‘Made in Seychelles’ brand to promote local manufactured products | 26 July 2019
Local entrepreneurs and manufacturing businesses in Seychelles will soon benefit from brand equity for locally produced goods with the establishment of a national ‘Made in Seychelles’ brand and label.
In a cabinet meeting held on Wednesday July 24, cabinet considered the setting up of the brand to empower local entrepreneurs and business-owners and to promote the consumption of locally produced products.
Principal secretary for the department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Angelique Antat provided more details on the ‘Made in Seychelles’ brand policy which seeks to address Seychelles’ over reliance on imported goods.
Statistics indicate that exports from Seychelles amounted to $325 million in 2018, while imports amounted to $1249 million.
She noted that imported products do not only compete with local products but are often times disguised and sold as local products.
“The statistics therefore suggests that emphasis needs to be placed on existing and potential entrepreneurs and their products which also have the potential to be exported into regional and international markets,” she said.
The policy which has been championed in numerous countries including Nigeria, Australia and neighbouring island Mauritius, is aligned with the Seychelles National Development Plan to increase economic competitiveness by enhancing Seychellois domestic market through value chain development.
Over the course of the upcoming 3 months, consultations will be held allowing the private sector and members of the public to make propositions and suggestions before a comprehensive policy, inclusive of suggestions, is tabled before the cabinet of ministers for approval.
In order to stimulate public interest and engagement with the concept and accompanying campaign, the department is proposing that a label design competition be launched to provide the public the opportunity to contribute towards the campaign.
The policy applies to all products manufactured locally by micro, small, medium and large enterprises and will serve to certify products for which at least 50% of the final cost of production must have been incurred in Seychelles, or if raw materials have been imported, substantial transformation must have taken place in Seychelles. The label shall reassure customers of the authenticity of the product, that it is ‘genuinely Seychellois’ and acts as an effective sales and marketing asset for potential Seychellois brands.
“With the policy, there needs to be intellectual property laws associated with it meaning the logo that will be registered will afford the manufacturer certain rights. This means that the manufacturer must have the right to use the logo so when they use the label, they must have sought permission and applied for it and if it is used in an illegal way, there can be legal consequences as per the law on intellectual property,” Ms Antat noted in reference to products that are disguised as having been manufactured locally.
It is up to the discretion of local manufacturers to decide whether to opt for the label and charges and fees are yet to be finalised in consideration of the different spending capacities of businesses based on their size and annual turnover and the numerous categories of products.
Applicants shall apply by collecting and submitting application forms at the Seychelles Bureau of Standards (SBS), which shall then be reviewed by an Assessment Committee made up of technical staff from respective agencies of an Evaluation Panel. Thereafter, site visits shall be conducted by the Assessment Committee to ensure adherence of the product to the Eligibility criteria.
The recommendation from the Assessment Committee shall then be forwarded to the Evaluation Panel, which will prompt the certification of the product, if successful.
In order to ensure consistency and adherence to the Brand, continuous monitoring and unscheduled visits shall be conducted and it is proposed that renewal is done after 3 years prompted by another application.