Agribusiness EAC Industry

EAC private sector moots self regulation for food safety

The Private Sector in East Africa is taking steps to enhance conformity to food safety and quality standards demanded by national, regional, continental, and global markets.
Instead of relying on government agencies to enforce these standards, the Private Sector is developing a Self-Regulatory Framework.
This framework aims to influence value chain stakeholders to observe safety and standards that make their goods competitive in international and regional markets and safe for consumers.
EABC in partnership with GIZ Market Access Program (MARKUP) under the EU-EAC Funded Project organized a High-Level Stakeholder Workshop to consider and approve the framework on self-regulation.
The MARKUP Consultant on Food Safety and Quality Standards, Prof. Martin Kimanya, noted that self-regulation should go hand in hand with the EAC’s move to harmonize standards. He also highlighted some challenges to self-regulation, including inadequate funds to build networks.
The workshop drew food standard experts, representatives of business associations from various agribusiness sub-sectors, and from the public sector. The framework is expected to be ratified and domesticated at the national level.
The implementation of a Self-Regulatory Framework is at the final level of approval by the private sector and is set to boost cross-border trade along the priority EAC value chain. It will also ease the compliance cost and administrative requirements by regulatory agencies, according to Frank Dafa, EABC Expert SPS and Standards representing the CEO of EABC.
On her part, Estella Aryada, the GIZ MARKUP Program Coordinator, pointed out that respective Partner States should support the Private Sector in implementing the Framework.
The benefits of reduced certification costs and delays can create an environment of trust among consumers in both local and international markets.
Ketra Nakayenga, Principal MSME, Quality Assurance & Standardization from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives Uganda, said Uganda has made great strides in complying with international standards. She urged the private sector to encourage more scientific approaches to meet food safety and quality standards.
The high-level meeting will conclude on April 19, with the signing of the communique of the key deliberations from the Private Sector Self-Regulation Framework and agreeing on the Roadmap for its implementation.
Daniel Otema

Daniel Otema is a well-rounded professional and his expertise spans agribusiness management and rural development. In his editorial role, Daniel combines his deep knowledge of agriculture with skills in journalism to oversee content that highlights key economic trends and developments within East Africa.