The authority has already started with an in-house training of all its staff and review of current practices in the province’s town markets.
The recent one-day training and review facilitated by East New Britain Market Authority (ENBMA) nutrition supervisor, Monica Iwais, refreshed staff knowledge on principles of the Healthy Marketplace concept and stirred discussions on improving current challenges.
Speaking at the opening of the training, market manager Herman Valvalu acknowledged the great work of staff and stressed the importance of town markets.
“Our town markets are more than just a place for buying and selling. Town markets are a socio-economic hub. They are a meeting place, a place where our people can also socialise, share ideas, make friends, create relationships. They are an important local landmark and a simple place where our simple people meet.
“You all have done really well to bring our markets and the Authority to where it is now. This training will help us re-visit the initial purpose for creating our town markets and help us become even better in providing this service to the people of ENB,” said Valvalu.
Facilitator Monica Iwais emphasized the need to maintain healthy practices and environments in town markets.
“Foods leaving our markets must be safe for consumption and not be contaminated in anyway. Rules for various settings based on the Healthy Marketplace concept ensure the health of vendors and clients alike are protected. This is a key characteristic of a healthy market place,” said Iwais.
If practiced effectively, Healthy Marketplace settings promote:
- Hygienic marketplaces where safe water and sanitation facilities as well as proper solid waste disposal are provided;
- Prevention of chemical and microbiological contamination of food;
- Effective stakeholder management ensuring responsible authorities make every effort to improve food safety;
- Partnership between market administration, vendors and health and environment authorities to keep the market clean, healthy and safe place for the public;
- Local authorities and communities to have mechanisms in place to deal with natural and man-made disasters
During the training, Authority staff were given the opportunity to share their views, concerns and discuss practical solutions to current challenges.
Major topics discussed were related to selling of store goods in ENB markets, public relations and conflict resolution with vendors and the public, professionalism, storage, hygiene and healthy arrangement of food items being sold.
All staff that participated were encouraged to be true servants of the public and inspired to end the year on a high note.
ENBMA was recently named the model Market Authority in PNG and market authorities in other provinces are lining up for a chance to visit and get some ideas to improve their market settings.
The Authority will celebrate its tenth year in March 2019.
(Staff of East New Britain Market Authority attending the Healthy Market concept training)