Much progress is made in Ethiopia with consulting SNV. The dairy food safety module of the dairy development programme named “Building Rural Income Through Inclusive Dairy Business Growth in Ethiopia” (BRIDGE – designed to support the development of the dairy sector in Ethiopia) is gaining momentum and bearing fruit. Both consultants Dirk Harting and Kees Sonneveld have visited Ethiopia this year already several times.
Key consultancy events
Key consultancy events have been undertaken, which started with an assessment of the industry’s challenges and assisting federal and regional authorities with its planning in regulating food safety aspects of the dairy industry. During the summer a high-level delegation of representatives of relevant authorities and dairy industry visited The Netherlands to gain insight in developed technologies and organisation dealing with food safety of dairy milk and dairy products. Meanwhile the regional authorities of Oromia have started a project aiming to monitor the quality of raw milk in the collection chain and traders in particular. As a result, we see a significant reduction of milk that is adulterated with water. Federal authorities have put in place the proclamation, regulating the monitoring of milk quality of the industry.
During October both consultants conducted a Gap analysis among several dairy processors, which aimed to assist these processors in improving their processes and quality of their produce. The reports were well received, and a plan was drafted with the stakeholders to organise a pilot project named Development Road Map 2023, which includes training in Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and implementation of these practices.
Planning & implementing the pilot project
As per request of SNV this pilot will also include for Bles Dairies to strengthen local consultancy capacities, which means that the consultants of Bles Dairies will cooperate with a local consultancy firm and its consultants in planning and implementing the pilot project. Meanwhile we have recently engaged in a partnership agreement with the LM Group, and we are eager to continue assisting SNV Ethiopia with implementing the pilot project Development Road map 2023.
Ethiopia continues to face a high burden of under-nutrition and food insecurity. Development of nutritious dairy products can support the country in addressing this challenge. In recent years, there are serious concerns in Ethiopia around the quality and safety practices of milk, such as adulteration with water and other substances, presence of antimicrobial residues, aflatoxins and microbial loads exceeding acceptable levels. Such incidences threaten human health, lower consumers’ confidence in the sector, and put farmers’ income at risk. Keeping milk safe is a prerequisite for dairy if it is to contribute to healthy nutrition.
Recent milk product quality control effort by Ethiopian Food and Drug Authority (EFDA) and Oromia milk Market Regulation has created a window of opportunities to regain consumers’ trust by improving milk quality and systems that support assured milk quality and safety. The standards of milk quality and safety which has been made mandatory will give consolidative power to regulatory bodies like EFDA. SNV BRIDGE, a project that is supported by the Netherlands government and works towards an improved dairy sector performance in Ethiopia, is positioned to contribute to coordinating the efforts of regulatory bodies and implementing partners to ensure the quality and safety of milk and dairy products supplied to the consumers.
One of the areas SNV BRIDGE can support on, is the organization and execution of an exposure visit to countries like the Netherlands, which is anticipated to enable relevant actors and stakeholders working on milk safety and quality control to acquire knowledge from counterparts in other countries in order to support the establishment of a system that will ensure milk quality in Ethiopia. The Netherlands has a large history of dairy production, resulting in strong expertise and well developed technologies to ensure optimal quality levels. By selecting the right individuals working in the Ethiopian dairy sector and supporting them to participate in an outgoing mission to the Netherlands will not only create awareness of the importance of dairy quality will also create a network between the stakeholders (from the two countries) for future cooperation on the improvement of the Ethiopian dairy value chain.