As the World Standards day is marked on 14th October 2021, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) received Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) and testing materials in a bid to enhance quality control in analytical laboratory tests.
On Tuesday 12th October, the European Union handed over CRMs to KEBS as a way of supporting the institution’s bid to ensure food safety for both local and international markets. Today, the EU supported by Team Europe Partners the Netherlands and Denmark, provided equipment to test the quality and safety of imported and locally produced Personal protection equipment (PPE), ventilators and thermometers.
The European Union Ambassador to Kenya, H. E Henriette Geiger, said: "These CRMs and testing equipment are part of a long term support to KEBS. The European Union is the biggest market for Kenya’s horticultural produce. Improving quality and safety standards assures a continued access to the European markets as well as quality produce for local consumption. In view of the on-going pandemic, we have additionally provided KEBS with equipment to test the quality and safety of locally produced PPEs, ventilators and thermometers and to ensure that health workers can safely do their work. KEBS saves lives and is an important agency to support local manufacturing and curb the economic effects of the pandemic. We look forward to a continuation of this partnership, which also strengthens Kenya’s capacity to participate in regional and international trade.”
KEBS Managing Director Lt. Col. (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini hailed the relationship between the institution and EU, saying the two had come a long way through projects that have left an indelible mark in the Kenyan economy and fostered trade between Kenya and the European Union.
“Our partnership has enabled us develop standards and codes of practice related to plant and animal based products, upgrade our laboratories and update and maintain a risk based residue and contaminant monitoring plan,” said Njiraini. “As an organization, we are excited to be in partnership with you once again in the Market Access Upgrade Program that seeks to support increased exports of agribusiness and horticultural products, promote regional integration as well as access to European markets for Kenya as well as the whole of East Africa,” he added.
UNIDO Kenya Country Representative Kawira Bucyana said "MARKUP Kenya is committed to increase awareness and adherence to food safety standards for particular value chains. This will go along way in enhancing market access for Kenyan produce locally, regionally and internationally. The CRMs provided to KEBS are one of the many ways this project is working towards ensuring better quality assurance and more markets for Kenyan produce and the benefits will trickle down to all stakeholders across the value chain,"
The CRMs were provided through the Market Access Upgrade Program (MARKUP) Kenya, which is funded by the EU and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in partnership with the government and private sector. The testing equipment is part of the Safe Trade Emergency Facility managed by TradeMark East Africa, through which the EU and Member States are supporting Kenya to combat the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.