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Enhancing SMEs’ access to packaging

  • SMEs in Tanzania typically face challenges in ensuring that their products meet international quality and packaging standards needed not only access export markets but also lucrative local supermarket chains. In 2016, ITC and the Embassy of Finland in Tanzania launched a packaging services centre for SMEs at the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) in Dar es Salaam. The packaging centre is equipped with various packaging machines that address the need for enhanced access to packaging for small enterprises whose orders are too low to meet the minimum order requirements of big packaging suppliers.

    The packaging service centre for SMEs at SIDO will be receiving small packaging orders from numerous small SMEs. Such a business model will work because the SIDO centre will be able to hold stocks of packaging materials or aggregate small orders and purchase materials in one big order from relevant suppliers, be they local, regional or from abroad.

    Local SMEs will earn a premium price for their products due to improved packaging materials, which are crucial for value retention of the product, safe transportation and marketing the product. The centre will offer innovative and different packaging materials at much lower costs than the market; for instance, the cost of a glass jar will go down by 35% to 40%.

    "Good packaging material not only increases market visibility but also increases shelf-life of a product. ... SIDO's 2015 research revealed that 94% of food processors wanted to use bottles to pack their products but the market could only supply 5% cent of the total demand. Also, on paper and plastic packages, the study shows that the market can only supply 36% of the total demand. Thus, this centre will work on the challenges and looking for a solution by scouting where to source the materials."

    Prof. Sylvester Mpanduji – SIDO Director General,

    "The aim is to earn premium price for their products (after improving packaging materials), thus removing bottlenecks to access new markets."

    Simo-Pekka Parviainen – Deputy-Head of Mission of the Embassy of Finland in Tanzania

  • funded by

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