The farms of fresh produce farmers are major sources of food contamination by microbiological organisms and chemical pesticides. In view of their choice for farming practices, producers are influenced by food safety requirements. This study analyzes the role of food safety standard certification toward the maturity of food safety management systems (FSMS) in the primary production of fresh produce. Kenya and Uganda are two East African countries that export green beans and hot peppers, respectively, to the European Union but have contrasting features in terms of agricultural practices and certification status. In the fresh produce chain, a diagnostic instrument for primary production was used to assess context factors, core control and assurance activities, and system output to measure the performance of FSMS for certified green bean farms in Kenya and noncertified hot pepper farms in Uganda. Overall, our findings show that in Uganda, noncertified hot pepper farms revealed only a “basic level of control and assurance” activities in their FSMS, which was not satisfactory, because no insight into potential pesticide microbial contamination was presented by these farmers. On the other hand, certified green bean farms in Kenya had an “average level of control and assurance,” providing insight into the delivered food safety and quality by the farmers. Farm size did not impact the maturity level of FSMS. This study confirms the role played by food safety standard certification toward the maturity of FSMS implemented in developing countries and demonstrates the possibility of Ugandan farms to upgrade agricultural practices in the fresh produce sector.
- processing companies
- private standards
- value chains
Nanyunja, J., Jacxsens, L., Kirezieva, K. K., Kaaya, S., Uyttendaele, M., & Luning, P. A. (2015). Assessing the Status of Food Safety Management Systems for Fresh Produce Production in East Africa: Evidence from Certified Green Bean Farms in Kenya and Noncertified Hot Pepper Farms in Uganda. Journal of Food Protection, 78(6), 1081-1089. https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-14-364