Standards are universally recognized as one of the key strategic elements of product competitiveness in domestic and international markets and also for successful market access.
The following agencies are important resources for information on food safety standards, product quality standards, and other standards related issues.
Produce Monitoring Board (PMB)
Agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Responsible for regulating the produce sector. Monitors quality of all produce before shipment.
10 Lightfoot Boston Street
Delco House, Freetown
Sierra Leone Standards Bureau (SLSB)
Agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Responsible for management of national standards and quality of goods in the Country.
Wahman Abu Compound
Kelsey Road Kissy- Ferry Junction, Kissy, SL-Freetown
Competent Authority (CA)
Responsible for EU Market Certification of Fish Products, Processing Plants and Fishing Vessels. Established under the Food Unit of Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
The following voluntary certifications are used in Sierra Leone in the agriculture sector and other relevant international certification bodies.
There are several certification systems that use the term fair trade but differ in the standards they apply, the products they apply them to, and the recognition the awarded certification carries. In general, fair trade aims to build dignified trading relationships between consumers in developed countries and producers in developing countries. This involves changing the way that international trade works, so that producers are guaranteed a minimum price for their goods, obtain the security of long-term trading contracts, benefit from guaranteed minimum health and safety conditions, do not suffer exploitation and receive education and training opportunities
- Cooperation of Fair Trade in Africa (cofta.org)
- Ecocert (ecocert.com)
- Fair Trade Labeling Organizations (fairtrade.net)
- Institute for Market Ecology (imo.ch)
- Transfair (tranfairusa.org) (www.transfair.ca)
Please note: this list is not exhaustive.
Utz Kapeh is a certification programme that enables coffee producers to grow coffee in a sustainable way. This program was founded in 1997 by Guatemalan coffee producers and the Dutch coffee roaster, Ahold Coffee Company.
The code of conduct is benchmarked against the EurepGap code. Criteria from ILO (International Labour Organization) conventions have also been added.
The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal assures consumers that the product they are purchasing has been grown and harvested using environmentally and socially responsible practices. Farms and forestlands that meet the rigorous third-party standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network or the Forest Stewardship Council are awarded the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal
Organic agriculture emphasizes soil fertility and biological activity while avoiding the use of non-renewable resources, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, in order to protect the environment and human health. To be certified organic, products must be produced in accordance with organic production and processing standards and certified by a duly constituted certification body or authority
- Agri Food (http://agrifoodcert.com)
- Australian certified organic BDOCA (http://www.bdoca.co.za)
- Bio (http://bio-siegel.de)
- Eco-cert (http://ecocert.com)
- IMO (http://imo.ch)
- Lacon (http://laconindia.com)
- QAI (http://qai-inc.com)
- Soil Association (http://soilassociation.org)
GLOBAL GAP is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for the certification of agricultural products. The GLOBAL GAP standards apply to the way food is produce on farms. The program aims to minimize detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, reducing the use of chemical inputs and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety as well as animal welfare. GLOBAL GAP serves as a practical manual for Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P.) anywhere in the world. It is based on an equal partnership of agricultural producers and retailers who wish to establish efficient certification standards and procedures.
ISO QUALITY CERTIFICATION
ISO 9000 is a family of standards for quality management systems (QMS). ISO 9000 is maintained by ISO, the International Standardization Organization, and is administered by accreditation and certification bodies. Some of the requirements in ISO 9001 (which is one of the standards in the ISO 9000 family) include a set of procedures that cover all key processes in businesses, monitoring processes to ensure they are effective, keeping adequate records, checking output for defects (with appropriate and corrective action where necessary), regularly reviewing individual processes and the quality system itself for effectiveness and facilitating continual improvement
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an industry-wide effort approved by the scientific community as well as regulatory and industry practitioners. This effort is designed to focus specifically on food safety, including food safety in retail establishments.
The HACCP program is designed to raise awareness of the Critical Control Points within an establishment and ensure that these critical points are monitored in order to produce a safe food supply. It helps to ensure that food is safe from harvest to consumption (from farm to fork)