Zimbabwe to introduce food safety system

HARARE, Jul 1, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The Standard Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) plans to introduce an International Standard certification, ISO 22000, on food safety management to compliment the government' s efforts to restore agricultural productivity by enhancing food safety.

Speaking at the ongoing Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce congress, SAZ director general, Maureen Mutasa, said the standard would be introduced in September this year.

"With the current efforts to restore agricultural productivity in Zimbabwe, this standard is poised to play an important role in enhancing the safety of food not only for export but also for local consumption," she said.

The standard was applicable throughout the food chain and could work on its own or combined with other management systems such as ISO 9001.

Meanwhile, Mutasa said work was underway to standardize terminology and specifications of services offered by the tourism service providers so as to provide tourism consumers with criteria to make informed decisions.

In recognition of the strategic role of tourism in the country' s economic development, SAZ was following up developments on the ISO project with a view to participate through a national committee that would feed directly into the international committee, she said.

Mutasa called on companies to increase employment and produce competitive value added products for the country to achieve sustainable economic development.

"To achieve this, companies must have good and effective management and above all, must be perceived to be properly governed," she said.

"Good corporate governance improves investor confidence, reduces cost of capital and engenders a stable source of funding."

SAZ was established in 1975 and has been a member of ISO for 13 years.

The ISO scope covers standardization in all fields except electrical and electronic engineering standards.