The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is introducing a seal of product standardisation for manufacturers.

The quality assurance mechanism, known as Obaasima Seal, is aimed at strengthening local industries against undue foreign completion.

Industry players are worried the influx of foreign product on the market affects the growth of local manufacturing companies.

Chief Executive of AGI, Seth Twum Aboakwa, is confident the seal will help the local market.

“Imports competing with our local market is one of the reasons we are doing this. When you do things like these, you are assuring consumers of a certain quality.

"It is a consumer guarantee seal, you are telling the customer that don’t consume this product that doesn’t have the seal but consume mine because it has gone through a process and being audited by food and drugs authority. You are telling the people that once I have this seal, I am giving you that guarantee, buy mine and not theirs, he said.”

He tells LUV BIZ the move will compel Ghanaian firms to produce high-quality products.

At a sensitisation seminar at which the seal was introduced in Kumasi, food processors were made to understand that the seal is nothing new but only to ensure their products have gone through a number of checks.

The AGI Chief Executive says the move is about competition and the manufacturing of quality products by members of the Obaasima initiative.

“How many of the imported product do we check where they are being produced from but they are in our market. We are actually helping to improve patronage of local product and promoting made in Ghana as against the imported one you cannot guarantee their product,” Mr Aboakwa said.

The association believes the move is also an opportunity to market their products outside Ghana as the seal will be pushed to attain international recognition.

The quality assurance seal was introduced by German GIZ in 2013 as a nutrition deficiency program to address nutritional challenges in Ghana.

The four-year program which ends this year is being taken over by the AGI and Ghana Standard Authority as a sustainability mechanism.

It was able to fortify three products, including ‘shito’ for the period.

Technical Advisor for Affordable Food Nutrition for Women Project at GIZ, Daniel Amankwaa explains the initiative succeeded in commercialising solution to improve micro nutrient deficiencies in local industries.

"One of the major challenges, however, has been the kind of raw material certifications we have. We are developing and raw materials are not readily traceable.

“The laboratory testing of a food product is there but there is more room for improvement as not every single micronutrient can be detected in the country. Therefore Techniques must be upgraded,” he said.