Land O’Lakes Venture37 is pleased to offer a volunteer position in Lebanon for someone with expertise in Traceability for the Farmer to Farmer Program. Your time is donated and all expenses such as airfare, lodging, meals and an interpreter are covered by the program.
Key Experiences and Qualifications:
The recruited volunteer is expected to have the following skills and qualifications
- Expert in designing and implementing effective traceability system in medium size industries.
- Experience in agro-processing firm producing dips (Hummus is a plus)
- Aware of the requirements of the recent food safety systems
- USAID programs experience is a plus
- Experience in Lebanon and MENA region is preferable.
- Training skills, including training in group settings.
- Good writing and computer skills.
- Familiar with conducting trainings through Zoom/teams and translators/interpreters.
Requirement of the Program: Only U.S. citizens or Green Card holders are eligible to apply for in-person assignments.
Start Date: ASAP
Length of Assignment: 15 days
Country: Lebanon Region: Mount Lebanon
The USAID funded Farmer-to-Farmer Food Safety and Quality (F2F FSQ) program provides technical assistance to host organizations working in agriculture production and/or agro-processing focusing on food safety and quality through US volunteer experts, who travel to Lebanon to implement planned assignments. F2F FSQ leverage the Global Markets Program (GMaP), owned by the Global Food Security Initiative (GFSI) which provides a framework of competencies and two toolkits, to help growers and processors conduct a self-assessment to identify where they fall against a Basic or Intermediate Level of food safety and quality requirements.
During the challenging economic situation, the country is currently passing through, and the devaluation of the local currency against the US dollars, food industries are focusing on decreasing their production costs, increasing their sales, and expanding to international markets to maintain sustainability. Based on an up-to-date assessment, Lebanese processors are in need for updating their food safety systems to be complaint with well-known and GFSI recognized food safety standards. This will enable food processors to have higher chances in penetrating new export markets, thus receiving fresh US dollars that will enable them to sustain their businesses during the Lebanese economic crisis.
The host organization is a family business company producing Lebanese ethnic products such as Hummus Tahini, Baba Ghannouj, Garlic Dip and Muhammara. The host aim to manufacture high quality ethnic and natural Lebanese products to sell them to the local markets with an eye on expanding the business and exporting beyond the Lebanese border which represent a high need currently with the current economic situation in Lebanon providing sustainability for their business and resilience to continue.
To be able to enter new local and export markets, the host organization aims to grow and improve the safety and quality of their products and achieve food safety certificates like HACCP. To do so, the company needs to build an effective and well-structured traceability system, which they currently lack, to track their products through all stages of production and link raw material and finished products in term of batch numbers.
As such, they are requesting the assistance of a volunteer expert to support them in starting a well-designed traceability system which is essential in progressing towards a safer and higher quality food product and take them a step further to reach HACCP certificate.
The USAID funded Farmer-to-Farmer program is assisting host organizations in developing their skills and improving their food facilities through practical trainings conducted by food safety and quality experts in their work. This will improve their market opportunities and increase their profitability.
Traceability systems has become an essential tool in food industries to consistently supply food products with acceptable quality and safety. Implementing an effective traceability system aims to improve the supply chain efficiency and trace all raw materials and ingredients through the entire chain. By accurately tracking and locating food products, manufacturers can lower inventory levels, improve efficiency of logistics and distribution operations, and detect the cause and effect when products fail to meet standards.
The host organization is a manufacturer of Lebanese ethnic products such as Hummus Tahini, Baba Ghannouj, Garlic Dip and Muhammara. The host’s main goal is to extend the shelf life of their products and establish a well-structured food safety system. This will enable the company to be compliant with food safety and industry requirements which will enable them to enter new markets both locally and internationally.
As they have moved to a new and bigger facility, the host organization aims to improve the safety and quality of their products to enter new local markets and export markets in the future. Therefore, the host organization requires technical assistance to implement an effective traceability system. The volunteer expert will aid the host organization in creating a well-stablished traceability system that will link raw materials with finished product. In addition, the volunteer expert needs to guide the company on how to manage their supplier approval program.
Objectives and Outcomes of the Assignment
· To guide the host on how to establish a structured traceability system.
· To guide host on how to links raw materials, semi-finished, finished products and packaging materials.
· To implement and practice the FIFO principle.
· Host traceability system put-in-place.
· Host production efficiency improved.
· Host revenue improved due to low recall costs.
Each volunteer must submit a Final Report to the F2F Program, which includes the following sections:
· A summary of tasks and observations from site visits
· A list of 3-5 specific and actionable recommendations for the host organization(s). The recommendations are very important to the program as we use them to track host adoption of recommendations and the impact on hosts’ farms and businesses. These recommendations will be reviewed during the debriefing session with country staff at the end of the assignment and the volunteer may revise them in their Final Report.
· A section listing the assignment objectives above and how they were met or why they were not met.
· A short summary of the assignment with relevant photos that can be posted on the F2F volunteer blog.