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Capacity Building Towards Accredited Certification Of Food Safety Management Systems In Ethiopia

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dc.contributor.author Knoetze, Anya
dc.date.accessioned 2021-09-08T05:30:56Z
dc.date.available 2021-09-08T05:30:56Z
dc.date.issued 2019-09
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/2209
dc.description Dissertation en_US
dc.description.abstract Food has become an easy commodity to trade, especially on continents where many countries are stricken by poverty, drought, food insecurity, political uncertainties and various types and forms of disease and health challenges based on, for example, malnutrition. Food can be produced by small businesses and trade can be informal in order to sustain a community. The export of food is, however, required to support economic growth, and cross-border trade has become increasingly formal through the demands in the trading of safe food. The burden of food-borne disease, its link to food insecurity and possible litigation for the food handler has led to the development of controlled food safety management systems (FSMS). Some systems are voluntary through the application of national or international standards and some systems are being used to ensure trade through the application of private standards and schemes, which in some way appears to be mandatory in order to trade, but is still not regulatory. Both system types are in demand to demonstrate verified compliance with the overall aim to mitigate food safety risks. The need to comply with such systems is a burden to the food handler and, as such, is a constraint to sustainable economic development. They are perceived by some to be an additional technical barrier to trade. In developing countries, the informal food trade as a means of sustainable livelihood has been increasing and is thus becoming a potentially valuable resource for trade with developed countries. Through their membership of the WTO, which has an obligation to support developing nations, such countries are provided with various types of sponsored assistance intended to help them achieve necessary economic growth and sustainability. The trading agreements of the WTO support developing countries with the eradication of barriers to trade, but also place them in a position to participate in verified compliance with international standards and best practices. This has led to food handlers of developing countries being faced with the dilemma of only being able to engage in cross-border trade when formal food safety certification can be demonstrated. Ethiopia, is similar to many of the developing countries on the African continent in terms of its challenges to be sustainable and to grow economically. As such, it became one of the nominated sponsor countries that had to be supported with the development of their National Quality Infrastructure (NQI). Some parts of the NQI had already been established, but required assistance to ensure their proper functioning, especially towards food safety control and certification needs in terms of conformity assessment. Various donor organizations have frequently been deployed to Ethiopia and are working collectively on building capacity in support of sustainable development and economic growth. One of the sponsor programmes involved in the support to the Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia (QSAE) was the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise (ECAE). The ECAE had to set up an FSMS certification scheme for Ethiopia with the overall aim to be accredited as part of the functional operation of the NQI within the country. This study was conducted in Ethiopia in support of building capacity towards the establishment, application and accreditation of an FSMS certification scheme based on ISO 22000 (2005). The project stemmed from efforts applied to developing countries as part of the WTO‟s role and responsibility in promoting trade, supporting developing countries and ensuring the appropriateness of NQIs in accessing global markets. The aim of the study was primarily to establish the success of this mediation and the application of experts through a donor funding organization. The study ultimately aimed to assess the effectiveness of capacity building projects instituted by donor organizations on the establishment, for example of sustainable FSMS certification through NQI development, utilizing Ethiopia as a case study. An overview analysis was conducted to establish the collaborative roles of the NQI role players in relation to the needs for the operation of a certification body and in general the support to a food handler who requires certification and also to ensure safe food is produced, handled and traded. The emphasis of the study was placed on the activities, processes and competencies of the ECAE, the nominated „national‟ certification body in Ethiopia. The ECAE was already certifying against the ISO 9001 standard, applied for quality management systems (QMS), and had already achieved the accreditation for this certification scheme. These certification processes had to be extended to include food safety, and in particular ISO 22000, a recognized international standard applied to support the trade of safe food. Further empirical work included a gap assessment of the QMS manual established for QMS certification and all the relevant certification processes that could be applied to food safety certification and also in what way food safety certification processes can be integrated with the QMS certification processes. The assessment of the QMS manual was consequently extended to the auditor pool to determine whether the current pool of auditors qualified for the competency requirements set out by the international standard for food safety certification, for example ISO/TS 22003 (2007). The study subsequently investigated, and developed training sessions for food safety certification personnel. This involved lecture-based training on the developed FSMS certification processes as well as overviews of the ISO 22000 standard and its application in a food handling facility. The classroom training was supported by the practical application of food safety auditing practices in the field where certified and non-certified food facilities were visited. The study was conducted over a period of two years and encompassed assessments, identification of gaps, development of the required certification processes, and progress assessments with regard to the application of the developed processes to ensure a successful accreditation of the FSMS certification scheme. Information available on NQI on high-level was found to be readily available, however operational food safety-specific information relevant to Ethiopia was limited. Literature highlighted the fact that developing countries, which include Ethiopia, face challenges with the development and on-going effective and viable application of a NQI framework due to, for example lack of resources. Technical barrier to trade are a further predicament that developing countries have to contend with. It is suggested that a carefully planned assessment of the level of capacity and therefore the level of the need for capacity building be carried out and evaluated before a capacity building project is initiated. Through the gap analysis conducted this study further found that the primary QMS provided by Ethiopian Certification Directorate was generally falling short of supporting further incorporation of a secondary certification scheme. In chapter 4 of this study an assessment was done to measure implementation of gap analysis related strategies following an agreed period. The result showed that the strategies suggested during phase 1 were not implemented due to various reasons, with the result that the next phase of capacity development could not be realised. The study findings ultimately suggest that donor-based capacity building projects do not always have the intended result, primarily due to poor project management, resistance to change and unrealistic time frames. Also, the beneficiaries did not take adequate ownership of the initiatives. The study further revealed that unique dynamics related to national characteristics such as culture, change management resistance, race and gender considerations, traditional beliefs, etc. play a fundamental role in the success of implementation of FSMSs by external (international) experts. It is recommended that national and culture dynamics be a consideration in selecting beneficiaries, international experts, methodologies and strategies, and be reflected in the development of novel project management approaches. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Central University of Technology, Free State en_US
dc.title Capacity Building Towards Accredited Certification Of Food Safety Management Systems In Ethiopia en_US
dc.type Other en_US

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