The Farmer-to-Farmer program provides technical assistance to host organizations working in agriculture production and/or agro-processing focusing on food safety and quality through US volunteer experts. Although the main goal remains Food safety and quality, the program has a very limited capabilities to implement flexible assignments that represent a significant need and result in a noticeable impact. During the COVID-19 pandemic, and as it is a newly discovered virus, it has been proven by practice that it is a highly transmissible virus, fatal to people with lower immunities. In its efforts to limit its transmission, the Egyptian government took series of actions to control the spread of virus including a announcing the state of emergency, holding schools and universities study, limit and prohibit gatherings, limit the movement of the citizen (partial curfew) and decrease the number of workforce in government locations and companies. Early July 2020, the government started reopening the country and most of businesses in-country started practicing its activities and taking health precautions. Most of food business sector remains operational serving the community and meet the high demands of food supplies. Thus, burdens were put on food inspection personnel to continue working to ensure that safe food products are available the markets. To handle the situation, food safety inspection authorities started implementing adaptation strategies including developing contingency plans, working from home, self-isolation for infected personnel, taking health preventative precautions during inspection visits, etc.
As we all understand now that Covid-19 will stay a threat until a vaccine will appear, food inspectors need to adopt best practices in health presentative measures during inspection and they need to understand what other food inspection authorities are adopting. The Farmer-to-Farmer program responded to this new emerging need by providing training and awareness to food inspectors through remote volunteering and in cooperation with the USDA-funded TAIB project. The requested volunteer expert will work remotely to conduct a webinar with a group of food inspectors to present the lessons learnt and best practices in food inspection during Covid-19.
As many companies and organizations around the world are having to acclimate to the new work environment and an inability to travel, the Farmer-to-Farmer team at Land O’Lakes Venture37 has been working on ways to adapt our program to the times. After some coordination between HQ, our teams in-country and the hosts we work with, we have had the chance to share out new assignments with a different focus: remote volunteering. With the continuation of work from home coupled with a lull in workloads, we thought this would be a great time to integrate this revised programming for interested volunteers. We are also temporarily pivoting our approach towards more ‘remote-friendly’ topics that continue to assist our host’s needs in-country while continuing to accommodate the availability of volunteers to assist in remote volunteering.
The Egypt F2F Program is implementing a remote volunteer assignment on Food Inspection During Covid-19. The objective of the assignment is to enhance the capacity of the targeted food inspectors in order to practice food inspections safely during outbreaks. During this assignment, the volunteer expert will conduct a webinar with a group of Egyptian food inspectors that will cover the health preventative measures, lessons learnt and best practices to conduct food inspection at the time of outbreaks. The presentation will cover the theoretical part, case studies &lessons learnt from the field.
The volunteer is expected to introduce recommendations on follow-up trainings and activities, if needed.
Objectives and Outcomes of the Assignment:
Educate the targeted food inspectors on how to practice food inspection during Covid-19 safely.
Present best practices and lessons learnt during food inspection phases (pre-inspection, the inspection, and post-inspection).
The recruited volunteer is expected to have the following skills and qualifications:
More than 10 years of practical knowledge and experience in food inspection
Knowledge in implementing diseases preventive measures guidelines for food facilities
Good writing and computer skills
Flexible for remote volunteering
About Land O'Lakes Venture37
Since 1981, we’ve been delivering market insights and technical expertise to agricultural development projects around the world. Through our affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of the U.S.’s largest farmer-owned agribusinesses, we’re Feeding Human Progress by improving agricultural systems.