UNIDO conducts trainings for ITI laboratory technicians | Daily News


 

UNIDO conducts trainings for ITI laboratory technicians

Participants at the workshop
Participants at the workshop

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), within the framework of the European Union (EU) funded EU-Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance project, is enhancing the value chain performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), particularly those in the food and spice sectors, which depend on conformity assessment bodies for the design and testing of packaging materials.

UNIDO conducted trainings for ITI laboratory technicians last week on procured equipment that would be used to conduct testing on the performance of packaging materials and on international testing protocols, such as ASTM testing standards, to improve ITI’s testing capabilities to prepare to face an accreditation audit with the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board.

In 2018, UNIDO conducted a demand and supply analysis of the conformity assessment services market in Sri Lanka to determine the capacity constraints and gaps that would need to be addressed to adequately service the food and spice sectors.

UNIDO selected 24 conformity assessment bodies for bespoke technical assistance towards various accreditation needs.

Towards the end of 2018, the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) was designated as Sri Lanka’s national packaging testing center as it was determined to have existing and absorptive capacity to host such services and had basic equipment and facilities for packaging testing.

To strengthen capacity on performance testing, testing procedures, and physical testing towards ISO/IEC 17025:2017, a work plan was established with UNIDO’s guidance and the required equipment were procured.

UNIDO conducted trainings for ITI laboratory technicians last week on procured equipment that would be used to conduct testing on the performance of packaging materials and on international testing protocols, such as ASTM testing standards, to improve ITI’s testing capabilities to prepare to face an accreditation audit with the Sri Lanka Accreditation Board.

Once accredited, ITI would be able to offer a wide array of services to exporters. By taking advantage of these services, producers will have minimized production costs, reduced time spent on damage claims, cut product loss, and increased credibility and professionalism with buyers.

Many of these tests have to be conducted overseas, adding an additional cost burden on manufacturers. Once the national packaging testing center is launched, 12 physical and mechanical tests would be offered locally.

From July 23, to August 9, UNIDO has also trained 294 representatives from SMEs and 94 extension officers of trade support institutions across six cities on new trends in packaging technology, labeling requirements, testing requirements for export, and services available at ITI.

 


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