Representatives of the Malawi Bureau of Standards have embarked on an awareness campaign for captains of industry on their improved capacity in accreditation and certification.
The Bureau is implementing what it calls the Standardisation Quality Assurance, Accreditation and Metrology program popularly known as SQAM.
Under the project the MBS is constructing high tech laboratories that will help in the accreditation of locally produced goods earmarked for the export market.
The development is expected to deal with the current challenges faced by Malawian exporters of having their goods and products retested in destination countries, hence draining a lot of forex on payments.
Representatives of the bureau have since disclosed that the awareness seminars will be held across the country
Speaking to Capital FM, MBS Director of Quality Assurance Steven Kamuloni said there is a need for the industry to know that they can acquire the international standards testing locally.
Companies under the Alcohol Manufacturers Association have ordered back all their products from their distributors across Malawi.
This follows a high court order which demands that the companies stop production, after the Malawi Bureau of Standards found that most of their liquor products do not meet the recommended standards.
Some traders are however still selling the banned liquor in various market places.
According to a statement from the Association, this is because some of their distributors already had the products in stock, and are still displaying them on the market.
The Association which is made up of 12 entities has since given its distributors 5 days to return all labelled products to their respective manufacturers, in keeping with the Court order.
Representatives of the Association further stress that they intend to cooperate with the Malawi Bureau of Standards in the process.
Some of the companies are Global Beverages Limited, Bwenzi Group Limited, Atinga Limited and Silver Spirits Limited.
A snap survey by Capital FM has found that traders in various townships and markets are still selling the banned liquor, ‘Midori’.
Originally, Midori is a sweet, bright-green, melon flavoured liquor made in Japan, the US, France and Mexico.
Unlike its international counterpart, locally made Midori is orange in colour and has a high alcohol percentage.
There is public concern that the liquor has claimed many lives and is a health risk to those that consume it.
This led the Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) to confiscate and ban the liquor being sold on the streets.
A court ruling in favour of the MBS has ordered the ban of production and sale of Midori liquor.
Any entities involved in the production of the product are illegal.
Speaking to Capital FM MBS Director General Davlin Chokazinga admits that they are aware of the backdoor sales and production of the liquor.
He adds that they are working with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on a strategy which would completely root out the production of the hazardous drink.
Chokazinga was however reluctant to give details of the strategy involved, which will be used to wipe out the product from the local market.
The resurfacing sales of Midori raises questions on what role law enforcers play in ridding the market of harmful liquors.
When approached by Capital FM, National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera, refused to comment on the matter disclosing that the police would only take part if the Bureau calls for their assistance.
Another worrying development is the reported consumption of illegal alcohol by some conductors and minibus drivers as they wait for their passengers at various bus terminals.
This raises fear amongst passengers and motorists of increased carnage on the roads, as some drivers may be driving under the influence of alcohol, like Midori.
Meanwhile the Competitions and Fair Trading Commission is investigating at least twenty-one companies for allegedly supplying products likely to cause injury to health, or physical harm to the consumer.
The majority of these companies are manufacturers of spirits and liquor.
Representatives of the national association for small and medium enterprises-NASME are attributing the country’s poor showing on the international market to the Malawi bureau of standards’ low status outside the country.