Using digital tools to improve compliance with food safety standards in West Africa
Building on the challenges and opportunities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this project aims to use digital tools to improve compliance with food safety standards. The project will apply an innovative approach by using digital technologies and hybrid methods in the accreditation, conformity assessment and capacity development processes led by the West African Accreditation System (SOAC).
West African countries face challenges in promoting agricultural exports and protecting consumers' health. These include the ability to verify compliance with food safety standards and requirements, which could reduce the occurrence of rejection of exported agricultural products. The availability of internationally recognized competent conformity assessment bodies (CABs), such as food safety laboratories or product and management certification and inspection bodies, is integral for consumer health protection and trade facilitation of safe food. The need for these services to support producers and exporters, as well as the need to strengthen national SPS Competent Authorities, is evident in the African continent.
This project aims to overcome these challenges using digital tools to improve compliance with food safety standards. Led by SOAC, the project will use digital technologies in the accreditation, conformity assessment, and capacity development processes.