Byo SMEs challenged to properly package their products

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Bulawayo have been challenged to properly package their products in order to enhance their competitiveness in the market.

Packaging in business refers to enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use, something which small businesses are grappling with.

Addressing representatives from SMEs during a Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)-ZimTrade Marketing and Branding for International Competitiveness (MBIC) training workshop in Bulawayo Friday, ZimTrade associate trainer, Andrew Daka, said failure to correctly package products can drive companies out of business.

“Product safety is very important,” said Daka.

“How safe is your product? Improper packaging can result in your products being recalled.”

He went on to make reference to a recent recall of Pilchards fish brand by a processing plant in neighbouring South Africa due to a canning deficiency.

“This may happen to your products as well,” he warned SMEs, adding a recall to a small business could be disastrous.

Daka said food standard boards were very much particular on how food products should be packaged as that has impact on the health of nations.

“Standard packaging has to be looked into,” said Daka.

“Jam containers cannot therefore be used for peanut butter, for example. Invest in packaging that sells.”

The trainer said Zimbabwe cannot afford glass packaging, adding paper packaging was the best.

Daka said in coming up with packages, businesses should consider the costs involved, adding packaging costs could result in high and unaffordable prices in the market.

Packaging, Daka added, was key in ensuring product protection, safety, freshness, brand identity among other factors.

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