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    UNBS Launches Digital System to Enhance Consumer Protection in Supermarkets

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    UNBS Launches Digital System to Enhance Consumer Protection in Supermarkets
    • June 11, 2024 • 1 month ago
    in summary
    The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has launched the Digital Conformity Marking (DCM) system in order to enhance consumer protection and ensure the quality of products in supermarkets. This new system, which is integrated with the Kakasa app, allows consumers to verify the authenticity of products using their smartphones.

    The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has launched the Digital Conformity Marking (DCM) system in order to enhance consumer protection and ensure the quality of products in supermarkets. This new system, which is integrated with the Kakasa app, allows consumers to verify the authenticity of products using their smartphones. The initiative was officially announced today, during a stakeholder engagement session with supermarket owners in the central region, held at UNBS headquarters in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District.

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    Ms. Sylvia Kirabo, the Principal Public Relations Officer at UNBS, emphasized the importance of compliance in curbing substandard goods and protecting consumers.

    "We urge supermarket owners to ensure their outlets stock only certified locally manufactured commodities and inspected imported commodities," said Kirabo.

    This aligns with UNBS's broader mission to facilitate trade, enforce standards, and protect public health, safety, and the environment from hazardous and substandard products.

    The DCM system introduces a track-and-trace mechanism that allows consumers, supermarkets, and other retail outlets to distinguish between genuinely certified and substandard commodities. Ms. Patricia Bageine Ejalu, Deputy Executive Director in charge of standards at UNBS, highlighted the importance of this technological advancement.

    "Today's primary focus is the Digital Conformity Marking programme. We've introduced technology that allows the public to use their phones to verify if a product is genuinely certified by UNBS," said Bageine.

    The Kakasa app plays a central role in this system. By scanning the digital stamps on products, consumers can instantly access information such as product details, the standard under which it is assessed, the certification date, batch number, and the manufacturer’s name. This level of transparency is expected to empower consumers to make informed choices and ensure they are purchasing high-quality, safe products.

    The launch event also served as a platform for UNBS to engage with supermarket owners and operators, stressing their role in ensuring product quality and safety.

    "As supermarket owners, it's your responsibility to ensure that all products on your shelves are certified and safe for consumers," stated Ms. Bageine.

    This responsibility is essentialin maintaining consumer trust and upholding standards within the retail sector.

    Mr. Phillip Kahuma, Acting Manager of Certification at UNBS, provided further details about the digital stamps.

    "These stamps contain information such as product details, the standard under which it is assessed, certification date, batch number, manufacturer’s name, and more. Supermarket owners, consumers, and the public can use the Kakasa App to scan these stamps and verify product certification," Kahuma explained.

    The introduction of the DCM system is a step in UNBS's ongoing efforts to enforce standards and protect consumers. By taking advantage of digital technology, UNBS aims to create a more transparent and accountable market environment. This not only benefits consumers but also supports manufacturers and retailers committed to maintaining high standards.

    UNBS's approach to consumer protection is expected to reduce the prevalence of substandard goods, which pose risks to health and safety. The DCM system aligns with global best practices in product certification and standardization, positioning Uganda as a leader in adopting innovative solutions for quality assurance.

    As the DCM system rolls out, continuous collaboration between UNBS, retailers, and consumers will be essential for its success. Supermarket owners are encouraged to integrate this technology into their operations, ensuring all products on their shelves are compliant with national standards. For consumers, the Kakasa app offers a simple yet powerful tool to verify product authenticity and make safer choices.

    The launch of the Digital Conformity Marking system by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards marks an advancement in consumer protection. By embracing digital technology, UNBS is enhancing its capacity to enforce standards and safeguard public health. This emphasizes the importance of quality assurance in promoting a safe and reliable market for all Ugandans. As the system gains traction, it promises to build greater consumer confidence and support the growth of a standards-driven economy

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