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Twenty years of democracy – what has the consumer goods industry achieved?

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Twenty years of democracy – what has the consumer goods industry achieved?

South Africa became an internationally-accepted democracy in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected as the first President of the new South Africa.


In this, the 20th year of democracy, as South Africa reflects on how much it has transformed politically, socially, environmentally and most pertinently, economically, I’d like to focus on our industry and the positive impact South Africa’s young democracy has had on some of the notable achievements we attribute to a democratic society.


While the world was watching and pondering whether to enter the South African market as an investment destination, we attributed to the democratic society through the European Article Numbering Association (EAN) which became part of the Consumer Goods Council and changed its name to GS1.


Soon thereafter the Global Standards Management Process (GSMP) whose aim is to provide a global forum for GS1 members to discuss and establish new standards-based solutions for their businesses, was launched. The consumer goods industry also adopted GS1 listing standards which allow transparency in supply chain processes, enhancing the movements of products from suppliers to retailers thereby reducing the time to market.


As the new constitution provided freedom of movement and the demographics of the country changed, so have we experienced the evolution of the consumer goods industry in trying to meet the growing demand of the consumer. Our role as the industry representative was clarified - we provide a platform where industry players meet and collaborate on non-competitive matters for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.


We have led the way in terms of food safety and nutrition, product labelling and notably in 2005 GS1 South Africa wrote the first Wine Traceability Guideline for GS1 Global. Through our Food Safety Initiative (FSI) we have ensured that we continue to conduct research, participate in international dialogues around food safety matters and as such provide expert advice on food safety regulations.


In 2009 the Single SA Food Safety Audit (SAFSA) system commenced with the aim of introducing uniformity in food safety audits. The system was enhanced and eventually reintroduced in 2012 as the Global Markets Capacity Building Programme, based on the international Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) model.


The following year we were able to attract the world’s food safety experts and September 2013 saw the first ever GFSI South Africa Focus Day, where food safety experts from across the world came together to share their learnings and impart knowledge. The Focus Day provided South African food industry stakeholders with thorough background information on the principles behind the GFSI and demonstrated real examples of the benefits that working within the GFSI framework provides.

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Last modified on Friday, 09 May 2014 10:17

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Twenty years of democracy - what has the consumer goods industry acheived?


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