Building food safety competence in Myanmar
Meeting food safety standards and buyer requirements in food processing factories is most challenging for many small and medium enterprises that seek to access high-value supply chains and export markets.
65 attendees from 33 enterprises, 3 sector associations, and the 20 food experts recently participated in a coaching session on “Introduction to food safety and food hygiene in the coffee, tea, pulses, oil seed, nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables value chains.”
The hybrid workshop event was conducted in Yangon and online. The local food safety experts, also known as Trainer cum Counsellors (TcCs), set an ambitious timeline to complete the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) implementation and get ready for the third-party audit within seven months.
FSMS is an essential tool to ensure safe practices are followed within a food business operation. To guarantee the safety of food, all businesses are required to put in place, implement and maintain an FSMS based on the principles of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.
Under the Arise Plus Myanmar project, funded by the European Union, the International Trade Centre (ITC) trained seven local food safety TcCs to coach Myanmar SMEs who in turn guided 7 honey processing factories to implement the HACCP system.
Two out of seven factories already achieved third-party HACCP certification and most of the remaining factories are ready for the HACCP audit.
“I enjoy training and coaching in food safety because I am passionate about entrenching a culture of food safety and quality in the food industry, particularly in developing countries,” said Ms Naomi Kitur, International Expert.
National Expert, Ms Saint Yi Htet stressed: “I want to be a Trainer-cum-Counsellor in food safety because I want to help enterprises so they can export Myanmar products to global markets”.
To extend the FSMS support other sectors, 20 more TcCs are now being developed to assist with the HACCP implementation of SMEs located in Yangon, Mandalay, Magway Regions, and Shan State.
Given the success of the training programme, ITC extended the coaching programme to other sectors. 20 SMEs of tea, coffee, fresh fruit & vegetable, beans, pulses, and oilseeds processing will benefit from this support. It is expected that the coaching will allow the companies to comply with HACCP requirements demanded by buyers and access new markets.
All TcCs previously attended the Myanmar Quality Champion Programme to sharpen their skills in teaching other related concepts, such as food safety management system.
About the project
ARISE Plus Myanmar project is supporting the improvement of the overall business environment and the increased participation in global value chains for the selected sectors. With an aim to contribute to inclusive and sustainable growth, the project supports greater connectivity and economic integration between Myanmar and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in line with the ASEAN Economic Community ( AEC) Blueprint 2025.