This is an interesting document from The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF).
click the image to view the paper
This is a short (12 page) document defining the different food safety concepts, such as HACCP, ALOP, FSOs and POs, from a conceptual and strategic perspective. Seems to be worthwhile to give the processor an overall understanding of “why” not just “what”.
This is a comprehensive manual, published by the FAO, that allows the user to carry out HACCP analyses and plans in preparation for the formal implementation by a certified practitioner.
This is actually a training of the trainer document so also provides a broader background than a simple HACCP manual. Section 1 reviews principles and methods of training; Section 2 introduces and elucidates the Codex Alimentarius General Principles of Food Hygiene; and Section 3 explains the HACCP system and its implementation. Each section is made up of specific training modules which can be combined and customized to meet the specific needs of the students.
This document entitled “Cost-effective management tools for ensuring food quality and safety”is actually the instruction manual for training designed for small and medium agroindustrial enterprises.
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The specific objectives of the course which is expected to take at least 40 hours are
Identify the characteristics and usefulness of some basic tools for collecting,
processing and analysing market information.
Present the sequence of steps to be followed for market research and
Emphasize the importance of a proactive approach to quality and safety
within the agro-industrial enterprise.
Review the tools and systems available for improved food quality and safety
assurance throughout the agrifood chain.
Illustrate the principles of product traceability and its importance as a
support tool in quality and safety improvement programmes.
Underline the importance of quality management for implementing initiatives
to improve product quality and safety.
Outline the use of planning principles as a tool for improving quality and
Although written as the structure on which trainers can write their course, there is a wealth of good information in here. The information on marketing, market reseal and planning is very detailed but simply and clearly explained.
Sections on improving quality and safety, implementing quality management in small enterprises and management of the process are equally useful.
Is this really a new technology? too often I’ve read about the next new drying technology but the changes haven’t been significant for many years. At the end of the day that cost is a major issue where many new technologies have failed.
Every small food business workshop surely lists export as an opportunity in their SWOT analysis. What the vast majority are unable to do is to understand the implication of a strategy that focuses on export. Therefore it gets written up and maybe posted on the webpage more in excitement and optimism that in expectation.
This manual should be prescribed reading for the facilitator of such workshops, but more importantly seems to be a realistic HOW TO manual for a business wishing to consider the potential of entering and export market and also its checklist and directory as an exporter.
The manual appears to be pretty comprehensive, but if anyone who has practical experience could offer feedback I would be happy to publish that here.
The Table of Contents is copied below:
Why this export guide?
1. Success in exporting specialty foods
1.1. Why should your business export?
1.2. How does international trade differ from domestic trade?
1.3. In-house management issues involved in the decision to export
1.4. Importance of an export marketing strategy Continue reading →
However, this blog addresses few of the issues that will impact on the achievement of sustainable operation of this type of small production, especially at the bottom of the pyramid.
Even the original article presents little more than concepts and ideas. A few of the issues:
A major quality problem arises when trying to use biodiesel in modern high technology engines. I am not sure that anyone can define where the difference comes between simple and sophisticated engines so doing it is a try & fail thing unfortunately – proper quality control and measurement is very expensive and not sensible on this kind of scale.
The statement that Jatropha is “cultivated extensively for pure plant oil (PPO) as feedstock for biodiesel fuel production in India and Africa” is a misconception based on many optimistic publications similar to this one. In fact there is little biodiesel production taking place and only limited firm data on Jatropha performance and yield, which is of course at the heart on any successful production.
The need to change fertilisation habits to give the byproduct of oil production a value is a significant undertaking.
A final thought – does the oil not burn anyway?
Diesel designed the diesel engine to operate on simple peanut oil, are we not complicating things by introducing the toxic chemicals and chemical wastes necessary for the reaction of the oil when we aren’t able to make the highest quality product.
The major problems that retailers highlight in their negotiations with potential small scale providers and especially processor are assurance of supply and quality.
While large retailers often have quality management requirements that dictate systems to which the small scale processor must comply, the processor also needs a general background and understanding of quality and quality assurance. In addition, if they are selling to smaller retailers or directly to the consumer they require this information to ensure the quality and safety of their products on which their business depends.
The FAO has published a document on Quality Assurance in small scale rural food industries written by Fellow, Axtel and Dillion.
While this book was written in 1995, it is still essentially valid and is recommended because of its accessibility to small rural entrepreneurs.
The contents page of the document illustrates its scope.
It can be viewed at http://www.fao.org/docrep/V5380E/V5380E00.HTM but unfortunately is not directly downloadable. SAFPP is approaching FAO to try and identify more practical ways of providing access to this valuable document to entrepreneurs in rural areas where access to ICTs is constraining.