The USAID funded Farmer-to-Farmer Food Safety and Quality (F2F FSQ) 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, who travel to Lebanon to implement planned assignments. F2F FSQ leverage the Global Markets Program (GMaP), owned by the Global Food Security Initiative (GFSI) which provides a framework of competencies and two toolkits, to help growers and processors conduct a self-assessment to identify where they fall against a Basic or Intermediate Level of food safety and quality requirements.
Based on an up-to-date assessment, Lebanese processors are in need for updating their food safety systems to be complaint with well-known food safety standards. This will enable food processors to have higher chances in penetrating new export markets, thus receiving fresh US dollars that will enable them to sustain their businesses during the Lebanese economic crisis.
The host organization requesting this assignment is a family-owned business producing organic cereal bars and repacking organic cereals. The host has a basic food safety knowledge and aims to improve their current practices to be complaint with the international recognized food safety certificates. Currently, the company applies the basic food safety practices and lack the needed information and expertise in designing an effective food safety management system (FSMS) system. In addition to working with the host, a training on the same topic is to be delivered to university graduate students, which will increase their knowhow through example case studies as they prepare themselves for the job market.
The host organization requires additional technical support and are requesting a volunteer consultant to train their technical team on the ISO 22000:2018 standard requirement.
The USAID funded Farmer-to-Farmer program is responding to the urging needs of agri-food producers and processors during the pandemic and the economic crisis. For COVID-19, the program worked on identifying the needs of food processers and delivered two webinars on the best practices to control virus transmission in food facilities, and on the food safety emergency and preparedness response for food industries.
With the challenging economic situation, the country is currently passing through, food industries are doing their best to increase their sales especially with the reduction of product imports. Food processing facilities need to upgrade their current food safety systems to be complaint with one of the well-known food safety standards and certificates, which will enable them to secure new export markets.
The host organization is a family owned business producing organic cereal bars and repackaging of organic products and introducing them to the Lebanese market. The company aims to enter new local and export markets; thus, they are committed to introduce the food safety mindset to the facility and are working toward meeting the ISO 22000:2018 requirements. However, they lack the needed information and expertise in designing an effective food safety management system (FSMS) system. Thus, to meet the ISO 22000:2018 requirements, the host requires assistance in the following topics:
Introduction to ISO 22000:2018
FSMS best practices
Moreover, a training is requested to be delivered for university students and food professionals. ISO 22000 is well known in Lebanon; However, many industries aim to shift to FSSC 22000, a GFSI recognized standard. The Lebanese food processors and young professionals lack the knowledge on FSSC 22000 certificate application at the food industries and very few processors passed this certification. As such there is a need to build the knowhow of food science university graduates and food safety professionals on this certificate and its requirements with practical examples on its application and benefits.
The first part will include an overview of ISO 22000:2018 and FSSC 22000, Similarities and Differences (PAS 220) and Challenges of shifting to FSSC 22000. The first day will be attended by food safety professionals, university professors, and students.
The second part of the training will include practical examples from food facilities from the US on how FSSC 22000 can be implemented and will be attended by the host university and graduate students.
A local volunteer will aid the US volunteer experts in organizing the online webinar and identifying the number of students that will attend the practical session and follow up on the assignment.
C. Objectives and Outcomes of the Assignment
To increase the host knowledge on FSMS mainly ISO 22000:2018 standard
To build the capacity of food processors and graduate students in topics related to food safety and quality
To guide the attendees on ISO 22000 and FSSC 22000 standards and its implementation
To practically identify how GFSI food safety certificates can be implemented in food facilities
Host staff trained on ISO 22000:2018 standard requirements
Increased food facilities and university students’ knowledge on ISO 22000:2018 and FSSC 22000 certification
Practical knowledge acquired
Increased chances of food processors for new market access
The recruited volunteer is expected to have the following skills and qualifications:
Educational Background: Food Science, or equivalent
More than 5years of practical knowledge and experience in implementing food safety inspections.
Familiar in applying updated food safety management systems including ISO 22000:2018 and FSSC 22000.
Training Skills, including training in group settings.
Good writing and computer skills
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.
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