GS1 bar codes in Mozambique provide increased opportunities for SMEs
Rapid growth in the number of supermarkets in country and the increasing presence of major players like Shoprites, Spar, Game, Pick and Pay, and Woolworths has created many opportunities for local industries in Mozambique.
GS1 is the international standard for bar codes and the hope is that by providing a compliance advisory service in country, producers in Mozambique will be better able to meet the needs of the global market but also the changing domestic market.
Local industry was dependant on GS1 bodies either in South Africa or Portugal for support. In order to assist and facilitate local suppliers with making their products acceptable to retail chains, the Instituto para a Promoção das Pequenas e Médias Empresas (IPEME), with the assistance and support from ITC, has set up the GS1 Mozambique office in Maputo. GS1 Mozambique will guide and provide assistance including training and consultancy on bar coding thereby enabling local producers to enter the global retail sector. SMEs with limited resources are expected to benefit the most.
The support from ITC, under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) supply chain programme, included a needs assesment involving surveys and interactions with industry associations. It also included awareness seminars at major business locations and the provision of guidance during the formation of the GS1.
It is hoped that the filing of the application to GS1 International in Brussels, Belgium, will be completed shortly and that the GS1 office in Mozambique will be operational by June 2012.
The GS1 offices can be found at the IPEME building, 1509 Avenue 25 de Setembro, Maputo, Mozambique.