‘Do research to improve products’

National 2 minutes, 11 seconds


A FOOD entrepreneur on Thursday said businesses should help themselves by researching on ways to improve their products.

Hjh Maria Hj Saban, owner and creator of Catchy Homey Choco, said entrepreneurs should take the initiative to conduct new research rather than rely on the government for help.

In an interview on the sidelines of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood’s food safety briefing, she said many businesses need to improve their packaging and marketing of products.

“I think local products are lacking when it comes to packaging. It looks plain compared to imported products.

“We need to look into that and find solutions to make our products attractive to draw in more customers,” added Hjh Maria, who was one of the participants at the briefing.

She went on to say that some people view fresh local products as a disadvantage.

“Local products don’t contain any preservatives. Some people view this as a disadvantage as they don’t want their food to go off easily. What they don’t realise is, it’s healthier and safer without preservatives.”

Hjh Maria added that businesses were growing in Brunei as there are more people going into the industry.

“One thing that Brunei can do to encourage more people to go into business is through education. Most of us learn about it during a later age. Why not start learning about it from a young age?”

Even though advertising is good in Brunei especially through social media, word of mouth and bazaars, the entrepreneur said it should go beyond that.

“We should do more and not just stop at that, especially for students who participate in bazaars. Don’t stop after that, go out and find more ways to sell your products!”

The food safety briefing for owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) was titled ‘Good Hygiene Practices’.

The participants were briefed on the importance of cleanliness and were shown food samples found to be easily contaminated.

They also discussed measures that could be taken to prevent food contamination.

Hjh Maria Hj Saban said she found the course helpful and was impressed with the outcome.

“This is a good initiative especially for those who are just starting their businesses. It is useful as it tells you the basic things you need to know like where to store your products.”

The briefing was presented by Habibah Awg Abdul Razak, agricultural chemist from the Food Microbiology Laboratory of the Agrifood Unit and Dk Hjh NoorAyu Rohayadinah Pg Hj Abd Razak, senior health inspectorate from the Ministry of Health’s Food Safety and Quality Control Division.

The Brunei Times