The country should craft legislation on national beverage standards to govern and protect the industry and its citizens, the vice-chancellor of Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) has said.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited and HIT on Monday, Quinton Kanhukamwe said the country currently does not have legislation governing beverage manufacturing standards.
“What we have are isolated cases where institutions voluntarily submit their standards to the Standards Association of Zimbabwe. We have a situation where grey and cheap products (that do not meet minimum ethical and scientific standards) are saturating the market and because they are cheap, our vulnerable citizens are falling for them,” said Kanhukamwe
“The health cost in the long run will outgrow the little benefits accrued for now. Consequently, it is imperative the nation moves towards the adoption of national standards which protect our industry and citizens at large.”
Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited and HIT signed a Memorandum of Understanding that would result in training of personnel in beverage processing technology.
“We expect that through this cooperation, research which is the foundation of our institution will be promoted. We believe this cooperation will change and enhance university and industry collaboration in Zimbabwe,” Kanhukamwe said.
He said many countries had developed as they had sound and well-equipped academic institutions providing solutions to industry.
Kanhukamwe said industry on the other hand, could fund research as part of its social corporate responsibility.
Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited managing director Charles Msipa said the company began engaging HIT in 2010 on research in matters of beverage industry.
“We stood to benefit tremendously in upgrading the skills for people at Schweppes in food processing.
They were thorough on the scope of this training. This is not the finishing line, but a starting point,” he added.