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					                 Project PFL/INT/857
Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety
 Training Programme for Improving the Quality and
         Safety of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables




                FINAL REPORT



                       Prepared by

                       Maya Pineiro
                   Luz Berania Díaz Ríos



         Food Quality and Standards Service (ESNS)
             Food and Nutrition Division. FAO




                             \

                        Jun, 2005.
                        Rome, Italy
         “Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety Training Programme for
                Improving the Quality and Safety of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables”




                              Acknowledgements


FAO/ESNS would like to express its gratitude to the FAO Divisions and FAO staff in
headquarters, and FAO Representations in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region,
who helped in the implementation of the project “Global Inventory, Reference Materials
and Food Safety Training Programme for Improving the Quality and Safety of Fresh
Fruit and Vegetables”. Special appreciation should also go to the external consultants
who contributed to the validation of the training manual through the different
subregional workshops held in Latin America and the Caribbean Region and to the
Natural Resources Institute (NRI) in the UK, for its valuable work in collecting and
cataloguing information included in the Global Database on Quality and Safety of Fresh
Fruit and Vegetables.
          “Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety Training Programme for
                 Improving the Quality and Safety of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables”



                                        Contents

                                                                                          Page

List of tables and figures                                                                 4

Project profile                                                                            6

Introduction                                                                               7

1. Objectives                                                                              9

2. Project technical components                                                            11

2.1. Capacity-building activities                                                          11

2.2. Information exchange                                                                  18

3. Project outcomes                                                                        20

3.1.Subregional workshops                                                                  21

3.2. Training materials                                                                    33

3.3. National action plans (NAPs)                                                          35

3.4. Case studies                                                                          51

3.5. Fresh fruit and vegetable quality and safety database                                 53

4. Conclusions and recommendations                                                         56

5. Financial statement                                                                     72

List of annexes                                                                            77
“Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety Training Programme for Improving the Quality
                             and Safety of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables”



                         List of Tables and Figures


                                           Figures
Figure 1                                        Training programme contents

Figure 2                                        Training programme strategy

Figure 3                                        Participants to subregional
                                                workshops/institutional participation

Figure 4                                        Number of beneficiaries of training
                                                activities – Andean countries
Figure 5                                        Number of beneficiaries of training
                                                activities – Southern Cone countries
Figure 6                                        Trainers trained during national
                                                workshops in Central American countries
Figure 7                                        Producers and other stakeholders
                                                benefiting from national training in
                                                Central American countries
Figure 8                                        Training materials prepared at the
                                                national level
Figure 9                                        Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Quality and
                                                Safety Database
Figure 10                                       Database structure
Figure 11                                       Total budget expenditure

                                           Tables
Table 1                                       Detailed training programme contents
Table 2                                       Countries benefiting from subregional
                                              workshops
Table 3                                       Subregional workshops held in Latin
                                              America and the Caribbean 2003–2004
Table 4                                       List of field visits
Table 5                                       Case studies illustrated in Subregional
                                              workshops
Table 6                                       External consultants taking part in the
                                              subregional workshops
Table 7                                       List of institutions implementing the
                                              National Action Plans
Table 8                                       Activities carried out by the national
                                              teams as part of the National Action
                                              Plans – Southern Cone countries
Table 9                                       Activities carried out by the national
                                              teams as part of the National Action
                                              Plans – Central American countries
Table 10                                      Activities carried out by the national



                                                4
“Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety Training Programme for Improving the Quality
                             and Safety of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables”


                                                teams as part of the National Action
                                                Plans – Andean countries
Table 11                                        Case studies under implementation
Table 12                                        Subregional workshops’ expenditure
Table 13                                        Financial support to National Action Plan
                                                implementation
Table 14                                        Expenditure in publications
Table 15                                        Global Inventory-Database
Table 16                                        Follow-up seminars
Table 17                                        Case studies, salaries and others




                                                5
“Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety Training Programme for Improving the Quality
                             and Safety of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables”



                                    Project Profile


Project title                    Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety
                                 Training Programme for Improving the Quality and Safety of
                                 Fresh Fruit and Vegetables


Project symbol                   PFL/INT/857/PFL


Project budget                   US$ 704 071


Duration                         2 years

EOD                              1 August 2002

NTE                              July 2004, extended until January 2005


Countries covered                Latin America and Caribbean



Responsible                      Food and Nutrition

                                 Food Quality and Standards Service ESNS/FAO


Funding                          Trust Fund 21 215

Budget holder                    Ezzeddine Boutrif

LTU                              Maya Pineiro

Technical officer                Luz Berania Diaz Rios




                                                 6
“Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety Training Programme for Improving the Quality
                             and Safety of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables”



Introduction
_______________________________________________
International trade of fresh fruit and vegetables is a billion-dollar business that has
increased significantly since the 1980s. The trade is important for many developing
countries and accounts for a significant income from hard-currency earnings. Losses
resulting from inadequate post-harvest handling, storage and distribution result in
diminished returns for producing countries. In recent years international markets have
rejected fruit and vegetables of inadequate overall quality, or containing non-authorized
pesticides, with pesticide residues and contaminants exceeding permissible limits,
inadequate labelling and packaging, and without the required nutritional information. To
reduce the risks from contamination associated with production and trade of fresh fruit
and vegetables and to promote market opportunities, efforts are under way by
governments and industry to develop and apply good practices throughout the food
chain. Stress is placed on implementing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in
production and harvest, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) especially during post-
harvest, and Quality and Safety Assurance Systems, such as hazards analysis and
critical control points (HACCP), throughout the food chain to avoid and to control
hazards.

Consequently, the Food and Nutrition Division of FAO has been working with
developing countries in food-safety policy advice, capacity-building and curricula for
training on quality assurance and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and has initiated a
number of outreach, education and training activities to promote GAPs and GMPs in the
production and post-harvest handling of fresh produce. These issues have indeed
become a priority for many countries due to microbial and chemical hazards associated
with their produce, and the introduction of stricter import controls in order to maintain
and enhance export opportunities.

As part of the capacity-building activities, since 1998 the FAO has carried out several
regional workshops in Latin America and the Caribbean: these identified the need for
integrated actions to address food safety and quality throughout the post-harvest chain
and highlighted the need for greater emphasis in the use of GAP and GMP in the
primary production of fruit and vegetables. The Food and Nutrition Division of FAO,
with inputs provided by these workshops prepared the project proposal, “Global
inventory, reference materials and food safety training programme for improving the
quality and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables”, which was approved in June 2002, as
part of the FAO action programme for the Prevention of Food Losses (PFL),
simultaneously with other four projects as follows:

   •    PFL/INT/856/PFL. Development of Sampling Guidelines for Pesticide
        Residues and Strengthening Capacity to Introduce Certification Systems for
        Trade in Fruit and Vegetables.
   •    PFL/INT/857/PFL. Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety
        Training Programme for Improving the Quality and Safety of Fresh Fruit and
        Vegetables.




                                                7
“Global Inventory, Reference Materials and Food Safety Training Programme for Improving the Quality
                             and Safety of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables”



   •    PFL/INT/858/PFL. Strengthening Capacities for Implementing Codex
        Standards, Guidelines and the Recommended International Codes of Practice for
        Control of the Use of Veterinary Drugs.
   •    PFL/INT/859/PFL. Capacity Building to Meet National Obligations under the
        IPPC and the Requirements of the International Standards on Phytosanitary
        Measures.
   •    PFL/INT/860/PFL. Milk and Dairy Products, Post-Harvest Losses and Food
        Safety in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Near East – Regional Approaches to
        National Challenges.

The project PFL/INT/857 focuses on the application of measures (GAP, GMP, GHP) to
prevent hazards at appropriate points in the fresh fruit and vegetable chain (production
and post-harvest stages – food chain approach or “from farm to table”). The project
implementation relies on two strategies – capacity-building and information exchange –
for improving quality assurance and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables, by contributing
to:

        – improving access to information on the availability of resource materials and
training activities for countries seeking opportunities for improving the quality and
safety of fresh produce;

       – assisting in providing linkages to world resources and international
organizations, building a spirit of cooperation to improve the quality and safety of fresh
produce, and to overcome international barriers to world markets and train personnel on
the application of GAP, GMP and HACCP principles;

        – training personnel employing the modality of “train the trainers” courses to
assure sustainability through replication of the learning experience gained at the
regional and national level, leading to increased awareness creation of the importance
and relevance of quality maintenance from production to the consumer.

This document – Final Report – presents the summary of the activities carried out
during the implementation of project PFL/INT/857, project outputs, conclusions and
recommendations for follow-up actions.




                                                8
        Project PFL 857- Objectives




1. PROJECT
OBJECTIVES




    9
                                                      Project PFL/INT/ 857- Objectives



1. Project objectives
_______________________________________________

1.1. Development objective
The long-term objective of the project is to increase global free trade and economic
opportunities for the fresh produce industry. It is assumed that capacity-building and
information exchange for improving quality assurance and the safety of fresh fruit and
vegetables will contribute to achieving this.

1.1.1. Specific objectives


- Develop an electronic decision support tool to aid policy-makers, planners and
project leaders working to improve the safe production, harvesting, handling, storage,
transport and marketing of raw fruit and vegetables in:

   •   identifying options for technology, policy and institutional development;
   •   obtaining access to reference information and information exchange;
   •   accessing tools for training, extension and awareness creation.

- Address a comprehensive food safety training programme (“train the trainers”) on
safety, handling, quality and marketing of fresh fruit and vegetables, at regional and
national level, by:

   •   providing a foundation of basic knowledge regarding food hazards and a
       national appreciation of the complexities involved in food-safety evaluations;
   •   providing a detailed understanding of the principles and practice of food safety
       using GAP, GMP and the HACCP process as referred to fresh fruit and
       vegetables;
   •   training professionals from government agencies, universities, industry, research
       institutions and local NGOs on food safety applying GMP, HACCP and risk-
       analysis approaches, with emphasis on microbiological risks of fresh fruit and
       vegetables, handling and marketing issues at producer’s level, and including
       national policy measures for implementation into their national food-control
       initiatives.




                                          10
         Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components




 . PROJE2CT T CHNICAL
22. PROJE. C\EECHNICAL
        CT T
      OMPONENTS
     CCOMPONENTS




         11
                                            Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components



2. Project technical components


PFL/INT/857, “Global inventory, reference materials and food safety training programme
for improving the quality and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables”, has been implemented
through two strategies: capacity-building and information exchange, as key elements for
improving quality assurance and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables. The time frame for
implementing the project was 22 months, as presented in Annex 1.



2.1. Capacity-building activities

As part of the capacity-building activities a training programme was prepared targeting
the following objectives:

a) General objective

To strengthen the institutional capacities, both public and private, of the Latin American
and the Caribbean countries to implement quality assurance and food safety programmes
for fresh fruit and vegetables, using the principles and practices of GAP, GMP and
HACCP.

b) Specific objectives


   •   Analyse the growing international importance of the horticultural sector in Latin
       America and Caribbean countries, identifying challenges and future opportunities.

   •   Present an integrated approach to the quality and safety concepts as applied to
       production and trade of fresh fruit and vegetables.

   •   Present the standards and regulations, both voluntary and mandatory, applicable to
       quality and safety issues.

   •   To “train the trainers” in the principles and practices of quality and safety issues
       throughout the food chain (emphasizing GAP, GMP and HACCP).

   •   Identify country opportunities and difficulties to implement quality and food safety
       programmes and suggest ways to overcome them.

c) Training programme framework

The structure, contents and methodology of the training programme rely on the following
principles or concepts:




                                           12
                                                    Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components



      •   Highlighting the importance of fresh fruit and vegetables in developing
          economies, as high value chains

    Fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV) as high value chains
    FFV results from processes involving multiple operations and sequential investments in order to
    supply production on time, in the form and place as required by the consumer (implying
    specialized transport and packaging, conservation, taxes and insurance, promotion, marketing
    profits, etc.). Due to the recent market developments and changes in consumption patterns (e.g.
    for health and convenience food), markets for FFV are becoming very dynamic, concentrated
    and highly competitive. Therefore, the differentiation of products, process or services is seen as
    a key strategy to succeed in the FFV markets, for example, by adding-value and achieving price
    stabilization through innovations.

    The participation of developing countries in the value chain for FFV is increasing, as it is
    reflected in the strong growth of the value of developing countries’ exports (US$ 4.5 billion
    from 1992 to 2001, representing an increase of 5 percent, from 33 to 37 percent of total world
    exports). Some countries have developed economies of scale in the supply of infrastructure,
    skilled labour, support services and information and are the leading world suppliers of FFV. For
    example, as reported by FAO (2003), Chile and Mexico share 53 percent of the world’s exports
    of avocado; Mexico, Philippines and Brazil share 62 percent of mango world exports; Costa
    Rica and Cote d’Ivoire share 61 percent of pineapple world exports. Developing countries such
    as China, Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, India,
    Malaysia, Peru, Guatemala, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, are all located among the top 30 world
    exporters of fresh fruit and vegetables (USDA, 2003).

    As a result of the dynamism of the world FFV markets, many developing countries are seeing
    fresh fruit and vegetables as important commodities to diversify their traditional exports.
    Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to find ways to upgrade farms/firms in
    developing countries, and address policy actions to help farmers to overcome the constraints
    and limitations needed to participate in the value chain for FFV. Initiatives attempting to
    improve the quality and safety of FFV, in order to comply with stricter market requirements, are
    certainly a way of contributing, in order to generate opportunities for farmers in developing
    countries.


•     The food chain approach


    Fresh fruit and vegetable chain approach
    A chain approach to FFV safety was adopted by project PFL/INT/857 with the understanding
    that all those involved in the production, management and distribution of FFV shared the
    responsibility for providing safe products. This implies the application of measures at
    appropriate points in the FFV chain – from pre-production practices to the point of sale or
    distribution to consumers – to prevent FFV contamination and to comply with the established
    norms and requirements. In the FFV chain, the adoption of preventive measures, such as good
    agricultural practices, good hygienic practices and good manufacturing practices, is extremely
    important because once the product becomes contaminated, there are few, if any, processes in
    the production and distribution steps capable of reducing or eliminating the source of
    contamination.




                                                   13
                                              Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components



•   Quality and safety as an integrated concept

Fresh fruit and vegetable quality as an integrated concept
For agrifood products, quality may be regarded as a complex characteristic of foods that
determines its value and acceptability by consumers (22nd Regional FAO Conference for
Europe, 2000). Therefore, as long as product quality is defined according to the needs of the
user, it will remain strongly influenced by the principles, values, culture and ethics of
individuals. Consumers may choose products not only by “product attributes”, but also by
“process attributes”, which involve the way in which they are produced and processed:
origin, environmental impact of production practices, etc.

Food safety, on the other hand, is considered as a product quality attribute and a non-
negotiable right of consumers. For project PFL/INT/857 this means improving those quality
process and/or product attributes that will fulfil the expectations of the consumer or end user
in specific market segments. Improving safety means improving the conditions to ensure that
safe FFV will reach consumers.




•   Quality and safety assurance by applying a HACCP-based approach
HACCP-based approach to fruit and vegetable production
HACCP is a system of quality assurance that anticipates and adopts preventive and control
measures, rather than relying on end product inspection and testing. HACCP involves a
detailed analysis of the whole production system to identify physical, chemical and
biological hazards and those points/process steps where control measures should be applied
to minimize or eliminate the risks of those hazards to acceptable levels. Some limitations
arise for the application of HACCP in primary production. For instance, it is not possible to
establish just one control ensuring hazard elimination. Internationally, mechanisms
establishing barriers along the chain to prevent and control are attempted. These preventive
measures, or good practices, together with proactive control and record-keeping strive to
keep hazards out of the food chain. In addition, it is also difficult to establish an acceptable
level for biological contaminants in FFV and efforts are directed to pathogen-free fresh
products. In the same way, relatively few steps during production or post-harvest handling
are addressed to reduce or eliminate biological contamination in already contaminated FFV.
As a result, GAP, GMP and GHP are in place to prevent such hazards.

However, beyond these limitations, the systematic approach used in HACCP (steps in logical
sequence, hazard analysis, establishing control points, applying control measures at specific
process steps, monitoring systems, etc.) is very useful as applied in safety programmes for
fresh fruit and vegetables, and it is the approach adopted by project PFL/INT/857.




                                             14
                                                 Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components



•   Consumer protection and market orientation

    Market orientation as a characteristic of high-value chains

    The last decade has witnessed profound changes in agro-industrial systems associated with
    foods, with the consumer as the driving force behind food supplies. Among others,
    urbanization and demographic growth, out-of-the-house female employment, increased
    income and more educated consumers have contributed to shifting production from bulk
    marketing to more segmented and individualized patterns. This has resulted in developing
    new products, flexible offers and new opportunities for high-value products, such as fresh
    vegetables and fruit. The objective of farms and firms in the FFV business is to make profits
    by satisfying consumers’ expectations. However, no matter how differentiated a specific
    food product is, consumers everywhere will expect it to be wholesome. The globalization of
    FFV trade means more produce safety risks, resulting in stringent quality and safety
    requirements imposed mainly by the importing markets to protect their consumers and also
    to develop competitive advantages. Therefore, within the framework of PFL/INT/857, food
    safety is seen as an issue concerning consumers all over the world, and also, as a trade issue
    because of its implication in the global trade of FFV as demonstrated by the impact of food-
    borne outbreaks associated with the consumption of FFV in developed markets.



•   Environmental and worker’s health considerations


    Environmental and worker’s health considerations
    Successful implementation of quality and safety programmes relies on the understanding by
    each of the players in the FFV chain of their role and commitment in achieving quality and
    safety aims. Building such understanding requires awareness creation on the importance of
    Q&S issues and the implementation of training programmes based on the assessment of the
    training needs. But in order to succeed, those training programmes should be accomplished
    with strategies that motivate the actors (farmers, packing house operators, transporters, etc.)
    to implement good practices. Improving working conditions (as well as the concern about
    health aspects of the workers involved in the production and handling of FFV) is certainly
    one of the ways of getting the commmitment of the FFV chain actors. On the other hand,
    enviromental aspects need to be considered when implementing measures to prevent or
    control the contamination of FFV. For example, in order to prevent the chemical
    contamination caused by excessive or innapropriate use of pesticides, the implementation of
    environment-friendly pest and diseases control methods (integrating cultural, physical,
    chemical and biological control) is crucial to achieving quality and safety aims. Under
    project PFL/INT/857 an analysis of the potential hazards to the enviroment and workers’
    health at each step of the production and handling process is recommended as a way of
    integrating these considerations into the quality and safety programmes.




                                                15
                                                   Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components



•      Inter-institutional and multistakeholder involvement


     Inter-institutional and multistakeholder involvement

     Many kinds of individuals, groups and organizations contribute to food quality and safety
     capacity in the FFV chain. Farmers, packing house staff, product handlers, retailers,
     consumers, food inspectors, laboratories and various central and decentralized-level
     government institutions (such as ministries and departments of agriculture, health, trade,
     commerce, industry, standardization, extension services), all play a role in FFV quality
     and safety. Therefore, given the complexities involved in FFV safety and the need for
     integrated and multidisciplinary work, project PFL/INT/857 activities attempt to articulate
     FFV chain actors, through different strategies: addressing training needs of different food
     chain actors by delivering training courses at the subregional, national and local levels; the
     consolidation of multidisciplinary and inter-institutional teams working on safety issues at
     the national level; and awareness-creation activities (e.g. posters, leaflets, meetings, group
     discussions) targeting different actors.



c) Training programme contents

The above principles related to the training programme framework were incorporated into
the training programme contents, as illustrated in Figure 1 and described in detail in Table
1.
Figure 1. Training programme contents

                                                                              Section I
                                                                         Workshop introduction



    Section II           Section III              Section IV                   Section V
    Importance of        Quality                  Applying food             Importance of
    the                  maintenance and          safety principles      certifications & other
    horticultural        enhancement              to the fresh fruit     quality schemes for
    sector in Latin      throughout the           and vegetables           the horticultural
    America and          FFV chain.               chain.                         sector.
    the Caribbean




                                                  16
                                        Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components




Table 1. Detailed training programme contents

Section I              Contains the objectives, methodologies and scope of the
                       workshop, pointing out to the trainers what is feasible and what is
Introduction to the    not feasible to achieve.
workshop.

Section II           Explores the trainer’s role in the fresh fruit and vegetables quality
                     and safety system, stressing the multidisciplinary approach and
Importance of the    the need to join private and public efforts for a successful
horticultural sector outcome. Issues relating to the dynamics of the fresh fruit and
in Latin America and vegetables sector are addressed to show the potential offered for
the Caribbean        the economic and social improvement of developing countries.
countries.           The importance of quality and safety to provide and sustain
                     opportunities for market access is stressed.

Section III           The section is divided into two parts. Part 1 reviews the
                      complexities and subtleties related to the concept of quality as
Quality maintenance applied to fresh fruit and vegetables (integrated concept), as well
and enhancement       as the relationship among the actors involved and the resulting
throughout the fresh private and public standards and certification schemes (each one
fruit and vegetables  adding new and stricter quality requirements). Part 2 illustrates
chain.                critical processes associated with quality losses in post-harvest
                      handling and provides examples of available technologies
                      designed to extend post-harvest life and minimize losses.
                      Guidelines for action plans to enhance quality in the post-harvest
                      steps are presented. Specific attention is given to hazards
                      associated with deterioration in quality attributes, particularly
                      taste, smell, texture, consistency and post-harvest life (product
                      attributes).
Section IV            Divided into two parts, the first part provides a clear
                      understanding of the safety concept as applied to the demand and
Applying food safety trade of fresh fruit and vegetables and the requirements of Codex
principles to the     Alimentarius regarding food safety. Part 2 focuses on safety-
fresh fruit and       assurance programmes, including prerequisite programmes (GAP,
vegetables chain.     GMP, GHP, SOPs) and HACCP. Practical exercises, case studies
                      and field visits allow the trainers to develop safety-assurance
                      programmes applied to primary production based on the HACCP
                      approach.
Section V             Reviews the impact of certification schemes enforced by dynamic
                      import markets for fresh fruit and vegetables, with examples from
Importance of         Latin American experiences matching international standards.
certifications and    These standards cover quality attributes and safety requirements
other quality         as well as others related to production methods, the environment
schemes for the       and ethical matters. The last part of the section deals with
horticultural sector. establishing action plans at all levels for food quality-assurance
                      and safety programmes with responsibilities clearly attributed to
                      participants.



                                       17
                                              Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components




d) Training programme strategy

The training programme was implemented using the strategy of “training the trainers” on
safety, handling, quality and marketing of fresh fruit and vegetables. Training activities
were led at subregional, national and local level, as indicated in Figure 2. The strategy was
to train a core group of the trainers by delivering subregional workshops. These trainers
became the leading group responsible for carrying out national training workshops to train
national multipliers, who then trained other stakeholders in different regions in the
country.

Figure 2. Training programme strategy




The strategy adopted by project PFL/INT/857 of training the trainers allowed:

   •   sharing experiences at the regional and subregional level;
   •   taking into account national priorities by adopting training contents and materials
       to the national and local realities;
   •   reaching different stakeholders and different FFV chain actors;
   •   wider reach of beneficiaries around the country.


2.2. Information exchange
The second large component of the project focuses on strategies to improve the exchange
of information among the FFV chain actors. It is recognized that a frequent cause of
market failure is the lack of information to producers and traders. In the horticultural
sector, farmers, for example, are permanent decision-makers, and they are reluctant to try
diversification alternatives, new production systems, innovations or even to implement
“good practice”, because they may spend capital on things that may not bring expected
benefits. The availability of reliable information is fundamental for supporting assertive



                                             18
                                            Project PFL/INT/ 857- Technical components



decision-making by food chain actors and in helping the FFV chain actors to move
towards the implementation of quality and safety initiatives.

Given the characteristics of the FFV markets – highly competitive and concentrated and
changing permanently due to the quality and safety requirements – the flow of information
is a key factor in succeeding. Project PFL/INT/857 supports the exchange of information
among the FFV actors by consolidating information in a global database regarding quality
and safety issues, and focusing on resource materials and training activities related to
improving the quality and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables. The project database
complements the existing FAO efforts for information exchange, such as the International
Network on Post-harvest Operations (INPhO) (http://www.inpho.org), the good
agricultural practices (GAP) database and the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal
and Plant Health (http://www.ipfsaph.org/En/default.jsp).




                                           19
          Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes




4. PROJECT
4. PROJECT
OUTCOMES
OU T C O M E S




     20
                                                      Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes



3. Project outcomes

3. 1. Training activities       subregional workshops
At the subregional level, project PFL/INT/857 activities involved delivering training through
subregional workshops on “Improving the quality and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables: a
practical approach”. As Table 2 shows, the Latin America and Caribbean Region was divided
into four subregions, covering a total of 32 countries.
.
 Table 2. Countries benefiting from subregional workshops

 Subregion 1                Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
 Southern Cone countries
 Subregion 2                Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala,
 Central American and       Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama.
 Caribbean Spanish-
 speaking countries
 Subregion 3                Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.
 Andean countries
 Subregion 4                Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica,
                            Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, Suriname, St Kitts and
 Caribbean English-         Nevis, St Vincent & The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago.
 speaking countries


a) Participants

A total of 127 professional staff from public and private institutions were trained through the
subregional workshops held in Latin America and the Caribbean, as indicated in Table 3. In
order to ensure multidisciplinary and inter-institutional involvement the participants were
selected from a very wide range of backgrounds: academia, education, government and
private institutions. Consequently, and as presented in Figure 3, the subregional workshops
counted on the participation of all the relevant sectors and key players when implementing
quality and safety-assurance programmes in the fresh fruit and vegetables sector. The
complete list of participants is presented in Annex 3.




                                              21
                                                                  Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes




Table 3. Subregional workshops held in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2003–2004
                Place and                                                         Counterpart/host
  Subregion                                    Duration        Participants
                    date                                                              institution
              Santiago de                                                     Subsecretariat of
Southern Cone
              Chile, 17–21                       5 days                30     Agriculture – Chilean
countries
              March 2003                                                      Government
                                                                              Ministry of Agriculture
Latin                                                                         (MAGA), National
American and                                                                  Exporter’s Association of
                     Antigua-
Caribbean                                                                     Non-Traditional Products
                     Guatemala, 21–              6 days                38
Spanish-                                                                      (AGEXPRONT) and the
                     26 July 2003
speaking                                                                      National Technical
countries                                                                     Training Institute
                                                                              (INTECAP)
                                                                              Servicio Nacional de
                     Cochabamba,
Andean                                                                        Sanidad Agropecuaria e
                     Bolivia, 22–27              6 days                28
countries                                                                     Inocuidad Alimentaria
                     March 2004
                                                                              SENASAG
Caribbean
                     Bridgetown,                                              Support of FAO
English-
                     Barbados, 24–               5 days                31     Subregional office for the
speaking
                     28 May 2004                                              Caribbean
countries


                               Figure 3. Participants to subregional workshops


                                               Setting
                                        standards/regulatory
                National institutions
                                          framework, other
                dealing with safety
                                              services
                      issues
 Producer Associations 11%                       2%     Universities
     and Individual                                          2%
       Farmers
          10%

Marketing Boards
       2%
Public & Private                                                                      Ministeries and
    Training                                                                          Secretaries of
  Institutions                                                                          Agriculture
       8%                                                                                  50%
             Research Centres
                   12%             Ministries of Health
                                       and Trade
                                            3%




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                                                       Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes




c) Subregional workshop methodology

In order to achieve the subregional workshop main objective of strengthening the public and
private institutional capacity of the Latin American and Caribbean countries to implement
fresh fruit and vegetable quality and safety programmes, the approach to capacity-building
adopted through the training programme was based on a process of knowledge-sharing and
building on existing capacities.

 Knowledge-sharing - this was achieved by:

 -    Sharing experiences regarding initiatives on FFV quality and safety issues
      implemented in each country. Prior to the workshop, the selected participants were
      asked to complete a preliminary questionnaire in order to identify the relevance of the
      FFV sector in each country. The questionnaire included a section for participants to
      carry out a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats)
      associated with the implementation of quality and safety initiatives in the fresh fruit
      and vegetables sector at the national level.
  -   Illustrating experiences (case studies) carried out by countries in the region, regarding
      the implementation of FFV quality and safety initiatives.
  -   Promoting the sharing of participant’s own experiences, views and perceptions by
      applying participatory and practical training methodologies (group discussions, case
      studies, practical field visits, etc.)
  -   Ensuring the participation of lecturers with wide experience in the implementation of
      FFV quality and safety programmes in the region.

 Taking into account existing capacities

  -   Participants, based on their experiences and the knowledge shared during the
      workshop, were asked to prepare a National Action Plan (NAP) in order to address
      national and local needs and priorities in terms of quality and safety issues for the
      fresh fruit and vegetables sector. The execution of these National Action Plans
      counted with financial support from FAO/ESNS.



d) Workshop contents

As mentioned above, the workshop contents (corresponding to the manual and CD-ROM)
were divided in five sections, developed as follows:

Section I Workshop introduction


In the workshop introductory section, FAO/ESNS presented the workshop’s main objectives
and working methodology, as well as a brief summary of the technical work regarding
quality and food safety carried out by ESNS in the Latin American and Caribbean countries
since 1998. The section also presented the integrated practical approach adopted by project



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                                                     Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes



PFL/INT/857 for addressing food safety and quality issues along the entire FFV chain,
followed by a clear explanation of the training manual contents (hard copy and CD-ROM),
which was used by the lecturers, as the guidelines for developing the workshop.


Section 1 Importance of the horticultural sector in Latin American and Caribbean
Countries


This section of the workshop included a presentation from FAO/ENSN on the summary
information of each country’s social and economic importance in the horticultural sector. For
this, the participants had been asked to fill a questionnaire, which was sent by each
participant in advance of the workshop.

The pre-workshop questionnaire contained three parts:
   a. General information: participants were asked to consider their role and work in the
       fresh fruit and vegetable quality and safety system.
   b. Background of the horticultural sector in each country: participants provided
       information as a way to promote clear understanding of the economic and social
       relevance of the horticultural sector in each country.
   c. Positive and discouraging aspects regarding the implementation of quality and safety
       assurance programmes in the horticultural sector in each country (SWOT analysis).

The information sent by the participants was organized and categorized to support the
contents of the initial section and it was also linked to the final group discussion on action
plans, carried out at the end of the workshop.

Section III Quality maintaining and enhancing throughout the FFV post-harvest chain


Section 3 was divided in two parts. The first described the quality concept under a very
integrated approach as a way of understanding the complexity of the concept, which results
in a wide variety of standards and certifications (each one incorporating new and higher
quality requirements).

The second part introduced aspects concerning post-harvest management of fresh fruit and
vegetables, in order to maintain and enhance quality product attributes. The emphasis was
placed on identifying the hazards associated with quality product decay as well as definition
of preventing measures to maintain and enhance product quality. A case study related to the
implementation of quality assurance programmes for a specific horticultural product is
presented in the Section 3 (pp. 3–23) of the training manual.

Section IV Applying food safety principles to the fresh fruit and vegetables chain
This section dealt with ensuring the safety of fresh fruit and vegetables by preventing the
contamination risks associated with production and post-harvest processes. The section’s
contents were divided in two parts. The first dealt with the importance of fresh fruit and
vegetables safety issues, from the consumer point of view, and the effects of food outbreaks




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on consumer demand and trade as a whole. The workshop participants analysed the
Guatemalan case study regarding raspberries contamination with Cyclospora. The Codex
Alimentarius initiatives regarding safety of fresh fruit and vegetables were also illustrated.

The second part of the section dealt with the implementation of safety programmes and
contained guidelines for implementing prerequisite programmes such as GAP, GMP, and
adopting a systematic HACCP approach methodology. The limitations and possibilities for
HACCP implementation at primary production were explained through group discussions
and exercises.

Group work and field visits were the key elements used to support the practical workshop
aspects in this section. The participants, organized by groups, were asked to identify the
hazards associated with the production process for a specific product, and to identify, when
possible, the Critical Control Points. In addition, the participants identified the preventive
and control measures for the associated hazard at each stage of the production process.

The lecture sessions were complemented with field visits, which involved practical work at
the fields and packing houses taking part in the programmes listed in Table 4.

 Table 4. List of field visits

 Chile                    The GAP Programme carried out by FDF-Chile (Foundation for the
                          Development of the Fruit Sector in Chile).
 Guatemala                Fields involved in the programme for certification – Integrated
                          Agricultural and Environmental Programme (PIPAA) – led by the
                          Ministry of Agriculture of Guatemala (MAGA) and AGEXPRONT.
 Bolivia                  Programme for the eradication of illegal crops by the
                          establishment of banana plantations to supply export regional
                          markets (SENASAG).

 Barbados                 Private firm – Brighton Plantation, St George,
                          Barbados (production and marketing of fresh vegetables).



Section V Importance of certifications and other quality schemes for the horticultural
sector


This section referred to the impact and implications of certifications on exporting countries.
Such certifications are, in part, supported by an integrated concept of GAP (including
environmental and social welfare considerations). First, the lecturers explained the scope of
the certifications, the standards or regulatory documents (code of practices, protocols, etc.)
supporting such certifications, and the way these documents have been structured. As an
example, the participants were asked to analyse the EurepGAP protocol and to discuss the
possible difficulties for its implementation by the countries in the region.




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The section also illustrated some ongoing national strategies implemented by exporting
countries to prepare local fresh fruit and vegetables production for the export market
requirements; the following case studies were presented during the subregional workshops.

 Table 5. Case studies illustrated in the subregional workshops

Integrated Agricultural and Environmental Programme (PIPAA). Ministry of Agriculture
and the Association of Non-Traditional Exporters AGEXPRONT.
Chile’s experience in the implementation of quality and safety programmes in the sector.
CHILE-GAP. Chilean Foundation for Development of the Fruit Industry (FDF).
 Progress in the implementation of quality and safety assurance programmes in fresh
 fruit in Bolivia, the case of bananas (SENASAG).
Case study regarding a methodological approach to the implementation of quality and
safety programmes on cape gooseberry in Colombia.


Finally, taking into account the information provided through the five workshop sections, the
participants (organized by group) analysed and discussed the aspects concerning the
implementation of national fresh fruit and vegetable quality and safety assurance
programmes. The result was an action plan elaborated by the participants, as one of the
activities/exercises within this section.

As part of the follow-up activities carried out after workshop completion, the participants
worked as a team in the implementation of National Action Plans (NAPs). The complete
action plans are presented in Annex 4 and the reports of the subregional workshops can be
found in Annex 5.

e) Lecturers at the subregional workshops

The subregional workshops were facilitated by lecturers from both the private and public
sectors who had wide experience in the implementation of quality and safety programmes in
the region. A complete list of consultants associated with the training activities is presented
in Table 6. The consultants validated the methodological components and contents of the
training manual prepared by FAO/ESNS and made suggestions for its improvement.




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                                                                    Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes




Table 6. External consultants participating in the subregional workshops

               Name                     Subject               Country                   Institution


Edmundo Araya                   Quality and safety        Chile             Director, Chilean Foundation for the
                                programmes                                  Development of the Fruit Industry
                                implementation/
                                certifications
Marta Alicia Bentancur          Safety programmes         Uruguay           Ministry of Agriculture of Uruguay,
                                implementation (GAP,                        Chief of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
                                GMP, HACCP)                                 Quality and Safety Division
Monica Galleguillos             Quality and safety        Chile             Chilean Foundation
                                programmes
                                implementation/
                                certifications
Elhady Yahia                    Post-harvest              Mexico            Professor Post-harvest Technology,
                                management of FFV                           Universidad de Queretaro, Mexico

Miguel Angel Martínez Téllez    Safety programmes         Mexico            Centro de Investigación en
                                implementation (GAP,                        Alimentación y Desarrollo (CIAD)
                                GMP, HACCP)
Rebeca López                    Safety programmes         Mexico
                                implementation (GAP,                        Independent consultant
                                GMP, HACCP)
Jorge Zurita                    Post-harvest              Colombia          Associate Professor Post-harvest
                                management of FFV                           Technology, Universidad Nacional
                                                                            de Colombia.
Zort Gerendas                   Quality and safety        Guatemala         Integrated Agricultural and
                                programmes                                  Environmental Programme (PIPAA)
                                implementation/
                                certifications
Fernando Maul                   Post-harvest              Guatemala         Associate Professor Post-harvest
                                management of FFV                           Technology, Universidad del Valle
                                                                            de Guatemala
Rosaluz Valda                   HACCP implementation      Bolivia            Independent consultant




f) Subregional workshop findings

      •    Results of the Pre-workshop Questionnaire


Background information- Importance of the horticultural sector in the region

From the information provided by the participants and from FAO statistics, the Latin
American and Caribbean region can be recognized as a key player in the production and
global trade of fresh fruit and vegetables. Latin America and the Caribbean account for 32
percent of the total production of tropical fruit. Brazil, Mexico and Costa Rica are the key
players in the region. The horticultural sector in the region is a direct contributor to Gross
Net Product (GNP), employment generation, foreign earnings and food-security objectives.
With regard to global trade, fruit and vegetables are seen as important commodities for
countries in the region seeking to diversify exports. For example, in some countries there has
been a heavy concentration of agricultural exports in a small number of products (sugar,
bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice), and consequently the expected decrease in the level of



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                                                       Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes



protection (non-preferential agreements) implies more competition in international markets.
Therefore, there is a clear need to diversify these economies by participating in high-value
chains such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

There is certainly a positive dynamic in the horticultural sector in the region to supply both
global and regional markets as a response to new opportunities and increasing competition.
To some extent most of the countries in the region are currently implementing initiatives to
improve the competitiveness of key export horticultural products and/or to diversify the
traditional export base. For example, the programme for the fruit sector in El Salvador, the
Cucurbitaceous Programme in Panama, the strategies implemented by the government to
promote production and export of different commodities in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia,
Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil. Even well-recognized exporting countries of horticultural
products such as Chile (the leading exporting country of temperate fruit in the region) is
diversifying its traditional horticultural exports with subtropical and tropical products such as
avocado and citrus. Native horticultural products such as red pepper, achyote, rambutan,
noni, and coconut are becoming important horticultural exports for some Central American
countries.

Annex 4 shows that the two main export markets for most of the countries in the region
continue to be the European Union and the United States of America. These are markets with
different conditions of access, which are updated continually with stricter quality and safety
standards for the importation of FFV. As a result, the implementation of FFV quality and
safety initiatives by countries in the region has usually been seen as a way of complying with
exporting market requirements and generating trade opportunities and export premiums.

Annex 4 also presents a summary of the background information provided by the
participants and FAO statistics regarding the importance of the horticultural sector by
country.

   •   Summary of the results of the SWOT Analysis


Workshops participants were asked to identify strengths (the positive aspects), weaknesses
(the less positive aspects), the opportunities and threats regarding the implementation of
safety and quality initiatives in the horticultural sector/country. Links to the complete SWOT
analysis matrix by country are presented in Annex 4. A summary of the main aspects
highlighted by the participants is presented as follows:




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Strengths Public and private initiatives regarding FFV quality and safety issues have arisen
in the region, as follows:

   •   Rebuilding or creating public structures (divisions, secretariats, etc) dealing with
       safety issues and consumer protection objectives.

   •   Setting standards for the FFV regarding quality and safety issues, as well as
       strengthening the National Codex Committees and Committees for FFV and Food
       Hygiene, for example:
               national GAP standard for fruit, aromatic herbs and vegetables in Colombia
               (under development);
               GAP standard for asparagus in Peru;
               projects under the Technical Cooperation Programme for strengthening
               National Codex Committees in Andean Countries, Central American
               countries, Uruguay and Paraguay.

   •   Existence of a regulatory framework, in some countries in the region, regarding food
       safety issues (e.g. HACCP and GMP incorporated into the national food legislation).

   •   Applying long-term national policies regarding quality and safety issues for FFV
       and/or initiatives improving the competitiveness of specific horticultural
       commodities for external and domestic markets:
             Plan Maestro de Inocuidad de los Alimentos- SENASICA, Mexico;
             strategic guidelines for GAP implementation in Colombia (under
             preparation);
             policy based on Commodity Chain Approach from improving the
             competitiveness of commodities in the Andean countries (to identify
             bottlenecks and potential solutions, drawing action plans for specific
             commodity chains).

Creation of working groups promoting and coordinating actions regarding safety and
quality of horticultural products at the national level:
                the Inter-sectorial Commission for Food Safety in Costa Rica;
                working group in safety issues in Colombia;
                Ministerial Counsel for Food Safety in Honduras;
                GAP Commission in Chile.

   •   Programmes for improving the quality and safety of specific commodities of interest
       for the countries in the region:
               Programme for the Production of Fruit in El Salvador;
               National Action Plan for Sanitary Management of Cucurbitaceous in
               Panama;
               Quality and Safety Assurance of Cape Gooseberry Exports in Colombia.

   •   Development of experiences of certified production under quality and safety
       schemes such as:



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              EurepGAP in Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Central American countries;
              Safety SEAL-PIPAA programme in Guatemala;
              SQF (Safe Quality Food) system for horticultural products in Mexico;
              ProSafe and British Retail Consortium certification in Chile and Argentina.

   •   National institutions dealing with training regarding FFV safety and quality issues,
       for example:
              - CIAD in Mexico, SENASA in Honduras, SENASA in Argentina, and
              SENASA in Peru, SENA and CORPOICA in Colombia, INA in Costa Rica,
              INTECAP and AGEXPRONT in Guatemala, SENASAG in Bolivia,
              Ministries of Agriculture in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama,
              Uruguay.

   •   Producing Q&S training materials addressing different beneficiaries’ needs and for
       specific crops, for example:
               - FFV safety guidelines and manuals produced by CIAD in Mexico, GAP
               guidelines produced by OIRSA in Central America, EMBRAPA-FAO in
               Brazil, AGEXPRONT in Guatemala, project PASA-Danida in Nicaragua, the
               Sub-secretariat of the Chilean Government, SENASA in Argentina,
               PROMPEX in Peru, SENA in Colombia.

   •   The negative experiences of food-borne outbreaks associated with the consumption
       of FFV in developed markets (e.g. contaminated raspberries with Ciclospora in the
       US and Canadian markets associated with product exported from Guatemala,
       Hepatitis A associated with green onions exported to the United States of America
       from Mexico) have been pushing the need for adopting safer practices in primary
       production in different countries in the region (preventive approach rather than
       problem-solving once they have occurred, moving from a reactive to a proactive
       approach).



Negative aspects

   •   Lack or weak institutional coordination, and between the public and private sectors.
   •   Need to strengthen training programmes targeting different FFV chain actors.
   •   High cost associated with the implementation of quality and safety programmes and
       schemes.
   •   Need to harmonize national standards with the international ones.
   •   In some countries there is lack of weak political concern and scarce integration in the
       implementation of quality and safety initiatives for the FFV sector.
   •   Lack of incentives for the adoption of quality and safety schemes (e.g. GAP
       adoption) at the farmer’s level.
   •   Lack of financial, human and physical resources to carry out training, inspection and
       auditing activities.
   •   Lack or weak farmers’ organizations in order to facilitate market access and
       services.




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                                                      Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes



   •   Deficient or incomplete information systems.
   •   Unknown or lack of information available to farmers and extension workers,
       regarding technological options (e.g. for pest and diseases control, soil management,
       post-harvest technologies)
   •   The food control systems in some countries do not have a clear distinction regarding
       responsibilities and roles of the ministries and institutions involved in quality and
       safety issues at the production level (there is a clear need to define institutional roles
       in terms of Q&S for the primary production).
   •   Need to enforce pesticide regulations (preventing the misuse of pesticides,
       emphasizing the use of approved pesticides applied as to effectively control pests
       and diseases conforming to the approved MRLs and the International Code of
       Conduct for Distribution and Use of Pesticides).
   •   Lack of or scarce information, education and communication to consumers regarding
       safety and quality issues.
   •   Deficient post-harvest management and infrastructure.
   •   Uncertainty regarding the continuity of some FFV safety initiatives implemented by
       countries with the support of external funds (donors or loans).
   •   The quality and safety programmes and initiatives implemented in the region are
       targeting mainly the production supplying export markets, with few or not emphasis
       in the production supplying domestic markets (national consumers protection aims).


Opportunities

   •   Market opportunities at the regional and global level (increasing intraregional and
       extra-regional trade).
   •   The implementation of quality and safety initiatives, under production systems that
       minimize the impact on the environment and worker’s health, open an opportunity
       for the protection of national consumers, the protection of the national environment
       and rural workers’ health.
   •   Regional trade agreements (NAFTA, FTAA) open opportunities for the countries to
       increase participation in intraregional horticultural trade.
   •   The positive performance of the tourism sector, for example in the Caribbean, opens
       opportunities to the implementation of quality and safety initiatives, addressing
       domestic consumption.
   •   Comparative advantages for the production of fresh fruit and vegetables
       (geographical location, climate, soil, etc), accomplished with the development of
       competitive advantages (e.g. product differentiation), open opportunities for the
       countries in the region to participate of the high value chain of FFV.


Threats

   •   Political instability to ensure continuity of the initiatives under implementation and
       food Q&S issues as a national priority.
   •   High competitiveness in the international and regional markets. High concentration
       of the supply on few countries (leading suppliers to the export markets: Mexico,



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                                                   Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes



        Chile, China, India, etc.) leaving few opportunities for new players in the global
        trade of FFV.
    •   Passive consumers in domestic markets.
    •   Lack of harmonization at the international level – market requirements are fairly
        diverse. Farmers and exporters need to comply with different code of practices,
        protocols and standards, increasing the transaction cost, assumed mainly by the
        producers.
    •   The cost associated to the implementation of the safety and quality programmes in
        order to comply with market requirements, reducing the possibilities of small-scale
        farmers to take part of the high value chain of FFV.
    •   Increasing number of outbreaks associated to contamination of FFV, resulting in
        stricter quality and safety requirements imposed by the importing markets.
    •   Lack of private sector involvement in the initiatives implemented by the public
        sector.


The complete reports of the subregional workshops can be seen in Annex 5.




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3.2. Training materials

To support the training-programme implementation, a training manual/package (hardcopy
and CD-ROM) was elaborated by FAO/ESNS aimed at consolidating the key information
required by trainers/facilitators for similar workshops. The training manual/package was
designed to provide practical guidance for development of training sessions regarding quality
and safety issues, with a practical approach and is addressed to private and public trainers,
responsible for capacity-building, research, project formulation, projects and programmes in
quality and safety of FFV.

The manual/package is divided in two parts:

– General outline: this section provides the participant guidelines for the preparation of the
national courses.
– Technical content: this part presents the information concerning the five workshop
sections (as mentioned before).


Each section of the manual has the same format:
   • Section’s goals.
   • Duration of the section.
   • Suggested teaching methods.
   • Specific plan for the section, which provides an overview of what is contained in each
       section.
   • Expected outcomes for the section (what is expected the participants should have
       achieved by the end of each section).
   • List of training materials and presentations.
   • Recommended activities and exercises.
   • Recommended lectures and reading material.
   • Documents supporting each section and, also providing internet links.
   • Power Point presentations.
   • Photo gallery.

The training methodology involved the participation of trainers in team discussions,
brainstorming, analysis of case studies, document research, drafting action plans, etc.

Bibliographic references, at the end of sections, allowed the trainers to explore in detail the
subjects covered, enlarging their knowledge and clarifying doubts. Specialized references
provided specific support to trainers. Power Point presentations introduced concepts and
conclusions to be reached, facilitating the presentation of the technical components.

Trainers could expand or reduce the sections catering to the audience and their expectations,
selecting and adjusting activities, training materials and presentations accordingly.




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                                                    Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes



A photographic gallery for training in GAP, GHP and GMP is annexed to the manual, as well
as a list of internet links and complete documents (manuals and other training materials).

The manual/package was prepared as CD-ROM multimedia and as printed document. While
examples and data used in the manual are taken from the Latin American and Caribbean
countries, the manual content is valid for all countries wishing to develop a comprehensive
programme for the improvement of the safety and quality of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Consequently, English, French and Spanish versions of the manual were produced and have
been         also       posted       in        the       FAO/ESNS          website       at:
http://www.fao.org/es/esn/CDfruit_en/launch.html. The Chinese version of the manual will
be soon available at the FAO/ESNS website.

The Spanish and English versions were validated through subregional workshops. The final
training manual text incorporates the recommendations and contributions resulting from
these workshops and from the external consultants.




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3.3. National Action Plans (NAPs)
As mentioned above, participants attending the subregional workshops prepared a National
Action Plan (NAP) in order to address national and local needs and priorities in terms of
quality and safety issues for the fresh fruit and vegetables sector. The implementation of
these NAPs counted on financial support from FAO/ESNS (see Section 5, Financial
statement, Numeral 5).

a) Objectives and activities

The action plans elaborated by the national teams were expected to achieve one or several of
the following objectives:

   •       Training the trainers on “Improving the quality and safety of FFV” by applying the
           principles and practices of GAP, GMP and HACCP, using the training tools validated
           through the subregional workshops.
   •       Promoting the integration and coordination among institutions and between the public
           and private sectors to implement quality and safety initiatives.
   •       Awareness creation regarding the importance of implementing quality and safety
           programmes and initiatives.
   •       Sharing of information regarding quality and safety standards and initiatives coming
           from the public and private sector.
   •       Supporting the development and implementation of quality and safety programmes at
           the farm level.

To achieve these objectives, the following activities were undertaken by the national teams:

   •       Dissemination, among the national institutions, of the results of the subregional
           workshop and the compromises acquired by the national team.
   •       Delivering national training courses to train multipliers.
   •       Delivering training courses targeting different FFV chain actors (awareness creation).
   •       Delivering training courses in universities and technical colleges.
   •       Organizing inter-institutional meetings to discuss quality and safety issues.
   •       Adapting subregional training materials to the local context.
   •       Producing local training materials.

b) National Action Plan outputs

       •    Institutional involvement


A total of 19 countries prepared NAPs. In the implementation of these plans a total of 60
institutions in the region were involved. The list of institutions integrating the national teams
is presented in Table 7.




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                                                      Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes



Consequently, the NAPs implemented have counted with a high inter-institutional
participation and have promoted the articulation between the public and private sectors.

A summary of the activities carried out by each country through the NAPs is presented in
Tables 8, 9 and 10. Detailed information regarding the NAPs implementation and
achievements by country is included in Annex 4.


   •   Beneficiaries


Over 4200 stakeholders benefited from the national courses delivered by the national teams.
A total of 835 professional staff in the region were trained as trainers, and over 3400
stakeholders benefited from different training activities for awareness creation carried out by
the national teams. Some countries concentrated on training activities targeting the direct
beneficiaries, mainly producers, such as the case of Guatemala (see Figure 8) where around
487 producers took part in local training courses. In other countries (Peru for example) the
priority was on awareness creation at the national level; for that, a three-day meeting was
organized by the national institutions, congregating 200 participants. Lecturers from other
countries in the region were invited to share their experiences on quality and safety
programmes during this meeting.

In most of the countries in the region, training programmes were addressed not only to train
professional staff as multipliers/trainers but also involved short courses and lecturing at
universities as a way of awareness creation among the new generation of professionals in the
horticultural sector.




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                                                        Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes




Table 7. List of institutions implementing the National Action Plans
          Country                     National teams: institutional involvement

Argentina             Servicio Nacional de Sanidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria SENASA and the
                      Fundación Argentina (Grupo INTA).
Bolivia               Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria e Inocuidad Alimentaria
                      (SENASAG) and the Servicio Departamental Agropecuario SAGAD.
Brazil                EMBRAPA Agroindustria de Alimentos, EMBRAPA Hortalizas and
                      EMBRAPA Mandioca y Fruticultura.
Chile                 Fundación para el Desarrollo Frutícola, Universidad de Chile, AGROCAP,
                      Fundación Chile, Secretaria Agraria (SAG).
Colombia              Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA), Ministerio de Agricultura,
                      Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (CORPOICA) and
                      the Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario (ICA).
Costa Rica            Centro Nacional de Producción (CNP), Ministerio de Agricultura and the
                      Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INIA).
Cuba                  Instituto de Investigaciones en Normalización, Instituto de Nutrición de
                      Higiene de los Alimentos (INHA), Instituto de Investigaciones en Fruticultura
                      Tropical.
Dominic Republic      Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD) and the Secretaria de
                      Estado de Agricultura (SEA).
Ecuador               Servicio Ecuatoriano de Sanidad Agropecuaria (SESA), Instituto Nacional
                      Autónomo de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP), Ministerio de
                      agricultura y Ganadería and the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización
                      (INEN).
El Salvador           Dirección General de Sanidad Vegetal y Animal MAG y el Programa
                      Nacional de Frutales de El Salvador.
Guatemala             Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación, Programa Integral de
                      Protección Agrícola y Ambiental (PIPAA), Asociación Gremial de
                      Exportadores de Productos No-Tradicionales (AGEXPRONT) and the
                      Instituto Técnico de Capacitación y Productividad (INTECAP).
Honduras              Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (SENASA).
Mexico                Colegio de Posgraduados.
Nicaragua             Ministerio Agropecuario y Forestal (MAG-FOR), Ministerio de Salud
                      mediante la Dirección de Registro de los Alimentos and the Ministerio de
                      Fomento, Industria y Comercio.

Panama                Ministerio de Desarrollo Agropecuario, Ministerio de Salud, Min. de
                      Comercio e Industrias.
Paraguay              Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería and the Instituto Nacional de
                      Tecnología y Normalización (INTN).
Peru                  Ministerio de Agricultura, Dirección General de Promoción Agraria (DGPA),
                      Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria (SENASA), Dirección General de
                      Salud Ambiental (DIGESA).
Uruguay               Programa de Reconversión y Desarrollo de la Granja –PREDEG, Ministerio
                      de Ganadería Agricultura y Pesca – Dirección General de Servicios Agrícolas
                      – División Protección de Alimentos Vegetales and the Junta del Mercado
                      Modelo.
Venezuela             Ministerio de Agricultura y Tierras, Fundación CIARA, Instituto Nacional de
                      Nutrición, Ministerio de la Salud y Desarrollo




                                              37
                                                              Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes




              Figure 4. Number of beneficiaries of training activities/Andean
                                       countries

100

80

60                                                                                   Trainers

40                                                                                   Producers and other
                                                                                     stakeholders
20

 0
       Bolivia              Colombia    Ecuador    Peru       Venezuela




                  Figure 5. Number of beneficiaries of Training Activities /Southern Cone
                                                  Countries
                                                                          Trainers
                      180
                                                                          Producers and other
                      160
                                                                          stakeholders
                      140
      Beneficiaries




                      120
                      100
                       80
                       60
                       40
                       20
                        0
                            Argentina    Brazil    Chile      Paraguay Uruguay
                                                  Country




                                                   38
                                                                       Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes




               Figure 6. Trainers trained during national workshops in Central American
                                               countries

80
                Cuba

70

60
                                                                       Honduras
                                    Dominic Republic
50

       Costa
40     Rica
                                                 El Salvador                                 Nicaragua        Panama
30                                                                                  Mexico


20

10

 0
                                                           Country




               Figure 7. Producers and other stakeholders benefitng from national
                             training in Central American countries



                700
                600
                500
                400
Beneficiaries
                300
                200
                100
                  0
                       Costa Rica        Cuba          Dominic    El Salvador   Guatemala    Honduras    Nicaragua
                                                       Republic
                                                                  Country




                                                             39
                                                     Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes



In addition, the National Plans have promoted the integration of public and private
institutions through the creation of national groups (national commissions) to address quality
and safety matters in the FFV sector. Some countries have implemented promotional
campaigns for awareness creation (posters, radio announcements, etc.) regarding FFV quality
and safety issues; approximately 1000 CD-ROM manuals have been distributed to support
the courses to train multipliers at the national level; and local training materials have been
produced, including in some cases, local case studies.

     Figure 8. Examples of training materials elaborated at the national level




                                             40
                                                    Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes


          TABLE 8. ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE NATIONAL TEAMS AS
                     PART OF THE NATIONAL ACTION PLANS
                    SUBREGION. SOUTHERN CONE COUNTRIES
  Country                Activity                              Place and date                 # Part.
              Workshop to train multipliers.        3-day workshop in Concordia,11–13             27
                                                    May 2004.
              Training courses.                     Training courses for producers in            170
Argentina
                                                    Cinturón Hortícola del Gran la Plata-
                                                    Playa Libre del Mercado Regional de
                                                    la Plata.
                                                    20–24 Oct. 2003.                             120
              Workshop to train multipliers
              (7 provinces of Rio de Janeiro).      3–7 Nov. 2003, focusing on vegetables
                                                    production.
                                                    17–21 Nov. 2003, focusing on fruit
                                                    production.
                                                    1–5 Dec 2003, focusing on vegetables
                                                    production.
              Elaboration of training               Technical guidance for the elaboration
              materials.                            of manual of GAP and GMP.
Brazil        Technical support to                  Technical support to 21 agribusinesses
              enterprises.                          based on the manuals of GAP and
                                                    GMP.
              Awareness creation                    Plan of Action outcomes available on
              (promotion).                          the internet.
              Training courses.                     National trainers delivering training        250
                                                    courses in different provinces of Rio
                                                    de Janeiro.
              Technical meetings.                   Meeting to present the results of the
                                                    Action Plan (model to be applied in 27
                                                    provinces in Brazil).
              Workshop to train multipliers.        3–4 Nov. 2003, Santiago de Chile.             40
Chile
                                                    Meeting for awareness creation                15
                                                    regarding quality and safety issues for
              Technical meetings.                   FFV. Ministry decided to support the
                                                    extension of the Action Plan to several
                                                    provinces.
Paraguay                                            Staff in the public sector –decision-         28
              Technical meetings.
                                                    making level.
                                                                                                  49
              Workshop to train multipliers.
                                                    Different courses all around the              77
              Training courses.
                                                    country.
                                                    Meeting to share the knowledge and            15
                                                    experiences obtained through the
Uruguay       Technical meetings.
                                                    participation in the sub-regional
                                                    workshop.
              Technical meetings.                   Technical staff in JUNAGRA                    22
              Workshops for awareness               Workshops in Dpto.de Salto,                   71
              creation.                             Maldonado y Montevideo.




                                               41
                                             Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes


        Training courses.                    Training delivered to staff in               15
                                             packinghouses – 15 enterprises
                                             involved.
        Pilot experience                     Pilot experience of implementing             15
                                             quality and safety assurance
                                             programmes applying the
                                             methodology presented in the training
                                             manual prepared by ESNS /15 persons
                                             receiving training.
        Workshop to train multipliers        Training in GHP in the Dpto. of Salto        61
                                             and Paysandú , (4 enterprises – citrus
                                             production.
        Training courses                     Training to personnel in the traditional     70
                                             market in Uruguay-Mercado Modelo.
        Working groups                       Creation of a working group – la Mesa
                                             Ejecutiva de la CAMM- for
                                             development and monitoring of
                                             activities regarding hygiene practices
                                             in the traditional market in Uruguay.
        Awareness creation                   Training to wholesalers in the
        (promotion)                          traditional market in Uruguay (9
                                             enterprises with bromatological
                                             approval).
        Training materials                   Five posters regarding hygiene
                                             practices.

TOTAL                                                                                   1045




                                        42
                                                  Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes




  TABLE 9. ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE NATIONAL TEAMS AS PART OF
                      THE NATIONAL ACTION PLANS

                 SUBREGION: CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES

                                                                                        #
  Country            Activity                           Place and date
                                                                                       Part.
              Technical meetings.        8 meetings lasting one day in the provinces     183
                                         of: Liberia, San Carlos, Cartago, Putiscal,
                                         Puntarense, Alajuela, San José.
Costa Rica    Workshop to train          San José 25, 26, 27 of May 2004.                 30
              multipliers.
              Regional technical         27 meetings in different regions all around     467
              meetings.                  the country.
              Training courses.          City and Province of Havana, 19–23 January       19
                                         2004.
                                         Matanzas, 16–20 January 2004.                    24
                                         Isla de la Juventud, 25–27 May 2004.             32
Cuba
              Training materials         Printing poster related to safety issues.
              (poster).
              Courses in universities    12–14 April and 14–16 April 2004.                25
              (IIFT).
              Training workshops.        3-day workshop, Santo Domingo.                   45

Dominican
                                         1-day workshop, San Francisco de Macorís.       130
Republic
                                         1-day workshop, Barahona.                        45

              Workshop to train          Technicians taking part in fruit programme,      27
              multipliers.               10–11 March 2004.
              Training courses.          1-day workshop, Loroco producers, 1 April        34
                                         2004.
              Training staff from the    21–22 April, 2004.                               24
El Salvador   Minister of Agriculture.
              Training courses.          Staff in Universidad de El Salvador and          34
                                         Universidad Latinoamericana, 26–27 May
                                         2004.
              Training courses.          Fruits Producers Association, 29 June 2004.      15
                                         13 1-day training courses.
                                         INTECAP, Guatemala, 5 Nov. 2003.                 28
                                         Aldea La Cumbre, Tecpán, Chimaltenango,          57
                                         6 Nov. 2003.
                                         INTECAP, Chimaltenango, 7 Nov. 2003.             23
Guatemala     Training courses for       Faculty of Agriculture, USAC, 11 Nov.            62
              producers.                 2003.
                                         INTECAP, Zacapa, 17 Nov. 2003.                    6
                                         Aldea Xecoxol, Tecpán, Chimaltenango.            48
                                         INTECAP, Quetzaltenango, 18 Nov. 2003.           17
                                         Aldea Paquip, Tecpán, Chimaltenango, 21          37
                                         Nov. 2003.
Guatemala     Training courses for       Hotel del Prado, Huehuetenango, 18 May           45
              producers.                 2004.




                                             43
                                              Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes


                                      Hotel Posada de Don Antonio, Coban, Alta       40
                                      Verapaz, 28 May 2004.
                                      Turicentro Teculután, Zacapa, 24 June 2004.    55

                                      Hotel Villa Real Plaza, Quetzaltenango, 25     34
                                      June 2004.
                                      3-day workshop in Comayagua and                49
            Workshop to train
                                      Choluteca. Two local case studies were
            multipliers.
                                      prepared.
                                      2-day course for producers and exporters of    34
            Training courses.         melon, watermelon and chile Jalapeno.
Honduras                              2-day workshop “Empress campesina              25
            Training courses.         Unidos en Dios”, producers of vegetables for
                                      export markets.
            Meetings to consolidate   Number of institutions attending.               8
            commission working on
            GAP.
                                      Hidalgo, 26–28 May 2004.                       23
            Workshop to train
Mexico
            multipliers.
                                      3-day workshop. Nayarit, 13–15 Dec. 2004.      33
                                      13–14 July 2004.                               30
                                      Managua (Trainers/multipliers),13–14 July      34
            Training courses.         2004.
                                      Nueva Guinea (RAAS), 4 August 2004.            30

                                      Jinotega,13–14 July 2004.                      28

                                      San Carlos (Rio San Juan),18 August 2004.      30

                                      Managua (San Francisco Libre), 27 August       30
                                      2004.
                                      Sébaco – Matagalpa, 1 September 2004.          25

                                      Matagalpa (Matagalpa).                         25
                                      Ocotal (Nueva Segovia), 9 Sept. 2004.          20

                                      Rivas (Rivas), 17 Sept. 2004.                  23
Nicaragua
                                      Somoto, 28 Sept. 2004.                         29

                                      Chinandega, 28 Sept. 2004.                     23

                                      Granada, 28 Sept. 2004.                        22
                                      Estelí, 30 Sept. 2004.                         25

                                      Carazo, 1 Oct. 2004.                           16

                                      Sebaco (Matagalpa), 28 Oct. 2004.              25

            Promotion (awareness
            creation).
            Meetings to consolidate
            Commission working
            on GAP.

Panama
            Lecturing.                IV Congress of foreign trade /Sept. 2004.




                                         44
                                           Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes


        Workshop to train          3-day workshop, 26, 27, 28 July.                   30
        multipliers.
        Meetings to organize       7 meetings with the participation of different
        national workshop.         institutions at the national level.
        Seminars.                  3 seminars in the regions of: Herrera,             94
                                   Panama and Bocas del Toro, 19–20 August,
                                   2004, 24 Nov. and 14 Dec. 2004.
        Draft of the Ministerial
        resolution creating the
        National Food Quality
        and               Safety
        Commission.
TOTAL                                                                               2 200




                                      45
                                                    Project PFL/INT/857- Project outcomes


 TABLE 10. ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT BY THE NATIONAL TEAMS AS PART OF THE
                          NATIONAL ACTION PLANS
                       SUBREGION: ANDEAN COUNTRIES

  Country                 Courses                                Place and date                  # Part.

            Training courses.                    Inspectors and technicians of packing                58
Bolivia                                          houses for banana and pineapple in
                                                 Cochabamba.
            Meetings to consolidate the National Number of institutions attending.                     8
            Commission in GAP.
            Workshop for awareness creation.        17 May 2004.                                      10
            Workshop for awareness                  Professional staff in CORPOICA. 6 June            30
Colombia    creation/technical staff.               2004.
            Workshop for awareness                  SENA staff, 12 July 2004.                         30
            creation/technical staff.
            Training courses.                       4 1-day workshops.                               121
            Workshop to train multipliers.          3-day workshop, 4–6 August 2004.                  30
            Technical meetings.                     Breakfast workshop.                               20
            Workshops for awareness creation.       Universidad Estatal de Bolívar. Facultad          60
                                                    de Ciencias Agropecuarias. 11 July 2004.
                                                    Escuela Politécnica del Chimborazo.               50
Ecuador                                             Facultad de Ciencias, 10 June 2004.
                                                    Ministry of Health. Inspectors. 5, 12 and        150
                                                    19 June 2004.
            Workshop to train multipliers.          Riobamba, 14–16 July 2004.                        47
            Promotion.                              Publication in internet.
            Meetings for awareness creation.        Meeting to promote the creation of
                                                    working group or commission in the
                                                    topic.
Peru        Training courses.                                                                        200
                                                    National seminar on GAP: “Asumiendo
                                                    compromisos con la calidad e inocuidad
                                                    de la Producción Agropecuaria”.
            Workshops for awareness creation.       National meeting with staff from the              40
                                                    Ministry of Health dealing with Food
                                                    Hygiene, 17 June 2004.
            Workshops for awareness creation.       Workshop on FFV hygiene addressed to              30
                                                    consumers: Instituto para la Defensa y
                                                    Educación del Consumidor y del Usuario
                                                    (INDECU), July 2004.
Venezuela   Training courses.                       Workshop on GAP.                                  24
            Promotion.                              Elaboration of notes published in
                                                    newspapers regarding quality and safety
                                                    of FFV.
            Elaboration of proposal.                National team working in the elaboration
                                                    of a project about the Integrated National
                                                    System for Food Control.
            Workshop to train multipliers.          28–30 May (3 days).                               34

TOTAL                                                                                                942




                                               46
                                                   Project PFL/INT/ 857- Project outcomes



           c) Assessing the implementation of the National Action Plans

Two follow-up seminars were organized by FAO/ESNS to assess the implementation of
the National Action Plans for improving the quality and safety of fresh fruit and
vegetables in the region. The seminars were held in Buenos Aires (Argentina) during
20–21 July, 2004 and in Costa Rica, 9–10 August, 2004. The reports and the list of
participants to the follow-up seminars are presented in Annex 6. During the seminars,
each country’s delegate gave a 30-minute presentation, regarding the advances in the
implementation of the National Action Plan. The complete presentations can be seen in
Annex 4. Each country’s presentation was followed by a group discussion session
addressing the following:

   •       Achievements and difficulties faced by the national teams during the
           implementation of the National Action Plans.
   •       Identification of strategies considered by the countries in order to improve the
           efficiency of the programmes and initiatives regarding quality and safety in the
           fresh fruit and vegetables sector.
   •       Future actions: identification of possible areas for FAO technical cooperation.


 Summary of achievements and difficulties during the implementation of NAPs

 Achievements

       •    Integration and coordination of public and private efforts, and inter-
            institutional and multistakeholder involvement.
       •    Training and awareness creation regarding quality and safety issues to
            different food chain actors.
       •    Awareness creation at the decision-making level in the national institutions.
       •    Strengthen current national initiatives or establishment of new initiatives
            regarding FFV quality and safety issues.
       •    Advances in the creation and consolidation of national commissions (public
            and private institutions) dealing with quality and safety issues.
       •    Knowledge-sharing among the countries in the region regarding FFV quality
            and safety initiatives (e.g. some initiatives carried out by countries in the
            region were documented, as case studies, in national courses).
       •    The need to consolidate networks for information-sharing regarding quality
            and safety issues in the region was identified during the implementation of the
            national plans.



       Difficulties

       •    Lack of training materials targeting different stakeholders (producers,
            transporters, operators in parking houses, etc.).
       •    Lack of incentives to promote the implementation of quality and safety




                                              47
                                                    Project PFL/INT/ 857- Project outcomes



            initiatives (training in quality and safety issues should be complemented with
            training aimed at developing managerial skills and access to credit and other
            services).
       •    Weak coordination among public and private institutions.
       •    Need for a leading national institution to merge public and private efforts
            regarding quality and safety issues at primary production.
       •    Lack of instruments to enforce the national standards and legislation related
            with quality and safety issues.
       •    Geographical dispersion of suppliers (producers).


   •       Summary of the strategies to be considered by the countries, in order to
           improve the efficiency of the programmes and initiatives regarding quality
           and safety in the fresh fruit and vegetables sector

Summary of the strategies

Legal framework                •   Extend the coverage of the national initiatives regarding
                                    quality and safety for the horticultural sector (taking into
                                    account constraints and priorities of smallholders).
                               •   Elaboration of guidelines for commodities as a result of the
                                    consensus among the different actors and in coherence with
                                    the national and international standards.
                               •   Working together with local supermarkets in order to
                                    promote awareness of the importance of safety issues in the
                                    FFV sector.
                               •   Create incentives for quality and safety programmes
                                    implementation (e.g. national certifications schemes,
                                    implementation of national programmes based on good
                                    practice, etc.).
                               •   Campaigns for awareness creation targeting different food-
                                    chain actors.
                               •   Promotion and consolidation of formal groups and national
                                   commissions to deal with quality and safety issues in the
                                   FFV sector.

Involving different food       •   Extend the coverage of the national initiatives regarding
chain actors                       quality and safety for the horticultural sector (taking into
                                   account constraints and priorities of smallholders).
                               •   Elaboration of guidelines for commodities as a result of the
                                   consensus among the different actors and in coherence with
                                   the national and international standards.
                               •   Working together with local supermarkets in order to
                                   promote awareness of the importance of safety issues in the
                                   FFV sector.
                               •   Create incentives for quality and safety programmes
                                   implementation (e.g. national certifications schemes,
                                   implementation of national programmes based on good
                                   practice, etc.).
                               •   Campaigns for awareness creation targeting different food-
                                   chain actors.



                                               48
                                               Project PFL/INT/ 857- Project outcomes



                          •   Promotion and consolidation of formal groups and national
                              Commissions to deal with quality and safety issues in the
                              FFV sector.

Improving public and      •   Promotion and consolidation of formal groups and national
private coordination to       Commissions with the participation of actors coming from
implement quality and         the public and private sectors.
safety initiatives.       •   Assessing the cost and benefits of quality and safety
                              programmes’ implementation in different horticultural
                              products.
                          •   Coordination of policies and strategies to address quality
                              and safety issues at the subregional and regional level.
                          •   Awareness creation at all levels of the food chain, including
                              public and private institutions.
                          •   Implementation of national training programmes in quality
                              and safety of FFV following a food chain approach.
                          •   Allocation of funds to support quality and safety national
                              programme implementation.
                          •   Elaboration of general guidelines for the development,
                              promotion and application of quality and safety
                              programmes based on good practices.


Improving the
effectiveness of the      •   Exchange of guidelines, checklists, documents, etc., among
national training             the countries in the region.
materials and training    •   Collect data and reference information directly from the
tools produced                fields to support guidelines preparation (involving
                              stakeholders).
                          •   Elaboration of guidelines whose principles and contents are
                              harmonized at the regional level.

                          •   Implementing training programmes with indicators to assess
Improving effectiveness       performance.
of the training           •   Exchange of information, creation of networks and team
programmes targeting          groups.
different chain actors    •   Implementing innovative training methodologies such as
                              satellite farming, farming schools, etc. (taking advantage of
                              some of the experiences implemented in the region).
                          •   Integrating quality and safety issues into the curriculums in
                              formal and informal education.
                          •   Wider coverage of training programmes by applying the
                              “train the trainers” approach.
                          •   Stakeholders’ training needs assessment supporting the
                              development and implementation of training programmes.
                          •   Training programmes based on knowledge-sharing and
                              existing capacities.




                                         49
                                                Project PFL/INT/ 857- Project outcomes



                            •   Strengthen FFV Q&S initiatives currently under
Generating credibility in       implementation by countries in the region.
the external markets        •   Establishment of certification programmes, recognized by
                                the external markets.
                            •   Integration and coordination among the national institutions
                                (definition of roles).



                            • Regional forum to promote the regional initiatives regarding
Others                        quality and safety issues in the horticultural sector.
                            • Elaboration of a checklist to support auditing process among
                              the countries in the region.
                            • Financial support to farmers in order to implement GAP
                              programmes.
                            • Development and transfer of production and post-harvest
                              technologies to support quality and safety programme
                              implementation, based on good practices.

Future actions- identification of possible areas for FAO technical
cooperation


Regarding the areas for possible FAO technical cooperation in the region, the
participants highlighted an important role for FAO/ESNS in the following areas:

     Future FAO/ESNS support
     • Support the elaboration and implementation of subregional and national
        projects, addressing initiatives for improving the quality and safety of FFV,
        focusing on the application of the principles of good practices.
     • To promote meetings in the region for the exchange of experiences regarding
        the implementation of quality and safety initiatives (based on the application
        of good practices).
     • To promote the harmonization of standards regarding quality and safety issues
        in FFV.
     • Technical support to countries in elaborating projects to address needs and
        opportunities for the FFV sector.
     • To promote the consolidation of the initiative regarding the subregional
        network in FFV quality and safety originated during the subregional workshop
        carried out in Antigua, Guatemala in July 2003.
     • To support the development of pilot experiences, training materials and case
        studies on FFV quality and safety issues.




                                           50
                                                 Project PFL/INT/ 857- Project outcomes




3. 4. Case studies

As indicated in Numeral 3, country teams identified constraints and limitations for
proper application of safety and quality initiatives in their country, highlighting, as one
of the main constraints faced by the supply chain actors, the high cost involved in the
implementation of safety programmes. However, the participants also highlighted that
there would also be important gains in efficiency, productivity and competitiveness
associated with safety programmes’ implementation. Therefore, it is important to
develop case studies to assess the economic implications (cost/benefit) of applying
safety and quality programmes as a possible way to motivate supply chain actors to
apply GAP, GMP and GHP.

Consequently, in order to promote a better understanding of the incentives (benefits)
and disincentives (increasing cost, assess specificity of investments, etc.) for farmers
and other supply chain actors, to apply quality and safety assurance programmes based
on a GAP approach, some initiatives are already under implementation in Latin
America and are considered case studies, as presented in Table 11:

 Table 11. Case studies under implementation

 Implementation of safety programmes to comply with market requirements: small
 producers of cape gooseberry in Colombia.
 Implementation of safety programmes to comply with market requirements:
 cooperative of small citrus producers in Uruguay.
 Implementation of a safety programme to improve the quality and safety of broccoli
 in Ecuador.

Questions addressed through the case studies

Taking into account the safety and quality market requirements for a specific
horticultural product, the research case studies focus on providing answers to the
following questions:

   •   Where are the initiatives coming from?
   •   What has been the role of the public and private sector to ensure the success of
       those initiatives?
   •   Which have been the key factors to succeed in the implementation of these
       programmes?
   •   What are the characteristics of the producers and exporters involved in these
       programmes and what is the institutional involvement?
   •   What has to be done or has been done to move from the existing farming
       systems to those based on the application of good practices?




                                            51
                                                   Project PFL/INT/ 857- Project outcomes



    •   How to progress with the changes required? What was the starting-point? Which
        is the institutional public and private infrastructure required to move forward
        with these changes?
    •   What are the benefits of implementing these measures? How are these benefits
        distributed among the food chain actors?
    •   What are the costs of implementing these changes? How will they affect the
        production costs structure (variable cost, fixed cost, marginal costs, the farmer
        cash flow, etc.)?
    •   What are the main constraints and limitations to the implementation of these
        programmes? How to overcome them?

Practical applicability of the results

It is expected that the results of the research case studies will contribute to:

    -   addressing proper implementation of safety and quality programmes in the fresh
        fruit and vegetables chain, by public and private institutions, by applying
        methodologies that encourage the participation of the stakeholders (mainly small
        and middle-scale farmers) – “scaling up” methods and approaches;
    -   address strategies to motive farmers to move forward in the implementation of
        safety and quality programmes;
    -   support capacity-building activities addressing safety and quality issues.



3.5. Fresh fruit and vegetable quality and safety database

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Quality and Safety Database was developed in
cooperation with the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) in the UK, as part of the
PFL/INT/857 project strategies to support the exchange of information among the FFV
actors. The database focuses on resource materials and training activities related to
improving the quality and safety of FFV and contains over 800 documents and
references relating to:

    •   Hazards and quality issues.
    •   Safety and quality assurance.
    •   Food laws, regulations, standards and grades.
    •   Services (inventory of training materials, training courses, quality and safety
        programmes, etc.).

3.2.1. Database development

For the process of collecting and cataloguing information FAO/ESNS established a
contract with the Natural Resource Institute (NRI) in the UK. Around 600 references
were collected by NRI and FAO/ESNS made a contribution of 237 references. A first
version of the database was created in Access, including the information collected and
categorized.




                                             52
                                                Project PFL/INT/ 857- Project outcomes




The database was structured so that future users would understand the relationship
between quality and safety issues. A modular approach/categories was used, starting by
identifying the HAZARDS associated to quality deterioration and contamination of
FFV. Then moving towards the measures necessary in order to prevent and control their
occurrence by applying prerequisite programmes (GAP, GMP, GHP, etc), and other
quality and safety schemes such as HACCP and ISO 9000, etc. Afterwards, references
regarding the legal framework of FFV quality and safety issues were presented, and
finally a section was included regarding publications, training courses, etc., related to
FFV quality and safety. The complete database structure is presented in Figure 10.

3.2.2. Database interface

The database interface was developed by FAO/AFIS using the platform already created
to support INPhO and the tools developed by AFIS for INPhO’s restructuring and
enhancement. The database is based in an input module interface, which allows adding
modules and adopting structures and functions
for subsequent easier extensions of the application, and also provides FAO/ESNS the
facility to generate CD-ROMS of the application if needed.


Figure 9. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Quality and Safety Database




The input tool allows the administration of the information initially by FAO, but the
platform allows, if desirable, the update of the information directly from the database
users. The FFV Quality and Safety database interface is composed of four main
modules. Simple and advance search tools are available.



                                           53
                                              Project PFL/INT/ 857- Project outcomes




The database is available in English, French and Spanish but the documents included
appear in the original language, and can be accessible through the FAO/ESNS website
at: http://www.fao.org/es/esn/food/foodandfood_fruit_en.stm.




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                                                          Figure 10. Database structure
                         MODULES                                               CATEGORIES                                    SUB-CATEGORIES
I. Hazards and quality issues in fresh fruit and vegetables   Consumer Safety
                                                                                                               Biological
                                                                                                               Chemical
                                                                                                               Physical
                                                                                                               Risk Assessment
                                                              Product Quality                                  Post-harvest diseases
                                                                                                               Post-harvest pests
II. Safety and Quality Programmes & Systems                   Good Practices                                   Good Practices in Primary Production
                                                                                                               Post-harvest Good Practices
                                                              Safety & Quality Programmes & Systems            Safety management systems
                                                                                                               Quality programmes & systems
                                                                                                               Code of practices & other schemes
III. Food Laws, Regulations, Standards and Grades             WTO
                                                              CODEX                                            Standards
                                                                                                               Guidelines
                                                                                                               Codes of Practice
                                                              Standards and Grades                             European Union
                                                                                                               United States of America
                                                                                                               South Africa
                                                                                                               Australia and New Zealand
                                                                                                               Canada
                                                                                                               Japan
IV. Services                                                  Inventory of training programmes and             PhD
                                                              courses                                          Master
                                                                                                               Research skills
                                                                                                               Capacity building for food handlers
                                                                                                               Distance learning modules
                                                                                                               Grants/scholarships
                                                              Training material (texts, manuals, audio,        Training manuals
                                                              video, Internet)                                 Printed manuals
                                                                                                               CD-Rom
                                                                                                               Handouts
                                                                                                               Slides
                                                                                                               Video
                                                                                                               Web-based published material
                                                              Inventory of fresh fruit and vegetable quality
                                                              and safety programmes
                                                              Published material




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             Project PFL/INT/ 857-Conclusions




4. CONCLUSIONS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS




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                                                    Project PFL/INT/ 857-Conclusions



4. Conclusions and recommendations
_____________________________________________
As presented in the previous sections of this report, the project PFL/INT/857
objectives were fully achieved. The development of the training programme in the
region allowed the training of key resource persons in the national institutions
involved in food safety and quality activities. In addition to the current achievements
in the implementation of the National Action Plans, it is expected that the trainers
trained through subregional and national courses will continue organizing and giving
shortened versions of the training in universities, industries, etc. As it is presented in
Annex 4 (NAP’s final reports), in some countries the national teams have already
received several requests from companies, farmers associations, etc, to provide
further training regarding quality and safety issues.

The training materials prepared by FAO/ESNS, and available on the Internet, are
currently used to deliver training courses throughout Latin America and the
Caribbean and requests have been received to post those training materials on
important websites of governmental institutions worldwide. These materials have
also been used by FAO/ESNS to support the training activities at the subregional
and national level in Asia and Africa. For example, the training tools have been
validated in Asian countries through a FAO/ESNS subregional workshop on
improving the quality and safety of fresh fruit and vegetables, held in Bangkok,
Thailand from 28 February to 4 March, 2005. Similarly, the training tools are
currently being used in specific national projects regarding FFV safety issues,
implemented under the Technical Cooperation Programme (Benin, Thailand,
Senegal and China). In the same way, several FAO units at headquarters have
requested copies of the training materials to be used in delivering training through
different projects and activities in member countries.

The activities of project PFL/INT/857 have promoted the integration between public
and private institutions at the regional and national level, as well as the exchange of
information and experiences on FFV quality and safety issues. Certainly, as it is
presented in Section 3 of this report, there is a clear need for FAO technical
assistance in the region on issues regarding quality and safety for fresh produce, and
to ensure the continuity of the training activities started through project
PFL/INT/857.

However, to address some recommendations for FAO/ESNS future activities in the
region, it is important to illustrate, in general terms, the current situation of the
implementation of quality and safety initiatives in the horticultural sector in the
region.




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      Findings- Progress in the implementation of quality and safety
    programmes in the fresh produce industry in Latin America and the
                            Caribbean Region


The dynamics of the FFV sector in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin American and the Caribbean countries are key players in the production and
global trade of fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV). In terms of production, the region
contributes to 4.1 percent of the world production of vegetables and 21 percent of
the global production of fruit. The region accounts for 32 percent of the world
production of tropical fruit. In terms of exports, Latin America and the Caribbean
share an important part of the total value of FFV from developing countries’ exports,
which has grown strongly, by US$4.5 billion from 1992 to 2002, representing an
increase of 5 percent. Particularly for the Latin American and Caribbean region, the
increase in FFV exports in the last decade reached 4.5 percent, with key exporting
countries being Chile, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina,
and Peru, which is illustrated by the following data:

•    Brazil, according to INTERTEXTO – Pesquisa de Campo (2000), shows
        increased fresh fruit exports from US$120 million to US$214.6 million
        during 1998–2001.
•    In Mexico, 63 percent of agricultural exports are from horticulture (SAGAR,
        2002).
•    Chile is the world’s first exporter of table grapes and pears, second in apples and
        kiwi and fourth in peaches (ODEPA, 2000).
•    Countries such as Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador and Bolivia have reported
        increases in export rates of FFV over 8 percent in the last decade (source of
        calculations, FAO, 2003).

The above data point out very interesting export dynamism in several Latin
American and Caribbean countries struggling to profit from open opportunities in
importing markets.

The participation of Latin American and Caribbean countries in the high-value chain
of FFV varies widely among countries in the region. Some countries have
implemented a policy of diversification of traditional exports successfully by
increasing their participation in the global and regional trade of FFV. Guatemala, for
example, is one of the most dynamic economies taking part in the value chain of
FFV, with growth of horticultural exports during the last decade of 12 percent in
volume and 10 percent in value. In 1986 exports of traditional products (sugar,
coffee, banana, cotton and meat) accounted for 70 percent of the total agricultural
exports and 29.5 percent were represented by non-traditional products. In 2000, that
trend reversed and 60 percent of total agricultural exports were represented by non-
traditional products (peas, broccoli, small size vegetables, berries, pitahaya, mango,



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melon) and only 40 percent by traditional ones. This export dynamism has involved a
high number of producers, and according to non-official data (AGEXPRONT) 15
percent of the 819 162 individual Guatemalan horticultural producers supplied
produce to the export markets in 2004.

Furthermore, traditional exporting countries of fresh produce in the region are
implementing a policy attempting to diversify their horticultural exports (e.g. Chile
is currently exporting avocados and citrus in an effort to diversify its traditional
exports of temperate fruit). Countries such as Brazil, Chile and Mexico are currently
taking part in the global value chain of several horticultural products, while other
countries in the region are involved in very few (e.g. Paraguay, Venezuela,
Colombia, Bolivia, with one or two key export horticultural commodities).
According to Wood (2001), once a country has developed economies of scale in the
supply of infrastructure, skilled labour, support services and information for the
sector, it will have the advantage to move into the high-value chain of new products,
as has been demonstrated by the diversification of the horticultural exports in
countries like Chile and Mexico.

Many governments in the region are promoting an export strategy for horticultural
products as a source of export earnings and to enhance economic growth; however,
several constraints remain in terms of proper infrastructure and the services required
to support the development of the horticultural sector. Limitations at the level of
post-harvest infrastructure, transport and information, remain as serious bottlenecks
for improving the participation of some Latin American and the Caribbean countries
in the high value chain of FFV at the global and regional level.

The characteristics of the FFV production in the region

In general terms, it could be said that there is a dichotomy in the horticultural sector
in the majority of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The absence of
specialization in small-holder horticulture contrasts with the incorporation of
technological advances and specific assets in the horticulture that supplies export
markets.

In several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, horticulture production
involves rural and family agriculture, concentrating poverty significantly. It has a
high geographic dispersion, fragmented land property, low productivity, small scales
of production, low levels of technology, difficulties in access to credit, to markets
and to information sources and in general articulates poorly with the market and
consumers.

In the last few decades, continued efforts have been made by the international
agencies, NGOs and rural development institutions to address strategies to deal with
the bottlenecks faced by small-scale farmers to take part of the value chain of FFV,
by increasing market participation of small-scale farmers, “Linking farmers to
markets”. Developing managerial skills, improving production and post-harvest
infrastructure, promoting contract farming, strengthening information systems, and
access to credit, are some of the issues addressed through those initiatives.



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In the same way, as markets become more concentrated and competitive, in terms of
supply and demand, the comparative advantages from, for example, geographical or
climatic conditions are less relevant for developing countries. Consequently, some
initiatives carried out in the region, with local or international funds, are promoting
the development of competitive advantages by, for example, adding value through
innovations.

However, as many countries in the region are making big efforts to develop
competitive advantages to participate in the value chain of FFV, new market
developments related to consumer demands for better quality and safety assurance of
FFV, have been translated into stricter quality and safety requirements imposed by
the importing markets. Countries in the region, which are willing or currently taking
part in the high-value chain for FFV, need to comply with these emerging market
requirements, which imply administrative, technical and scientific capacities to do
so.

FFV safety initiatives implemented by the main importer markets of FFV from
Latin America and the Caribbean

The main global markets for fresh fruit and vegetables from Latin America and the
Caribbean are the EU and the USA. According to “Fresh Trends”, the Latin
American and Caribbean share of total US imports of FFV reached 63 percent in
2002 (South America 48 percent, Central America 12 percent and the Caribbean 3
percent). Geographical proximity is particularly important for Latin American and
Caribbean countries to access global markets. Mexico for example, is the biggest
supplier of FFV to the US market (33 percent share of the US imports of FFV). The
above can also be illustrated by the data presented by the participants to the
subregional workshops: 39.6 percent of the Chilean FFV exports supplied the US
market and 23.2 percent the EU market (2000–2001). FFV exports from Peru to the
US market in 2003 represented 55 percent of the FFV FOB exports value. Eighty-
two percent of the total FFV exports from Uruguay supply the EU market.
The EU and the US markets are continuously updating their requirements in terms of
quality and safety issues for the FFV sector. Safety initiatives for fresh produce led
by the public and the private sectors, with relevance for the fresh produce industry in
the Latin American and Caribbean region include, among others, the following:

Public initiatives
Public safety efforts in developed markets have covered a wide range of options
(e.g. reorganizing the standards and regulatory framework, regulating for both,
locally produced and imported products, etc.). Some examples are the UK Act from
1990 to assure safety of foods, whereby all importers must take all necessary
precautions and enforce due diligence to avoid any failures in developing,
producing, distributing or selling products to the consumers. Later on, the European
Commission launched the White Paper on Food Safety, under which food operators
throughout the food chain will bear primary responsibility for food safety. In 2002,
the EC Regulation No 178/2002 (applicable from January 2005) lays down the
general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food
Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety, including the



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development of legislative actions to ensure effective control systems and evaluate
compliance with EU standards within the EU and in third countries in relation to
their exports to the EU. In terms of food hygiene, new rules have been adopted in
April 2004 and will be applicable from January 2006, such as the Regulation (EC)
852/2004 on hygiene of foodstuffs, which applied to all food businesses, including
those operating at the level of primary production.


In the United States of America, the public initiatives related to safety of FFV
imported to the country are led by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through
the National Food Safety Programme (Produce and Import Safety Initiative), which
is implemented in coordination with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and
the Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). These agencies
promote the application of Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing
Practices (GAPs and GMPs) to fresh produce production using the Guide to
minimize microbial food safety hazards for fresh fruit and vegetables, launched by
FDA in 1998. This voluntary guide is intended to assist growers, packers, and other
operators in continuing to improve the safety of domestic and imported fresh
produce. FDA has carried out training activities in Latin America and Caribbean
countries, based on the recommendations highlighted in this guideline, for example,
the Central American Training Programme implemented in 2001. More recently, the
FDA published Produce safety from production to consumption: 2004 action plan to
minimize food-borne illness associated with fresh produce consumption, which
relies on the implementation of GAPs and GMPs at the primary production and also
involves measures to be applied throughout the fresh produce chain (e.g. better
preparation practices in the retail environment).

Similarly, changes in legislation regarding traceability issues reflect the increasing
attention that the US and European markets are paying to chain management and
labeling systems so that products can be traced back to producers. For example, the
EU Regulation EC/178/2002 -Article 18 on traceability issues applying from
January 2005, and most recently the US food safety regulations issued by FDA
placing new requirements on both domestic and foreign food, such as the Final
Regulation for the Establishment and Maintenance of Records (as regards to section
306 of Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2002) officially
published last December, 2004.


Private initiatives


The private FFV safety initiatives implemented in US and EU markets, cover a wide
range of options, from voluntary implementation to self-certification according to
codes of practices/standards that are then certified by third parties. Private safety
initiatives for fresh produce in US and EU markets are led by: national trade




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associations (e.g. UFFVA1, IFPA2), universities/colleges (e.g. Cornell GAPs
Program, Food Safety in Vegetable Production by the University of California,
Davis), industry associations/boards (e.g. Quality Assurance Program–California
Strawberry Commission), industry company initiatives (e.g. GAP in the field–Dole
Fresh Vegetables Inc.), individual companies (e.g. ProSafe Certified Program,
GAP–Primuslab requested for different retailers in the US), retailers (e.g. H-E-B
Fresh Code of Practice 2000, EurepGAP in EU).
Among the private safety programmes involving auditing and certification, being
progressively applied in the Latin American and Caribbean region are: EurepGAP,
the Certification by British Retail Consortium (BRC), SQF 1000 Code, the Prosafe
certified programme, GAP–Primuslab.
EurepGAP: The EurepGAP certification system is driven by 22 large-scale retail
chains in Europe forming the core members of the Euro-retailer Produce Association
(EUREP). It is an assured produce scheme that addresses safety issues through GAP
implementation to prevent, mainly microbiological and chemical hazards during
production and post-harvest stages, and incorporates environmental aspects of the
production practices as well as workers’ health and welfare considerations.
Traceability aspects (record-keeping) are also key components of the standard.
Safe and Quality Food – SQF 1000 Code: The safe and quality management
certification programme administrated by the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), a
Division of the Food Marketing Association (FMA) in the United States of America,
is based in SQF 1000 Code, (HACCP-based assurance code) to be applied by the
primary producer.
BRC Global Standard packaging: The British Retail Consortium is the leading
trade association for the UK retail industry. The standard developed by BRC
attempts to help in the protection of the consumer by providing a common basis for
the audit of companies supplying packaging for food products to retailers. It is
applied by exporting FFV companies in order to certify the packaging process. The
code is based in the application of HACCP.
ProSafe Certified Program: Implemented by Davis Fresh, an independent third-
party auditor. The programme is based on the FDA Guide to Minimize
Microbiological Food Safety Hazards for FFV.
GAP Certification Program: Implemented by Primuslab, a third party auditor, it is
also based on the FDA Guide to minimize microbiological food safety hazards for
FFV.
The private sector in EU and US markets is continually updating the market
requirements in terms of quality and safety for the FFV industry. For example,
EurepGAP reviewed the 2001 protocol and launched an updated version on
September 2003, the BCR has announced plans to publish a new version of the BCR

1
  United Fresh Fruit and Vegetal Association has developed the Food Safety Auditing Guidelines:
Core Elements of Good Agricultural Practices for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, 2001.
2
  International Fresh-cut Produce Association has developed the Food Safety Guidelines for the
Fresh-Cut Produce Industry and the Revised HACCP Plan for Fresh-Cut Produce, 2001.



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Food Standard in December/January 2005. Therefore, producers and exporters in the
Latin American and Caribbean region are facing the challenge of complying with
these stricter and very dynamic market requirements, and have responded to it by
implementing different mechanisms, as illustrated below.



Initiatives implemented by exporting countries in the region to comply with
market requirements

FFV quality and safety initiatives carried out by the Latin American and Caribbean
countries have arisen mainly as a response to the importing market requirements.
The approach to safety assurance in the FFV sector adopted by most of the countries
in the region is based on the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (under a
wider concept that implies good practices in harvesting and post-harvest stages “on-
farm” activities), as a way to offer a guarantee of the quality and safety of the
products reaching the external markets.
The standards/protocols that are widely taking over the FFV export sector in the
region (Eurep-GAP and third party certification based on FDA guidelines) and
currently being used by countries as a reference to address GAP standardization
processes in the region, focus on the prevention of FFV hazards in order to ensure
the safety of the fresh produce. US requirements emphasize the prevention of
microbiological hazards, whereas EurepGAP emphasizes the prevention of
microbiological and chemical contamination, as well as incorporating environmental
and social considerations in the FFV production. The BRC- standard has been
implemented by highly specialized horticultural FFV packagers exporting to the
European market. Some of the initiatives taken over by the private and public sector
in the Latin American and Caribbean region as response to the export market
requirements are:
ChileGAP: This programme is managed by the Foundation for the Development of
the Fruit Industry in Chile (FDF). A protocol/standard for certification has been
developed, integrating the European requirements/EurepGAP, the food safety
requirements asked for by the US, Codex Standards and the Chilean national
legislation in terms of environmental and social considerations.
PIPAA Programme: This programme was created by the Guatemalan Ministry of
Agriculture (MAGA) in 1991 and is currently implemented by the exporters’
association of Non-traditional Products, AGEXPRONT. The PIPAA programme
offers inspection and certification services and provides a “safety label”. The
programme includes a checklist for certification, based mainly on the US market
safety requirements. The PIPAA seal has been applied by exporters supplying global
and regional export markets, as well as specialized national markets.
Other initiatives being led by the public sector regarding quality and safety issues for
specific FFV exports in the region are:

   •   The programme implemented by SENASICA in Mexico:El Servicio




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                                                  Project PFL/INT/ 857-Conclusions



Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA) and the
State government of Baja California, in conjunction with the green onion export
industry and growers have developed the Green Onions Protocol (GAPs and GMPs)
largely based on the FDA guidelines.

• SENASA in Argentina, SENA in Colombia and Ministries of Agriculture in
countries such as Uruguay, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia,
etc are supporting producers and exporters in the implementation of measures to
comply with market requirements, mainly under the EurepGAP scheme.

• Exporter associations are also implementing initiatives to support the sector to
comply with safety market requirements: PROMPEX in Peru, ANALDEX in
Colombia. Some producer associations have gone further and are currently
providing pre-auditing for third party certifications on different schemes, such as
FEDEFRUTA in Chile auditing USAGAP-Primuslab and EurepGAP; FDF (Chilean
Development Foundation) also in Chile, auditing for ProSafe, GAP-Primuslab, and
EurepGAP certification.


Demand for safety schemes by the FFV domestic and regional markets

Many of the successful experiences in the implementation of quality and safety
programmes in the Latin American and Caribbean region have implied a sort of
cooperation between the private and public sectors (i.e. ChileGAP, PIPAA Safety
Seal, are managed by the private sector, but receive support from the public sector).
Those countries with strong exporter or producer organizations have been more able
to structure and implement safety programmes than those with weak (or a lack of)
private organizations addressing sector’s needs and priorities

The role of the public sector is quite diverse among the countries in the region (e.g.
funding FFV safety initiatives, auditing and certifying, training producers and
auditors, etc). However, the coordination of public and private efforts has certainly
been a key element to success in the implementation of safety programmes
throughout the region.

The main incentive for individual growers to adopt stronger FFV safety programmes
in the region has been to ensure market access. In spite of the consequences that an
outbreak would have on all growers in the industry (whether they were applying
safer programmes or otherwise), this has not been sufficient to entice all growers
taking part in the export chain to upgrade their producing and product-handling
practices. In that respect, public and private initiatives oriented to identify and
create incentives for farmers to move forward in the application of safety
programmes are vital.




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                                                   Project PFL/INT/ 857-Conclusions



On the other hand, private and public efforts in FFV safety have been concentrated
on providing support for the export sector to comply with the import market
requirements and few efforts have been taken to address initiatives supporting the
implementation of quality and safety programmes targeting the production supplying
domestic markets.

However, the results of the implementation of quality and safety programmes in the
FFV export chains, by some countries in the region are having some impact, though
still incipient, on the FFV regional and domestic markets. For example, leading
supermarket chains in the Central American region, as well as multinational food
chains, are demanding that suppliers comply with safety requirements. Nevertheless,
in general terms, the domestic demand for FFV safety schemes is rare in the Latin
American and Caribbean region; therefore, it could be interesting to explore, as case
studies, the few experiences being led by the specialized retail sector in the region in
order to identify strategies to encourage the retail sector in the rest of the Latin
American countries to play a more prominent role in the promotion and
implementation of safety programmes in the FFV sector.

Some countries in the Caribbean region have also implemented experiences in safety
initiatives addressing domestic markets in order to improve the safety of the fresh
produce supplying institutional markets (hotels, resorts, etc.). Similarly, SENA in
Colombia is implementing the National GAP Programme, by which funding is
provided to support projects based on GAP implementation.

However, for the countries in the region with few, if any, participation in the global
market of FFV, or supplying less developed (in terms of quality and safety
requirements) regional markets, the public and private initiatives for the promotion
of safety programmes are incipient or rare. Therefore, the challenge will be to
identify the strategies to motivate FFV chain actors to apply safety programmes
for the production supplying domestic markets, as a way of protecting national
consumers and achieving sustainability of the horticultural production.

Safety Standard and Regulatory Framework on FFV safety in the region

In the last decade, the majority of the countries in the Latin American and Caribbean
region have been carrying out strategies to strengthen their food-control systems by,
for example, carrying out structural reforms (rebuilding or creating public structures
divisions, secretariats, etc.), dealing with safety issues and consumer protection
objectives.

HACCP and GMP have been adopted by some countries as part of their
regulatory/standards framework for the food industry, but very few initiatives have
been carried out regarding safety at the primary production. However, in the last
decade, as a consequence of the increasing market demands for high-quality and safe
FFV, the countries in the region have started to harmonize their FFV regulatory and
standards framework with Codex and other international regulatory instruments
(including private market protocols/standards) mainly on a voluntary basis. Since




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1998, Codex Alimentarius product standards (grade standards) have included a
clause regarding “hygiene aspects”. (It is recommended that the product covered by
the provisions of this Standard be prepared and handled in accordance with the
appropriate sections of the Recommended International Code of Practice – General
Principles of Food Hygiene (CAC/RCP 1-1969, Rev. 3-1997), and other relevant
Codex texts such as Codes of Hygienic Practice and Codes of Practice.)
Consequently, national grade standards harmonized with Codex standards also
include this aspect.

Other initiatives in the region include the elaboration of specific GAP standards (e.g.
national GAP standard for fruit, aromatic herbs and vegetables in Colombia; GAP
standard for asparagus in Peru). In the same way, the majority of the countries in the
region are also working on strengthening the National Codex Committees and
Committees for FFV standards and Food Hygiene. In spite of the above advances, a
lot of work needs to be done in order to support the harmonization of national
standards with Codex standards and other international regulatory mechanisms.

At the policy level, several countries are working in the consolidation of National
Commissions to address safety issues at primary production and in developing and
applying long-term national policies regarding quality and safety issues for FFV
and/or initiatives promoting the implementation of quality and safety programmes
for specific horticultural products.

Safety programmes in –small and middle-scale farmer horticulture

The participation of small-scale farmers in the export chain of FFV varies among
countries in the region. In Colombia, for example, the production of cape gooseberry
– the second major export horticultural commodity – involves a high participation of
small-scale farmers (0.25 to 3.0 hectares/producer). In Bolivia, the leading export
commodity (banana) is produced mainly for small and middle producers taking part
in the programme for the eradication of illegal crops. In contrast, in Chile, according
to CIREN-CORFO, in 1998 approximately 4.9 percent of the fresh fruit producers
have less than 5 hectares, while those with 20 to 5000 or above represented 77
percent. Therefore, the extent at which small-scale farmer horticulture is currently
involved in the application of safety programmes is closely linked to their
participation in the export chain for FFV.

As mentioned above, small-scale farmer horticulture faces several constraints and
limitations to participating in the value chain of FFV. However, as result of new
market developments, small-scale farmers already taking part on the export chain of
horticultural products must deal with the costs involved in the implementation of
quality and safety schemes in order to comply with market requirements (cost of
investments, costs of certification, costs of record keeping, etc.), but, also, to
develop managerial skills and knowledge of the production systems, in order to
improve the quality and safety of the FFV supply to the market. Therefore, as part of
the activities carried out under project PFL/INT/857, four case studies regarding the
application of safety schemes by small-scale farmers in Latin America were




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identified, and are currently under implementation in order to analyse how these
safety programmes articulate and integrate market/consumer demands, priorities and
expectations of small-scale farmers and rural workers, as well as to identify the
institutional support required in order to link supply and market demands.




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        Key aspects to be considered for future FAO/ESNS actions
                               in the region

Taking into account the findings described above and project PFL/INT/857
outcomes and achievements, some key aspects should be considered for future
FAO/ESNS activities in the region regarding FFV safety and quality:

• It is clear that the FFV safety initiatives carried out by the countries in the region
have arisen mainly as a response to the import market requirements. It is evident that
the main import markets have been the engine for innovations and have made
possible the implementation of safety programmes by countries in the region.
However, although to upgrade farmers and exporters to comply with export market
requirements is a priority for the Latin American and Caribbean countries,
coordinated efforts should be done by governments, international agencies and other
donors, in order to integrate the FFV production supplying domestic markets into
those safety initiatives, as a way to protect national consumers and to take
advantage of regional and domestic market opportunities – “Safe FFV” should be
the right of all consumers in domestic, regional and global markets.

• FAO/ESNS work on FFV safety in the region through the implementation of
project PFL/INT/857 and other FAO/ESNS initiatives has been based on building
capacities to strengthen the FFV quality and safety control systems by the following
measures:

    •     Delivering training through “train the trainers”.
    •     Strengthening the laboratory infrastructure at the regional level.3
    •     Preparing training materials and manuals.
    •     Strengthening the work of the Codex Committees.4
    •     Developing case studies on quality and safety programmes implemented
          by small-scale producers. Supporting the exchange of experiences on
          safety programmes implemented by countries in the region.

Most of the above activities undertaken by FAO/ESNS have been part of regional
projects: although it is crucial to ensure the continuity of these regional activities, it
is also essential to accomplish them with the execution of technical projects,
addressing specific country needs and concerns. The implementation of NAPs
through project PFL/INT/857 contributed, to some extent, to addressing national
priorities. However, in order to respond most effectively to the need for FAO
technical cooperation in the region (as mentioned in Section 3, “Project outcomes”),
a lot of work needs to be done in order to consolidate these needs in specific national
projects/proposals (under the Technical Cooperation Programme).


3
 TCP- Strengthening laboratory quality assurance systems, INFAL/RILAA Member countries.
4
 TCPs on Strengthening the National Codex Committee in Uruguay, Paraguay, Andean Countries
and Central American countries.



                                             68
                                                 Project PFL/INT/ 857-Conclusions



• Although the market demands are driving the implementation of safety schemes
in the region, it is important for the Latin American and Caribbean countries to
establish their own regulatory/standard framework (initially on a voluntary based) in
order to promote the implementation of safety schemes at the primary production. In
this regard, FAO plays an important role in supporting the harmonization, at
the country and regional level, of Codex standards (Code of Hygienic Practice
for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables and other Codex initiatives), as well as other
regulatory international instruments. The national standards/code of practices will
take into account international requirements, but also local needs and priorities
(national consumer protection goals, environmental and social considerations,
complement the national legislation, etc.). Similarly, the role that FAO has been
playing, in order to strengthen the administrative and technical capacities of
countries in the region to enforce the implementation of quality and safety
standards/codes, would be reinforced by focusing on:

   •   promoting coordination and multistakeholders’ involvement for the
       development and implementation of the code/standards – multidisciplinary
       approach to quality and safety issues;
   •   training and advice for implementation of codes of practice/standards;
   •   advice in identifying strategies and incentives to gain support/motivate
       farmers to apply safety programmes;
   •   supporting the development of verification systems for the code/standards
       (defining indicators and verifiers);
   •   development of instruments/tools to support the code/standard
       implementation: check lists, guidelines, SSOP, etc.;
   •   strengthening the auditing and certification systems;
   •   advice in the most cost-effective strategies to adequately monitor and enforce
       standards (avoiding onerous resource inputs from stakeholders) to allow the
       participation of small-scale farmers.

•     There is a clear need to ensure the continuity to the activities carried out by
FAO, in partnership with different institutions in the region, for awareness creation
on the importance of safety and quality of fresh produce and to develop new
stakeholders’ skills to improve quality and safety of fresh produce in practice.
However, for the proper application of these initiatives, it is recommended that the
training programmes and activities:

   •   promote public and private involvement;
   •   promote the understanding of quality and safety programme implementation
       as a “step by step process”, which implies defining clear and affordable
       objectives for the short, middle and long term;
   •   promote low-cost technologies with safety objectives to be applied to small-
       scale production, targeting the needs and possibilities of small-scale farmers
       and opening space to “innovations” (storage rooms, sanitary facilities, etc.);
   •   base training on the development of pilot experiences, targeting different
       actors (mainly small-scale farmers);




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                                                  Project PFL/INT/ 857-Conclusions



   •   base training on an integrated approach: safety and quality objectives, also
       taking into account economic, social and environmental considerations of the
       FFV production;
   •   take advantage of the programmes implemented in some countries to certify
       workers’ competencies (e.g. Acertar in Mexico, SENA in Colombia,
       SENASA in Peru), which will result in skilled workers (in farms and packing
       houses) and the reduction of training cost for the companies;
   •   accompany programmes with complementary training programmes oriented
       to develop entrepreneurial skills, mainly at small-scale farmer level (e.g.
       keeping records).

•   For the successful implementation of quality and safety schemes at primary
production some collaborative work among different FAO units is required
mainly in the following areas:

       • analysing the incentives and disincentives that influence the adoption of
       safety assurance techniques by farmers and other supply-chain actors to
       inform and enhance policies to expand the use of quality-assurance schemes.
       (e.g. detailed cost-benefit studies of safety programmes already under
       implementation by small-scale farmers in the region);
       • articulating the FFV safety initiatives with the programmes for the
       promotion of Integrated Crop Management (ICM) and Integrated Pest
       Management (IPM), as the foundation for successful GAP’s implementation;
       • gathering and validating production technologies already available to
       achieve quality and safety objectives, taking into account environmental,
       social and economic aspects;
       • strengthening entrepreneurial skills among producers and farmers’
       organizations;
       • strengthening national legislation in related topics such as quality of water
       and environmental issues.

• There is a clear need to establish an effective way to exchange experiences
and information concerning FFV quality and safety issues throughout the countries
in the region. In this respect, it is recommended to support the initial step made by
the participants who attended the subregional workshop held in Guatemala, July
2003, to consolidate a subregional network on quality and safety issues for fresh
produce. In the same way, a priority for FAO/ESNS is to keep the FFV Q&S
database updated.

• It is recommended that collaborative work with other international agencies
and institutions working in FFV quality and safety issues in the region is carried
out, such as IICA, INPPAZ, FDA, etc.

• Based on the project outcomes and main findings, a second phase of project
PFL/INT/857 has been prepared, proposing new outputs and possible future actions
that could substantially contribute to achieving the project PFL/INT/857 long-term
objective of increasing economic opportunities for the fresh industry in Latin




                                         70
                                                 Project PFL/INT/ 857-Conclusions



American countries. FAO/ESNS is currently in the process of approaching possible
donors to support the implementation of this second phase.

• Given the successful experience of project PFL/INT/857, it is strongly advisable
to extend the capacity-building activities carried out under the project in the Latin
America and the Caribbean region to African and Asian countries, and by doing so
generating market opportunities for the FFV industry in these regions. As a first
step, FAO/ESNS in collaborative work with the Department of Agriculture of the
Government of Thailand held a subregional workshop in Bangkok on 28 February–4
March 2005. A similar activity will take place in the Near East and Africa during
2005.




                                         71
           Project PFL/INT/ 857-Conclusions




5. FINANCIAL
STATEMENT




      72
                                              Project PFL/INT/ 857- Financial statement



5. Financial statement
_____________________________________________
As presented in Figure 11, the training activities, at the national and subregional
level (subregional workshops, national action plans and follow-up activities)
counted for 42 percent of the total project budget (US$ 704 071.00). In the same
way, 18 percent of the budget supported the elaboration of training materials and
training tools for information sharing among the food chain actors (database,
publications and case studies). 12 percent corresponded to support expenses and 28
percent to salaries of personnel.



                               Figure 11. Total Project Expenditure



                    Salaries                                   Sub-regional
                   personnel                                    workshops
                      28%                                          29%


                                                              National Action
                 Support                                            Plans
                expenses                                             9%
                                                         Follow-up
                  12%    Case studies Database
                                                         seminaries
                             5%          6%
                                            Publications     4%
                                                7%



5.1. Subregional workshops

Among the items related to the subregional workshops implementation, the highest
cost is related with the travelling cost and support expenses of the participants

Table 12. Subregional Workshop’s Expenditure (US$)

         ITEM          Chile        Guatemala      Bolivia    Barbados         Total
 Honorariums           1 662.34        1 208.76    1 534.22     2 301.37       6 706.69
 Consultants
 Travel               17 435.00      13 117.10 13 947.26      12 680.23       57 179.59
 Consultants and
 FAO staff
 Travel               27 489.13      30 397.38 28 875.42      30 540.50    117 302.43
 Participants
 Logistic costs        3 249.43         883.88     1 884.51     7 755.37      13 773.19

 Total                49 835.90      45 607.12 46 241.41      53 277.47    194 961.90




                                             73
                                         Project PFL/INT/ 857- Financial statement



attending the workshops, and represents 61 percent of the total workshops’ budget.

5.2. National Action Plans

A total of 19 countries received financial support for the implementation of the
National Action Plans, either through the establishment of Letters of Agreement
with the beneficiary institutions or through delivering Field Disbursement Request
to the FAO representations in each country, authorizing the payment of the expenses
related with the activities established in the National Action Plan. Table 13
describes the total amount delivered to each country.

   Table 13. Financial support to National Action Plan Implementation (US$)

 Country                                     Committed          Delivered

 LOAs                                            28 655.00          28 655.00
 Argentina                                        3 000.00           3 000.00
 Chile                                            2 840.00           2 840.00
 Paraguay                                         3 023.00           3 023.00
 Uruguay                                          3 342.00           3 342.00
 Cuba                                             3 500.00           3 500.00
 Honduras                                         3 000.00           3 000.00
 Guatemala                                        3 000.00           3 000.00
 Nicaragua                                        3 500.00           3 500.00
 Dominican Republic                               3 450.00           3 450.00
                                                 35 750.07          31 407.42
 Colombia                                         3 485.09           3 485.09
 Ecuador                                          5 600.00           4 773.00
 Bolivia                                          2 460.00             472.77
 Peru                                             4 799.42           4 799.42
 Venezuela                                        4 600.00           3 071.58
 Brazil                                           3 220.56           3 220.56
 Costa Rica                                       3 789.00           3 789.00
 Panama                                           3 000.00           3 000.00
 Mexico                                           1 796.00           1 796.00
 El Salvador                                      3 000.00           3 000.00
                                                 64 405.07         60 062.42*

* The implementation of the Action Plans in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela will be
extended until May 2005.

5.3. Publications

The editing and publishing of the training manual as a CD-ROM and the translation
of the manual into English and Chinese was covered with project PFL857 funds.The
translation of the manual into French and the print publication of it in three
languages were covered with ESNS regular budget. Table 14 presents, in detail, the
cost associated with the production and publication of the training materials.




                                        74
                                         Project PFL/INT/ 857- Financial statement



                Table 14. Expenditure in publications
             Translations
                                              12 000.00
             Editing, proof reading, design,
             printing preliminary copies
                                               6 440.72
             CD-ROM
             Design and publication of
             Manual as CD-ROM in three
             languages                        15 896.67
             * Design and printing –
             Brochure, final report, CD-
             ROM database- –in                19 578.68
             elaboration/estimated budget
             Total                            53 916.07



5.4. Database

Table 15 presents the total expenditure related to the production of the Fresh Fruit
and Vegetable Quality and Safety Database.



                Table 15. Global Inventory-Database
                                         US$
           Collecting and              20 500.00
           cataloguing
           information-NRI
           Interface design-           17 281.00
           (AFIS/FAO)

           Translation database          400.00
           into French
           CD-Rom production            2200.00

           Total                       40 381.00




                                        75
                                            Project PFL/INT/ 857- Financial statement




5.5. Follow-up seminars


                             ITEM                Argentina                   Costa Rica
                 Travel participants and
                 FAO/staff                        11 052.71                   13 440.47
                 Logistic costs                      231.29
                 Subtotal                         11 284.00                   13 440.47
                 Total                                           24 724.47

5.6. Case studies, salaries and others

                   Table 17. Case studies, salaries and others

                 Salaries personnel                  198 446.00
                 General overhead expenses              1778.43
                 Non-expendable procurement              759.06
                 Support cost                         80 999.00
                 Case studies                            38 700
                 AGD                                    5000.00
                                                     325 682.49




                                           76
                     Project PFL/INT/ 857- List of annexes



          LIST OF ANNEXES




Annex 1           Project Work Plan
Annex 2           Project approach to quality and safety
Annex 3           List of participants attending subregional
                  workshops
Annex 4           Information by country (In Spanish)
                  – Importance of the horticultural sector
                  – SWOT analysis
                  – National Action Plan
                  – Progress report (PP)
                  – Final report
                  Argentina
                  Bolivia
                  Chile
                  Brazil
                  Colombia
                  Costa Rica
                  Cuba
                  Dominican Republic
                  Ecuador
                  El Salvador
                  Guatemala
                  Honduras
                  Mexico
                  Nicaragua
                  Panama
                  Paraguay
                  Peru
                  Uruguay
                  Venezuela
Annex 5           Subregional workshops reports
Annex 6           Report of the follow-up seminars




                77

				
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