The agreement was signed in Accra, between Professor Alex Dodoo, Director-General, GSA and Madam Philomena Tan, Managing Director, Nestle Ghana Ltd.
It was witnessed by Mr George Kojo Anti, Business Development Manager, GSA and Mr Kamara Ousmane Antoine, Country Controller, Nestle Ghana Ltd,
The Public-Private-Partnership agreement seeks to enhance laboratory analytical methods alignment and capacity building in laboratory testing of food products to enhance product safety and quality standards.
The partnership would also contribute towards the enhancement of technical competencies of personnel and promote best practices.
Under the terms of the MoU, the GSA would collaborate with Nestlé in standardisation and alignment of applicable test methods; carrying out inter-laboratory comparisons in agreed scopes; and conduct International Organisation for Standardisation/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17025, safety and compliance internal audits per agreed schedule between the two parties.
In addition, there would be knowledge exchange on Laboratory Information Management Systems, the use of GSA laboratories for conformance to standards and compliance to set constituent limits per Ghana standards.
On its part, Nestlé would offer GSA the opportunity to tour Nestlé laboratories, share relevant information through capacity building programmes to assist the GSA and carry out inter-laboratory comparisons in agreed scopes using ISO accredited standards to improve standards in Ghana.
Prof Dodoo in his remarks noted that, the GSA, established by the Standards Decree, 1973 (NRCD 173) as the statutory body responsible for developing, publishing and promoting standards, will continue to exercise its regulatory functions as required by law.
“Basically, we are a country where we want to create jobs, where we want to move the economy fast forward. We can only do that by changing the mind-set. Even though for years, we’ve all being protecting consumers and facilitating trade, we have not done it optimal. We have not used the benefits available,” he stated.
He said a lot of Ghanaians in the public service tended to see industry more like people just want to make money; “And it’s not true”.
Prof Dodoo said industries only survive when there were consumers; “It is in industries’ interest for people to be alive and be healthy and well”.
He said the GSA exists to protect the interest of consumers and to facilitate trade.
“Our aim is to create a Ghana where there are jobs, but not just jobs but well-paid jobs,” he said.
He said well-paid jobs come from industry, which were profitable, ethical and professional, adding that, Government wants to make Ghana the most business friendly environment.
“We want industries to invest here, knowing that their investment is protected. But more importantly we want to open up markets outside Ghana for (our local) industries,” he added.
He said the Government was ready to help Ghanaian industries to get access to markets in the sub-region.
“Let’s walk, the talk. Let’s create jobs. Let’s make sure that industry is so rich; that they are paying so much taxes, that everybody is a little bit richer, because prosperity is what drives progress.”
Madam Tan said the partnership with the GSA would mutually benefit both organisations by harnessing expertise to build individual capabilities to deliver safer and healthier foods to Ghanaians.
“The quality and safety of our food and beverages are non-negotiable priorities for Nestlé. This partnership is a concrete articulation of Nestlé’s commitment to Creating Shared Value for the society and our company and will further enable us to fulfil our purpose of Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future” in Ghana,” she said.
She said Nestle as nutrition, health and wellness company, supports livelihoods and nutritional needs of Ghanaians and continue to build sustainable economy by ensuring safety and quality standards in their value chain.
“This agreement gives Nestle and the GSA the opportunity to leverage on internationally accredited laboratory and the digital market, build capacities to enhance standards development, promote free trade and ensure products safety and quality in Ghana,” she said.
“Over 60 years, Nestle has served Ghanaians with quality and nutritious choices. Our consumers are our top most priority and we believe that the next 60 years can only be better, considering the steps we are taking today.”