Nelly Chepkorir, a Trade Officer at the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), gave a presentation at the East Africa Bakers Summit 2023. Nelly’s thoughts on product certification and quality assurance were a big highlight of the event. This blog post is a summary of the most important things she said in her presentation.
Promoting Innovation and Quality Standards
KEBS not only makes sure that products are all the same, but it also encourages innovation and makes it easier for businesses to sell on local, regional, and international markets. Many Kenyans are familiar with the organization’s quality marks, which play an important role in the certification of products.
The first is the standardisation mark, which is a certification that all goods sold in Kenya must have. This includes things made in the country, like cakes, and is a must-have for things like that.
The second mark is the diamond mark of quality, which is a sign of excellence. Even though this mark isn’t required, it gives a product a competitive edge because it shows that it meets or exceeds minimum standards.
Quality Inspections to Make Sure of Compliance
KEBS also offers export verification of conformity and destination inspection in addition to its conformity assessment services for imported goods. The organization’s job is to evaluate imported goods, check that exports are legal in their home country, and inspect imports once they arrive in Kenya. All imported goods that have been through these checks and have a unique mark.
The market surveillance department is an important part of KEBS’s job. Its job is to watch and enforce the use of standardisation and distinctive marks. This group checks products at random in supermarkets and other markets to make sure they all meet the quality standards. If a product is found to be bad, the company that made it is asked to start a recall.
Standards and Rules in the Food Industry
KEBS is not the only organisation in Kenya that keeps an eye on the food industry. The Food and Drugs Act, the Public Health Act, the Standards Act, the Competition Act, and the Agriculture and Food Authority Act are all laws that have to do with food. But a new bill has been sent to the National Assembly with the goal of putting all of the rules about food trade under one authority.
The rules and standards for the baking and pastry business are especially important. Standards like KS EAS 38 for general labelling requirements, KS EAS 43 of 2012 for bread specifications, KS EAS 767 of 2019 for fortified wheat flour specifications, KS 661 of 2007 for cookie specifications, and KS 1042 of 2007 for cake specifications give the necessary guidelines for quality assurance.
Nelly Chepkorir’s presentation showed how important KEBS is to keeping product quality high and keeping Kenya’s food market competitive. Her ideas show how important it is to follow rules and regulations, not only to protect public health and safety but also to gain an edge in the market.