United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), within the framework of the European Union (EU) – Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance project, is supporting the creation of a packaging testing center in Sri Lanka.
An expert on food safety and quality systems recently comparatively assessed EU and SAARC regulations, laws, and standards on packaging materials and testing scopes with Sri Lankan packaging testing and industry facilities on agro and food standards.
In consultations with diverse private packaging manufacturers and public institutions, the project identified respective capacity gaps and challenges related to packaging testing services and market-needs from agro and food exporters, especially small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
In addition, findings and recommendations to highlight potential institutions with capacity for setting up packaging testing services for SMEs were discussed during a workshop. Twenty representatives from both private and public sector institutions attended the programme.
The participants demonstrated eagerness to upgrade existing packaging testing facilities as an immediate step and proposed moving forward to develop dedicated packaging testing and development services for the long term. The workshop concluded with consensus on supporting Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) as the host for operating the new packaging testing centre to primarily serve SMEs.
This was followed by a roundtable discussion with ITI to validate the action plan to proceed with implementation. The new packaging testing center will be operational by the first semester of 2019.