Story: A Ticket to Trade (en)
“We don't have buyers due to lack of training in sanitary standards and proper maintenance. We are going to capitalize on this training and share what we have learned with our parent producers to increase our yields” Coulibaly Fanda, SCOOPS CFDL Côte d’Ivoire Cooperative Secretary said, acknowledging some of the challenges for fruit and vegetable farmers in Cote d’Ivoire.
Traore Kone Fatoumata, Head of the Production and Quality Control Department from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, highlighting the importance of the training for future export success said, “The training had allowed me to understand how best to support local producers to ensure that everything we do meets export standards”.
Coulibaly and Traore were among 45 farmers and selected national food safety professionals who participated in the Global G.A.P. training with the support of the International Trade Centre’s UK Trade Partnerships Programme (UKTP) in December 2020.
Global G.A.P is a certification scheme essential for exporting fresh produce to the United Kingdom and Europe.
As a requirement in UK and EU markets, certification in good agricultural practices is a ticket to export for many small, rural producers who would not otherwise be able to get their products to these markets.
Participants included fruit and vegetable cooperatives, business support organizations and small and medium-sized producers looking to enhance their agricultural practices and improve their export opportunities.
Phase 1 of this ‘access to quality’ intervention consisted of face-to-face training in Abidjan and Korhogo conducted over four days. After a three-day in-house training, participants had the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the food quality standard on a field trip to a producer’s farm. The participants welcomed the opportunity to share knowledge during this experience.
The training sessions on food safety and global standards were complemented by a knowledge exchange on brand reputation and marketing around food safety and quality compliance.
Next steps: From training to the certification
In Phase 2 of the Global Gap Quality component, 10 certification ready small and medium-sized enterprises will receive in-depth hands-on support and technical advice to implement food safety systems and to achieve certification compliance for the UK and EU markets.
Additional support to fulfill the requirements of certification will include assistance with documentation and record-keeping as well as the required laboratory tests on soil and water.
Global G.A.P. training brings multiple benefits to farmers in Cote d’Ivoire including a better understanding of how to apply global standards pertaining to food safety, the environment, labour conditions and product quality, as well as providing significant prospects for improved export potential and increased incomes.
Working towards the goal of supporting women’s economic empowerment and gender equality, UKTP Cote d’Ivoire interventions continue to foster opportunities for women entrepreneurs and agricultural producers.
The UKTP programme is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.