ETHIOPIA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has unveiled a new training programme on food safety management practices aimed at boosting standards at both local and international markets.

The training which involves food producers, retailers, industry experts and policy makers also has a sole purpose of developing the country’s food processing industry and putting Ethiopian produce at a better competitive advantage in the export market.

In collaboration with Ethiopian Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (FMHCACA), IFC organised an event focusing on empowering local producers as well as promoting best global practices in food safety management.

FMHCACA has the responsibility of undertaking inspection and quality control of health and health-related products, premises, professionals and health delivery processes.

They seek to promote high level food hygiene practices and food safety measures among food producers and handlers.

During the event, emphasis was put on better food safety practices, recent advances in food safety and efforts put in place to better food safety standards.

“In Ethiopia, better agribusiness practices can help boost revenues, reduce costs, manage risks and open new markets for farmers and entrepreneurs in the food industry.

IFC’s work in Ethiopia builds on our experience in other countries around the globe where we helped local players grow and create new opportunities,” said Sarah Ockman, IFC’s Global Food Safety Advisory Lead.

This is part of IFC’s Global Food Safety Advisory Platform whose approach supports agribusiness industry in emerging economies by improving food safety standards in modern food value chains.

According to IFC, the program has helped attract more than US$290 million of investment in over 150 IFC clients globally, generating US$230 million in increased sales.

It assists local companies in applying international food safety standards in the agribusiness value chain through improved efficiencies, cost savings, contributing strong brand value, also meet regional and export market requirements.

The platform also holds the Africa Food Safety Project funded by the government of Japan which facilitates the upgrading of food safety management systems of local companies to improve their efficiency and competitiveness in a range of projects including training local consultants and raising awareness on food safety.

In a series of investments in small business, IFC recently announced a US$10 million in Rwanda to increase capacity for SME’s and create jobs.

In Ukraine, it partnered with Myanmar Rice Federation to boost growth in the rice industry.