Countries / Territories

Helping SMEs become more competitive locally and internationally through compliance with international quality & food standards

  • In Kenya, through use of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) capacity building for selected processors/exporters of mango and chili, enterprises are in a better position to comply with buyer food-safety requirements and other specifications. The project engaged only local expertise on HACCP, an internationally recognized system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food, to provide advisory services to the enterprises with the goal of further building local capacity. Two local experts from Kenya, previously trained by ITC, are now part of a pool of local experts engaged to train SMEs and local trainers in Tanzania and Zambia.

    “We at Asili Foods have gained a lot of market access for our products since we started implementing HACCP through the ITC project. We have also increased our yields because of less raw material wastage. High profits have been realized and (we) have even been able to start constructing a new production unit. We thank ITC very much for the technical support given that has seen us this far.”

    Rehema Madega – Director, Asili Foods, Kenya.

    “Since we at Mace Foods Limited started HACCP implementation, we have been able to do proper monitoring of all processes in production thus improving on quality and minimizing wastage. We have also been able to capture additional markets for our products as a result of implementing HACCP.”

    Tedyline Murylah – Food Safety Team Leader, Kenya.

    “Implementing HACCP has enabled Greenforest Foods Ltd. to increase customer satisfaction through positive feedback compared to before implementation, specifically as a result of a significant reduction in physical hazards in our product range.’’… “HACCP has enabled Greenforest Company to increase its market share by exporting to the neighbouring country (Uganda), and it is in the process of exporting a new product – beeswax – to Japan and Europe.”

    L. Kalya – (QC/Production Team Leader) Greenforest, Kenya.

    In Tanzania, at the beginning of the HACCP intervention most enterprises had not even certified their products under national standards, and some of them did not even have plans to do so. The project sensitized them not only to improve their operations to ensure safe food production, but also to operate legally. Now, almost 10 enterprises out of the 15 supported by the project have both Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) certification and Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) registration for their products and premises. According to the Tanzania Honey Council (THC), the capacity building has increased enterprises’ confidence to market their products more, not only in the local market but also to look at the possibility of crossing borders.

    From 2014 to 2016, several staff/trainers from various institutions also benefitted from the HACCP capacity building, including the THC, the Small Industries Development Organization (SIDO), the TBS, the TFDA and the Tanzania Forestry Services (TFS). In addition, in 2015, the project also trained TBS staff on food safety auditing and as a result, the institution is applying for auditing accreditation.

    In 2016, ITC contracted TBS as the certification body to carry out certification audits in Tanzania for 10 enterprises that the project advised and trained in quality compliance, with a view to ensuring sustainability, since enterprises will require more annual audits once the project ends. The enterprises will have to bear the costs of these audits, hence ITC’s strategy of building auditing capacity in local institutions, which will be more accessible and affordable for local enterprises.

    The project also provided a stimulus for TBS, through its technical committee, to revise the national standard (mandatory standard-TZS 851:2006) for honey to align it with the Codex standard (Codex standard 12-1981) for Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) levels. HMF is used as an indicator of heating or storage at elevated temperatures, and as an indicator of the adulteration of honey with invert syrups (syrups of glucose and fructose). TBS worked with stakeholders, which included THC, to carry out the research and collection of samples for honey from all over Tanzania. The samples were analysed to get technical input to facilitate revision the revision / updating process required by the honey sector for the national standards.

    The project built the capacity of the Association of Mango Growers (AMAGRO) in global good agricultural practices (Global GAP), which are a requirement for entry into lucrative export markets. In June 2016, ITC trained 15 trainers in Global GAP and 15 farmers and the rest were trainers. AMAGRO reported that this training was very useful in strengthening the skills of their internal experts. AMAGRO is now in a position to conduct similar training for more farmers and producers.

    Six Zambian honey processing companies attain HACCP certification:
    After three years of training and coaching provided by the project, six SMEs improved understanding and compliance with food safety standards and Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) leading to them received third party certification from TQCSI Egypt. This was the culmination of more than 30 HACCP technical and practical training events conducted in Zambia including on-site visits by local trainers. The quality compliance component of the project was by far its greatest investment in terms of financial expenditure.

    Permanent Secretary Ms Kayula Siame presented the HACCP certificates from TQCSI Egypt to the enterprises on behalf of the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe at the Ministry’s offices on the 19th of April 2017. Speaking at the same event, Finnish Ambassador to Zambia Olkkonen Timo Mikael said Finland is very pleased that the project is yielding concrete results.

    “Dear ITC and ZDA teams,
    We would like to express our gratitude for all your efforts, time, energy and finances you have invested in us over these past years. You believed in us and most of us made it through”.

    Trevor Watson, Managing Director, Luano Honey

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