National trade development and promotion body, ZimTrade and a local beverage processor, Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited, were on Wednesday awarded Southern African Development Community (Sadc) accolades for coming out tops in different categories at an event held in Windhoek – Namibia.
ZimTrade was awarded the Sadc Annual Quality Award for the best company in the organisations with less than 100 employees’ category, while Schweppes came first under the large enterprise category for the year 2018-2019.
The SADC Annual Quality Awards are designed to appreciate organisations that contribute to product quality enhancement across all sectors as well as recognise bodies that showcase processes, procedures and quality systems that are in line with local, regional and international best practices.
ZimTrade has won this particular accolade for the second consecutive year representing Zimbabwe.
Upon receiving the award ZimTrade chief executive officer Mr Allan Majuru, said Zimbabwean companies should comply with standards as it is key to product attractiveness which consequently lure international markets.
“As ZimTrade, we aim to be exemplary. We urge Zimbabwean companies to adhere to international standards if we ourselves are applying the same. Standards and certifications are a key component of export competitiveness and without them, our companies have limited or no access to the lucrative global markets.
“With that in mind, as ZimTrade, we work hard to ensure that our local businesses adopt relevant quality standards which will open a gateway into lucrative markets,” said Mr Majuru.
ZimTrade is certified under ZW ISO 9001:2015 which focuses on Quality Management Systems and uses continuous improvement to support growth in national and regional economic development.
Mr Majuru dedicated the award to the Zimbabwean industry saying; “Standards are a culture, and we are proud to bring this token back home, as we celebrate not only us as an organisation, but Zimbabwe as a nation.”
Schweppes commercial and public affairs director, Mrs Unaiswi Nyikadzino, said: “We are not surprised by the award. This is now a record fourth time wining the SAQA award. It is just a testimony that our products meet the highest quality and standards to the consumer at local, regional and international level.
“As a Coca-Cola bottling partner, we are committed in heart and mind and what we do, we do well. Our products like Mazoe and Minute Maid recently won awards at the Marketers Association Awards here and we are happy we are being recognised regionally and internationally.”
She said quality standards were at the heart of Schweppes Zimbabwe business as a distinctive mark on products against competitors.
“It is our obligation to deliver products that meet the highest standards and quality,” said Mrs Nyikadzino.
First mooted in 2009 by the SADC Committee of Ministers of Trade and Industry (CMT), the purpose of the SAQA competition is to encourage SADC businesses, private and public sector institutions to implement standards and quality procedures in their operations.
Companies are recognised for having robust quality management systems that have demonstrably contributed to the growth of their businesses.
The competition provides SADC with a platform and an opportunity for local individuals and industries to be more aware of quality issues and cognisant of the fact that success of products in local markets is due in part to excellent quality, which translates to success in regional and international markets.
The SADC Annual Quality Awards have been running since 2011.