Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, has charged manufacturers to apply barcodes technologies to their products to be able to compete, secure and maintain an export market in the global market.
He said increasing competition amongst developing countries for the export market means that buyers are able to insist on the application of quality standards as a condition for entry into the market.
He said the trend has the potential to marginalise many developing countries.
He said to avert this, developing countries must be able to integrate into the global economy by producing and selling goods in accordance with global standards.
Mr. Spio-Garbrah said this in a speech read on his behalf in Accra during the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of GS1 Business Agency.
He said since the launch of GS1 in Ghana, more than 1000 companies have now being issued with internationally recognised barcodes and approximately 50 per cent of these companies are active.
“Unfortunately, statistics will show that our SMEs which form the bulk of businesses in Ghana neglect to apply bar code technologies to their products due to ignorance, they therefore do this at their peril since it may result in the marginalisation of their performance in the global market.
“It is therefore important to stress at this point that barcodes are a complement to the existing general labelling laws in Ghana but not only domestic laws must be complied with, since many importing countries apply extremely stringent labelling laws,” he added.
He said in order to supply food products to the major international markets, business must comply with these food safety and traceability standards, requiring the implementation of complex informational systems and electronic data capture technology.
Mr Johnson Opoku-Boateng, Chief Executive Officer of GS1 Ghana said GS1 tools help organisations exchange critical data-from manufacturing all the way to the consumer-creating a common language that underpins systems and processes all over the world.
He said with consumers demanding a more seamless shopping experience, supply chains growing more complex and quantities of business data growing, the availability of GS1’s single, neutral global language of business is more important than before.
“That’s because GS1 standards create a common foundation for uniquely identifying, accurately capturing and automatically sharing vital information about products, locations, assets and more.
“GS1 data capture standards currently include barcode and radio frequency identification (RFID) data carriers that allow GS1 identification keys and other data to be affixed directly to a physical object,’’ he said.
He said the GS1 introduction of barcode standards has facilitated national and international communication between trading partners participating in supply and demand chains including raw materials, suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, hospitals and final clients or consumers.
“The barcode has therefore revolutionised the way trade is done across the globe, hence any business having products without barcodes, must consider incorporating barcodes on their labels, this will help facilitate the sale of their products and services as well as reap the many benefits.” he said.