With its population set to double by 2050, Africa is the fastest-growing continent in the world and is on track to hold more than 25% of the world’s total population. As the continent continues to grow and industrialize, ensuring food safety has never been more important. Africa currently suffers from the world’s highest per capita rate of food-borne illness, resulting in 91 million acute illnesses and more than one hundred thousand deaths each year. To ensure safe food for communities across Africa, food processing companies are implementing advanced food safety measures such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and ISO 22000 food safety management systems.
One company that recently underwent this process was PFS client Rabboni Group in Uganda. Rabboni Group is a maize milling company located in Mukono District, Uganda. They’re eager to grow and supply local and global communities with healthy and safe products. However, the company lacked food safety management prerequisites that are required for any food processing company intending to access bigger markets. The
company chose to work with Partners in Food Solutions and its expert volunteer network for support.
Helping Rabboni Group to improve their food safety was Cargill Food Safety, Quality and Regulation Director Jayd Kittelson. With more than 17 years of industry experience, Jayd was the perfect person to help Rabboni Group reach its goals. “Throughout my career, I’ve gained a lot of exposure to best practices in the food safety space,” said Jayd. “Projects like this allow me to share my food processing knowledge with others who need it, as well as learn myself.”
For several months, Jayd and the project team worked together with Rabboni Group to understand their old processing systems, review GMP pre-requisites, and develop food safety program templates and manuals that would guide the company toward achieving additional food safety certifications. Since the project closed earlier this year, company operations have greatly improved, according to Wabulembo Fazil, a quality controller at Rabboni Group. “We started with personal hygiene and sanitation improvements, and have continued to upgrade the maintenanc of the site and structures guided by the GMP documentation created by the PFS volunteers. The pest control program has provided our company with a lot of savings.”
Rabboni Group now has its sights set on achieving additional food safety certifications including HACCP and ISO 22000, which Jayd and the volunteer team have already agreed to support. “I have worked on many PFS projects in the past and I continue to be impressed with the talent within the food safety and quality space in Africa,” said Jayd. “I keep volunteering because I am inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of PFS clients and their passion for improvement.”