Food Safety Taskforce Inaugurated
Accra, March 12, 2020. HortiFresh in consultation with public and private actors in the food safety and certification sector has inaugurated a “Food Safety Taskforce” aimed at developing strategies and activities to address current and emerging food safety and certification challenges in the horticulture sector. The event took place at the Swiss Spirit Alias Hotel on March 12, 2020.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Policy Officer in charge of Agribusiness at the Netherlands Embassy, Mr. Abdulai Abdul Rahaman, indicated the importance of enhancing institutional efforts to improve the food safety situation of fruits and vegetables in Ghana.
According to Mr. Rahaman, the taskforce will push the agenda for food safety and improve consumer confidence. He expressed appreciation for the initiative to all stakeholders gathered and challenged them to make the horticulture sector more attractive also in the context of youth employment.
At the event, the Programme Manager of HortiFresh, Mrs. Sheila Assibey-Yeboah shared highlights on the objectives of the taskforce, which include reviewing the food safety situation in the country and promote both international and domestic standards of fruit and vegetables. In addition, she indicated that the Taskforce will coordinate campaigns and consumer education on food safety, as well as support the enforcement of food safety standards that exist in the country. She also mentioned that HortiFresh plays a facilitating role to support activities of the Taskforce.
The Taskforce is made up of various stakeholders from research and knowledge institutes, exporter associations, processors and retailers of fruit and vegetables, regulatory authorities and agencies, development partners and agro input dealers.
ABOUT HORTIFRESH & THE FOOD SAFETY TASKFORCE
The Food Safety Taskforce is a new body of Ghanaian stakeholders active in the fruit and vegetable sector that deals with food safety.
HortiFresh is a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which has prioritized commercial agriculture in its strategic plan of moving from aid to trade. The programme’s mission is to establish “a sustainable and internationally competitive fruit and vegetable sector that contributes to inclusive economic growth, food and nutrition security” in Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The HortiFresh programme consists of two components: fruits and vegetables. In Ghana, attention is being given to the fruit and vegetable sectors while focusing on other regional fruit supply chain dimensions in the surrounding countries like Ivory Coast. The objectives include improving productivity in the vegetable sector; facilitating more efficient markets, including linking vegetable producers and other value chain operators with the Dutch private sector; improving the business climate and further professionalizing the value chain for vegetable production and consumption in Africa.