By Momodou S Jallow
Gamjuice General Manager Isaac Thomas Unveils New Products at a Tradefair
The production Manager of GamJuice Company has identified packaging and customer’s attitude amongst other things as factors impeding local goods from competing with foreign products. Michael Jabang made the comments at the just ended Gambia Chambers of Commerce and Investment’s international trade fair, where he was presiding over the sale of his company’s products.
This year’s trade fair was focused on the theme “promote made in the Gambia products” but nonetheless Gambian products were overshadowed by the foreign products.
Packaging, A Problem For Gambian Products
Sitting inside his stall at the trade fair, watching over a variety of locally made fruit juice, Mr. Jabang gave a vivid account as to some of the reasons he feels are making Gambian products loose competition to foreign products.
The Gam. Juice official believe that despite the good quality of their product, packaging their products have failed short of the international standards. Pointing to a variety of products, put in different types of bottles belonging to different brand, Jabang explains that, they need a better packaging for their products that conforms to international standards.
“The quality of our products can rival any other product. These are fresh juice free from chemical substances.. the problem is packaging our products. As you can see we are using bottles from different brands to package the juice we made. We need to get our own packaging style. My company is working hard for a solution to improve our packaging standard, because unless we succeed in doing that, we will continue struggling against foreign products,” says Jabang.
Mr Jabang also cited the consumer’s attitude towards Gambian Products as a major impeding factor. Jabang observed at the trade fair, that Gambians prefer foreign products over Gambian products. According to Jabang, despite the fact that the trade fair was based on promoting Gambian products, there were more foreign products on display, whilst most Gambians who visited the trade fair ended up buying the foreign products.
“Most of the customers who came to the trade fair prefer buying foreign products. Interestingly enough some of them will walk over to my stall to have a look at our products. But guest what, some will laugh at our products on display before walking away, only to go and buy foreign products,” Jabang explains.
He however stated that after some time, through explanations, the people gradually started appreciating their products.
Michael Jabang’s comments were backed by those of Julius Freeman, Executive Director of the American Chamber of commerce in the Gambia. He said despite the United State opening their market doors to African countries through the African Growth and Opportunity Act(AGOA), most African products are struggling to penetrate the US market. He cited various reasons keeping Gambian products from competing with foreign products. One of them he agrees is the low packaging standard of Gambian pr
The low standard of Gambian products has led to its low patronage at the last Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) International trade fair which showcases Gambian and International products. Our reporter Momodou S Jallow did a voice report at the trade fair and file in this report.