning itself to prevent the entry of any form of infectious disease into the country.

According to the Association, the fact that the project is premised on the Public Health Act, Act 851 of 2012 makes it a national one that is grounded in law and aimed at protecting lives.

The statement said in part, "the project we also understand is in fulfilment of the implementation of the World Health Organisation’s International Health Regulations. It is our considered opinion that this is a noble project and will go a long way to save the country a lot of money by way of preventing the entry of diseases and will also help in boosting the confidence of the international business community in terms of the wholesomeness of imports and exports’’ signed by its Executive Secretary Sam Aggrey.

The Association also made a very profound remark in the statement by stating that "Out point is that no amount of money can compensate for the loss of even a single life. By this statement, we are also encouraging all other stakeholders to lend the Ghana Health Service and government for that matter, their support and cooperation to roll out this all important national project that seeks to protect all of us from infectious diseases".

The Foods and Beverages Association of Ghana also recalled the devastating effects and impact of some infectious diseases on some countries within the African continent and how the clock of progress in those countries has been reversed drastically.

Another big organisation within the international trade arena that has thrown its weight behind the project is the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana.

They premise their support for the project on the fact that the import and export business will see some exponential growth because of the anticipated confidence that the exercise will elicit from the international community.

"As the sole representative of importers and exporters in the country, we want to see imports and exports in this country certified as wholesome and that can only come about through this project’’ said Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association Samson Asaki Awingobit.

According to him, Ghanaian traders and business people are usually quick to kick against policies without studying details of the benefits of such policies.

"We are usually too quick to kick against some of these policies particularly if we have to pay something small. But you see, we don’t usually take time to study and know the kind of benefits that we stand to enjoy once these policies are introduced. This particular project is one that everyone must support. It is for the national good. We have seen how diseases have ravaged countries and destroyed their economies mainly because their youth died. Monies that could be channelled to other developmental projects were used to fight and manage these diseases. For once I think there must be some level of consensus with regards to this project. It will help Ghana. Look at Ebola and recently this Lassa virus. At every point in time we must be on our guard’’ he added.

Source: Daniel Kwansah

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