Limited access to services and information on international markets requirements has caused a lack of awareness and understanding of food safety systems in the Cambodian rice industry. This prevents local food processors from realizing the potential in the EU and US markets. Moreover, modern trading conditions require food businesses, including rice mills, to demonstrate their commitment to food safety through an appropriate management program.
IFC has been supporting the development of the Cambodian rice sector for years, aiming to make the milling and trading industry more competitive, by playing a key role in accelerating the transformation of the industry through several project interventions. In this food safety pilot project, part of the larger Cambodia Rice Sector Support Project, ASSIST collaborated with IFC to enhance the awareness and capacity of mill enterprises to implement food safety management systems. Implemented in two phases, Phase 1 included Food Safety / Occupational Health and Safety gap assessments and Phase 2 covered the Food Safety / Occupational Health and Safety implementation.
ASSIST specifically undertook a detailed assessment of these mills’ status and capacities, produced a business plan/project proposal for the implementation processes, raised awareness and conducted a National Food Safety Dissemination workshop. Over the course of the program, 21 rice mills were assessed, 12 participated and received certification for food safety management systems (GMP/HACCP/ISO22000) and occupational health and safety (OHSAS18001).