“Many companies and farmer cooperatives would like their farmers to be certified to meet standards. Yet, often they lack a tool to manage this cost-effectively”, says Mr. Rikki Aguda, CEO of Society of Crop Agribusiness Advisors in Kenya. Exporters face the market pressure to comply with GlobalGAP, for example, and while the food that is exported meets the highest standards, what about the food safety for local consumers in Africa? How to keep compliance simple to verify and – affordable?
Kenya Market-led Horticulture Project, or HortImpact, is a Netherlands government funded program led by SNV and its partners Delphy, Hivos and Solidaridad that contributed to increased food security, increased incomes, and a dynamic and sustainable horticulture sector in Kenya. The five-year project that just completed has assisted SOCAA and eProd Solutions to conduct six case studies to promote eProd as a Supply Chain Management system for managing the compliance with the upcoming Kenya Standard, or 1758 part II for fruits and vegetables, in a simple and cost-effective manner.
“The principles for Kenya KS1758 are the same as for any other standard, whether it is FairTrade, UTZ, Rain Forest Alliance, etc.”, says Almut van Casteren, MD of eProd Solutions. There is always a known set of questions that periodically needs to be repeated at several levels of the value chain, such as packhouse, groups, farmers and fields. This information collection requires a lot of planning and information management which makes is costly and cumbersome. Small market players are discouraged and those facing lots of demand and supply uncertainties simply can’t afford to make such investments. While, if appropriate tools are available, compliance and its verification are integrated in the daily business operations, generating trust throughout the value chain, resulting in long-lasting trade relationships. eProd provides an affordable and flexible platform to manage compliance for certification.