Improve quality and standards & develop new products
For SME agricultural and agri-processing businesses, poor food quality and safety can lose business, prevent growth and cause business failure. The same can be said of SMEs that fail to innovate within their product portfolio, either to give them a competitive edge, or to simply ensure they remain competitive.
Inattention to these aspects also means the economic benefits of in-country value addition (creation of jobs, skills and revenues) are exported, which is a barrier to economic and social development.
Fullwell Transform provides detailed input on these issues based on our experience of:
- Running a UK factory to independently audited (GFSI / BRC, Organic and Fairtrade) standards. Our factory has produced own-label products for the UK’s largest supermarket chains Tesco & Sainsbury’s, mainstream and niche European & US food brands and supplied ingredients to major international food processing companies including Unilever and Kerry Foods.
- Advising on systems for a range of food products in less developed countries including the interventions listed further below.
We are able to make valuable cost savings and business improvement interventions from harvest through processing to packaging. Our approach involves applying technical knowledge of food products, food science, postharvest handling and food processing technologies combined with current experience of implementing and running the systems used in modern food processing.
Analysis of food quality and safety system at Pal Gardens for Zaytoun, from immediate post-harvest through to packed goods. Advice and recommendations provided.
Fruit juice, Senegal
(2016 – present)
Analysis of food quality and safety systems at Zena Exotic Fruits and Baobab-des-Saveurs, from immediate post-harvest through processing to packed goods. Advice and recommendations including processing parameters such as temperature, time and pH for food safety.
Cashew nuts, India
Quality and safety assessment of cashew processing at three sites for Liberation Foods.
Olive oil & preserves, Palestine
Advice and training on food quality and safety system at Canaan for Zaytoun and Equal Exchange. Recommendations on processing parameters such as temperature, time and pH for food safety in long-life jarred products.
Mango & cashew nuts, Burkina Faso
Analysis of food quality and safety system at Gebana Afrique, from immediate post-harvest through to packed goods. Specific recommendations on the process with respect to the HACCP systems in place.
(2010 – 2014)
Fairtrade compliance system implemented at Kunduz Almond Producer Coop with Mercy Corps and USAID and Afghanistan’s first Fairtrade certified almonds exported.
Worked with Fruits of the Nile to explore the introduction of a number of soft-fruit berry products, thanks to support from DFID’s FRICH programme.
The project supported farmers to attempt to cultivate raspberries, blueberries and cape-gooseberries (physalis).
This led to the inclusion of a dried physalis in Fruits of the Nile’s product range, which helped bring in new revenue for the business, and the farmers and dryers that supply Fruits of the Nile. For banana farmers in particular, who tend not to have very much land, the ability to intercrop physalis in between their banana plants allowed them to derive more value from their existing land.
(2006 – 2014)
Invested heavily in developing dried fruit and nut supply chains from Afghanistan, after seeing great need and opportunities to build agricultural value chains in the aftermath of war following the September 11th attacks in the US.
This included devising and implementing food quality and safety systems at two processing sites and Fairtrade certified farms within Parwan Raisin Producer Coop, as well as implementing a Fairtrade compliance system.
Recommendations were also prepared for other food processing sites in addition.
It took around 5 years of intense effort at farmer, processor and even certifier levels, but with the support of institutions such as Mercy Corps and Comic Relief, Fullwell Mill launched the first ever Fairtrade-certified product from Afghanistan in 2010. Tropical Wholefoods also launched its own Fairtrade Afghan raisin product.
Fullwell Mill and Tropical Wholefoods have sadly had to since stop trading with Afghanistan due to issues with security and instability in the country making it impossible for us to guarantee product quality, but we believe the country remains ripe with opportunity if key obstacles can be overcome.
Dried mushrooms, India
Analysis of food quality and safety system for Himachel Wild Mushrooms, from post-harvest through drying to packing. Recommendations on the process and development of HACCP system.
Apricot kernels & nut oils, Pakistan
Worked with Mountain Fruits to develop a range of innovative products including apricot kernels and nut oils.
Up to that time the apricot kernels had been a second grade product, only consumed on the local market without international commercial value for Mountain Fruits’ farmers.
We worked firstly to develop safe production and handling methods that guaranteed product quality would reach international standards, then helped to develop a market for the products. This resulted in a substantial boost to the value of the farmers’ harvests, as two products could be sold instead of one.
We also worked to develop systems so that cracked and broken nuts could be processed into high-value seed-oils which could be sold to the body-care industry in Europe.
All this led to an increase in turnover and profitability for, as well as job creation for women at, Mountain Fruits, on top of the benefits described above for farmers.
Dried banana & pineapple, Uganda & various dried fruits & nuts, Pakistan
(1990s – present)
The ethical and food quality & safety systems we helped to develop at Fruits of the Nile in Uganda and Mountain Fruits in Pakistan played a critical role in the development of these companies from start ups to successful businesses that now that serve international buyers, employ around 200 staff and source from 6,000 small farmers. Mountain Fruits produced the first Fairtrade certified almonds, walnuts, apricot kernels, dried apricots, dried apple and dried cherries in the world.