The public-private dialogue information sharing session held by the NTF.
On 4 December 2018, the Namibia Trade Forum (NTF) held a public-private dialogue information sharing session with key manufacturers, retailers and suppliers of which Meatco formed apart. The meeting was purposed for the establishment of Namibia’s own accredited Global Standard One (GS1) Barcode Centre.
A GS1 barcode is a unique sequence of numbers that identifies and tracks goods or products. It simplifies the supply chain process from production, ordering, delivery to selling the product.
An accredited barcode centre for Namibia is aimed at capturing benefits such and gaining independence in achieving a national identity in relation to the traded goods and the information linked to those goods.
According to NTF, Communications Liaison Officer, Sharlene Isaacs, Namibian manufacturers currently use various barcodes or product identifiers and have been heavily reliant on the GS1 accredited Barcode Centre of South Africa.
"Therefore, the establishment of a barcode centre in Namibia will thus allow for the ease in traceability, real-time data access of local products and their manufacturers in the market. As well as enable ease in the entry of products on retail outlets particularly the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through the Retail Charter," Isaacs said.
“The establishment of a GS1 Barcode centre is a positive move for Namibia as it will identify products by country of origin on the global trade index. However, from a Meatco perspective our canning and wholesale departments will need to be informed well in advance when the country is changing to the new barcode centre,” says Wholesale Manager, Martina Krӧller.
Krӧller said this helped the departments “to prepare for costly financial and organisational operations such as the repackaging of products and listings with existing trade partners.”
The NTF has thus far conducted and concluded a feasibility study on the Namibian market and a fully functional Board has been elected to engage manufacturers, retailers and suppliers on the way forward regarding the establishment of the Centre.