In the last couple of years, the demand and price of panela (unrefined whole cane sugar) has gone down, deeply affecting thousands of smallholder farmers and producers in Colombia. Organic panela export prices to the USA can be four times higher than the local price in Colombia.
However, panela producers cannot export to the USA if they do not comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). A volunteer is needed to carry out trainings and a feasibility analysis for four organic panela producers to understand and comply with the requisites stated in the FSMA. It is expected that at the end of the assignment, the host organization will know exactly how to comply with FSMA standards.
FSMA Compliance Manual for panela producers
Feasibility analysis for panela producers to export to the USA
Training presentations and material for panela producers on the FSMA
Trip report (to be completed on the final day of the assignment in-country)
Recommendations Form (to be completed on the final day of the assignment in-country)
One blog post on the experience
Desired Qualifications of Volunteer
Education: Bachelors degree
Experience working in food safety, if possible on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
Language: Spanish fluency preferred
Experience training adults in food safety preferred
Experience in international commerce and exportation to the USA preferred
Experience working in a developing country preferred
Additional Salary Information: The assignment requires a two-week on-ground presence in Bogotá, Colombia. The program has a small budget to cover airfare, local accommodation, and transportation for the two-week duration.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation is implementing the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Rural Enterprise Development (RED) strategy in Colombia to support the development, application, and expansion of financial, commercial and technical agricultural services for smallholder farmers, especially women and youth, with the intention of generating sustainable, broad-based economic growth and job creation.
The program objectives are:
1) to expand agricultural sector access to financial services; and
2) to increase agricultural sector productivity and profitability, thereby raising incomes and creating jobs.
Volunteers will be deployed to address systemic capacity constraints for farmers and lenders in the country to unlock finance for improved agricultural production; new access to finance will lead to broader utilization of agricultural technologies and increased sales and incomes. Our demand-driven approach will resolve specific market constraints to increase farmers’ and agribusinesses’ access to opportunities for growth through productivity, production efficiency, and market connectivity.