Castel Malawi Limited has said it did not receive any formal communication from Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) before the bureau quarantined Castel’s Sobo products which contain a banned substance called Tartrazine.
According to Castel, on 26th June MBS approached traders and advised them to stop selling Sobo squash products because they contain Tartrazine, a colouring agent. Representatives of MBS went on to storm Castel factories in Blantyre and Lilongwe where they quarantined the Sobo squash products.
Speaking at a press conference which was held at Castel’s visitors centre in Makata, Blantyre yesterday, the company’s managing director Gilles Leclerc said they were not given an opportunity to explain themselves to the certifying body.
“No opportunity was given for us to explain or defend our position prior to them launching these actions,” He said.
He added that all their products are certified by MBS before they are released for trading purposes. This means, the Sobo products in question qualify to be on the market as they underwent all the necessary processes.
The company bemoaned MBS’s actions which it says have affected its business since the company is not allowed to sell its Sobo, hence production has been put to a halt.
Castel believes the ban will have a negative bearing on the country`s economy considering that the company is in the top 10 of tax paying businesses in Malawi.
As the drinks producer await a favourable action from MBS, it has maintained that it has not changed the recipe for Sobo squash given the number of products which contain Tartrazine on the market.
Castel has further emphasized that the company does not sell products with components supposedly carcinogenic or that cause diseases. As such the company has promised to always serve its customers as best as it can.