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Consumers blind to local products

Shelfie: Team Namibia Chief Executive Officer, Daisry Mathias at the launch of Team Namibia retail and merchandising campaign.

Team Namibia consumer group research shows that consumers are unaware of locally shelved products according to Team Namibia Chair,Tara Shaanika. This was identified at the launch of a national retail merchandising campaign on Tuesday which is  aimed at giving Namibian products a distinct competitive advantage. In addition, the proposed Namibian Retail Charter, spearheaded by the Namibia Trade Forum on behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry will seek to increase market access by creating a conducive environment for local contributions.At the retail and merchandising launch at Pick n Pay Aus Valley, Shaanika said, that the reviewed game plan will increase 20% in locally made products by improving shelving and availability with continued efforts in diversifying basic goods.

The merchandising launch saw the unveiling of  Team Namibia’s electronic Member Directory via teamnamibia.com, which displays all member organizations products in an image bank with product  specifications.Said Shaanika,“This will be a powerful tool to enhance local sourcing for procurement, identify local options for production inputs and as an export promotion and information tool.”“Our organisation, has dedicated itself to finding opportune ways and means to positively impact the economy of our country, by stimulating consumer demand and sustainable consumption of local commodities,” he added.The 2013 Stakeholder Survey across producer, retailer and consumer found out that more than 80% of respondents declared they will buy Namibian over other products while 47% can not differentiate which products are Namibian. Close to 40% found point-of-sale as a solution. The launch also unveiled the winners of the Team Namibia Shopping Bag design competition, displaying authentic designs associated with the Team Namibia movement. Local graphic designers Tedy Mmasi, Nelet Loubser, Franklin Angermunda and Shawn van Eedent contributed the winning designs. Shaanika said,“This morning’s reveal is an unprecedented, targeted, national retail intervention aimed at creating an impact-full shopping experience that will not only identify locally produced goods and services but indeed evoke feeling of pride, preference and purchase of Namibian products.”“Stakeholder research found local products excluded from the supply chain. While a very efficient distribution network does exist in our country, the limitation is that domestic goods are often excluded from the local supply chains,” he added.According to the Stakeholder Survey, consumers are prepared to purchase the local options, provided that they can identify their quality and price in comparison to imported goods.Team Namibia Chief Executive Officer, Daisry Mathias, said the campaign was launched as a pilot in 11 retail outlets across the country which includes retailers such as Engen, Pick n Pay, Shoprite and  Checkers, Spar Oshakati as well as local shebeens. Mathias added that the strong belief in Team Namibia has resulted in building strong brands in creating wealth and identity. “We dare to believe that we can consume our way out of poverty.”

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