Quality Certification Boosts Consumers’ Confidence in Dairy Products

economyThere are more than 20 brands of milk in the Nigerian market today but only a few have met Nigerian Industrial Standards(NIS) requirements for quality. This report by Franklin Alli looks at the importance of NIS to the Nigerian manufacturing sector and how local manufacturers can work with the authority to improve their products quality.
In 2006, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) launched products guideline and directed all manufacturing companies in the country to apply the standards in their production processes before they can sell their products in the local market or export them to other countries in the region and beyond.
The guideline is called Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme, MANCAP. MANCAP is a certification process designed to assist local manufacturers to implement the requirements of relevant standards from raw materials to the finished products with a view to offering quality products that offer value for money to consumers.
The guideline is also aimed at protecting genuine manufacturers against unhealthy practices such as production of sub-standards products, faking and counterfeiting as well as unfair competition in trade. It provides consumers with confidence that products manufactured in the country are fit, safe and meet the intended use. It also ensures that the environment is free from unnecessary wastes and pollution.
Broad objectives of MANCAP is to ensure that manufactured products comply with the Nigerian Industrial Standards, NIS, prior to introduction into the market while preventing dumping of unsafe/counterfeited products in our markets and providing reliable records for identification and traceability of all locally manufactured, among others.
More than eight years after the guideline was introduced, Vanguard investigates what is the level of compliance to the guidelines by manufacturers, especially in the dairy sector of the economy?
Findings revealed that there are more than 20 brands of milk in the market. The milk is further categorized into three, namely: those that are produced locally, the ones that are smuggled into the country through borders and the third category is those that are imported legally.
The top brands are Peak and three Crown milk (powdered and evaporated) from the stables of Friesland Campina Nigeria Limited. Cowbell and Loya full cream milk powder manufactured and distributed by Promasidor Nigeria Limited. We also have Hollandia milk made by Chi Limited; Luna Milk, produced by National Food Industries, Jeddah, and marketed in Nigeria by Gvanas Nigeria Limited. There are also Jago milk by Sosaco Nigeria Limited as well as Olympic milk produced by PZ Cussons/ Nutricima, among others.
Investigation further revealed that Promasidor is one of the few companies in the dairy industry that have subjected its production processes to quality assurance checks by Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
Andrew Enahoro, Head Legal and Public Relations, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, affirmed that Promasidor is one of the few companies in the industry that have gone through SON’s rigorous certification exercise and met the quality standards.
“Cowbell and Loya milk are made under strict, quality control conditions to give every guarantee of consistent quality. It is certified by Standards Organisation of Nigeria and carries the logos of SON, Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) seals of quality on the packs.”
“We are a manufacturing concern and this is our 22nd year of existence; we have been consistently in business since 1993 and our primary business plan at the time is to try to provide nutrition for all, quality food products and that is what influenced our business plans,” he said.
According to the company, other quality ingredients of Loya milk are that it contains 50 percent more calcium than ordinary milk with its new Hi-Cal formulation. Calcium is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth.
“ It mixes easily in both warm or cold safe drinking water; Rich in protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals essential for the development of a strong and healthy family ; Ideal in beverages, great in porridge and cereal, suitable for cooking or simply as a delicious drink on its own
“It is vital that we receive adequate amounts of calcium during our formative years. And as we get older, we need calcium to maintain our bone density, and prevent bone disease,” he stated.
Investigation further showed that consumers spoke favorably about the company’s dairy products more than competitors.
Here are some of their comments: Nifemi Babalola, a lady journalist who said she has been a loyal consumer of the brand for over a year, said: “I like the milk because it is very creamy and I heard it has a lot of calcium, it is economical although it is expensive than competitors’ brand.”
Gabriel Sunkanmi, 27, also said “I have been patronising Loya milk since year 2000. What I admire in loyal milk is it’s softness in the mouth; it dilutes and blends easy with pap or Bornvita when I add them together. Second, it tastes nice and looks attractive in the face.”
Christiana Nnadi, a 35 years old fashion designer and a nursing mother, said “In fact, Loya milk is very good. It is economical. The satchel sold for N35 or N40 is enough to make normal 2 cups of tea.
“If you ask me to choose among other milks, I will choose Loya again and again. I wondered why the company is not advertising it on billboards, newspapers, radio and television.”
In view of the importance of milk to the body, the Director-General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, urged all local manufacturers in the industry to cooperate with the agency in getting their products certified.
He summed up the gains in these words “It is for the good of the company, the consumers and the economy.”

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