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Consultancy Opportunity: vTPA Roadmap Development for Uganda and Rwanda

Land O'Lakes Venture37

Land O'Lakes Venture37

Posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Background: Land O'Lakes Venture37 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping communities around the world build economies by strengthening local agriculture, helping agribusinesses create jobs and linking farmers to markets. Since 1981, it has implemented over 315 integrated dairy, livestock and crops development programs in nearly 80 countries — creating lasting impact by linking farmers, businesses, and the public and private sector in local and global contexts. Land O’Lakes Venture37’s long-standing affiliation with Land O’Lakes, Inc. sets it apart. Land O’Lakes, Inc. is one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives. It supports Land O’Lakes Venture37 project implementation with nearly 100 years of expertise in dairy, animal nutrition, crop inputs and agricultural insights and technologies. This gives Land O’Lakes Venture37 development projects a unique global view of agriculture, food and the power of well-functioning market systems. Land O’Lakes, Inc. supports these efforts as part of its enterprise purpose of Feeding Human Progress at home and around the world.

Project Summary:

The Piloting the Use of Third-Party Assurance Programme in East Africa to Improve Food Safety Outcomes for Public Health and Trade is a three-year activity beginning November 2022 and ending October 2025 funded by the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) that will pilot the use of a Voluntary Third-Party Assurance (vTPA) Programme in Rwanda for the horticulture sector and Uganda for fisheries to improve food safety, based on the Codex Principles and Guidelines for the Assessment and Use of Voluntary Third-Party Assurance Programmes (CXG-93-2021). The pilot will be implemented in close cooperation with the governments of Rwanda and Uganda and will complement two other ongoing pilot projects, generating additional data and evidence on the use of the vTPA approach in developing countries, and promoting dialogue and learning across West Africa and Central America. The project will also assess and make use of data and information from vTPA Programmes to support ongoing food safety reform processes in Rwanda and Uganda, including the move towards a more risk-based inspection system that will further strengthen dialogue and cooperation with small-scale producers and food business operators, as part of efforts to modernize and strengthen food safety management.

The pilot will aim to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Increased awareness of regulatory authorities on how to assess and use data / information generated by vTPA programme in Rwanda and Uganda.
  • Outcome 2: Improved food safety compliance of food business operators (FBOs) in the horticulture and fisheries value chains based on the use of vTPA programme.
  • Outcome 3: Increased awareness of food safety regulators on the application of vTPA approaches in other countries.

The Trade of Agriculture Safely and Efficiently (TRASE) Project in East Africa, has since inception promoted the use of PPP approaches to increase regulatory oversight. The frameworks on public-private-partnerships for inspection and surveillance were developed in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. The national plant health inspection systems were reviewed using the PPP lens, and more risk based inspection standard operating procedures (SOPs) were developed for use by the PH Competent Authorities (CAs) or NPPOs.

Purpose and Objective of the Consultancy:

In order to work towards achieving Outcome 1 and Outcome 2 above, the “Piloting the Use of Third-Party Assurance (TPA) Programme in East Africa” project has so far undertaken a number of activities. The activities aimed at increasing awareness levels among the private and public sector on the existence and use of vTPA programs to manage food safety outcomes within the horticulture and aquaculture fisheries value chains in Rwanda and Uganda respectively. The activities undertaken so far include: - gender analysis, mapping exercise to identify the prominent vTPA programs in the target value chains, review/scan of the national food safety environment within the horticulture and aquaculture fisheries value chains in Rwanda and Uganda respectively, a study tour to the United Kingdom, and several knowledge transfer sessions for the public and private sector players.

Whereas the competent authorities responsible for food safety in the target value chains in Rwanda and Uganda would wish to incorporate the use of data from vTPA programmes in their national food safety control systems, it is prudent that this is done in a clear, transparent, objective and systematic process agreed to by all relevant stakeholders. Thus far, efforts have been made to: - consider the existing gaps and opportunities, review previous project reports and the recommendations therein, meet with the leadership of the CAs and private sector apex bodies, and to develop a draft roadmap. There is need to compile and consolidate the findings, and provide guidance to the project team, the competent authorities, and all relevant stakeholders (including the private sector) on the next steps to take in order to ensure improved food safety outcomes through use of vTPA programs.

The project is seeking a Consultant to finalize the development of a process / roadmap for the competent authorities in Uganda and Rwanda to assess and/or make use of data generated by vTPA programmes, to complement their national food control system. The specific objectives of this consultancy are -

  • Describe the existing gaps and opportunities that face the use of data from vTPA programs as part of the national food safety control systems in the horticulture and aquaculture fisheries value chains in Rwanda and Uganda respectively, clearly indicating the accruing challenges from these gaps and opportunities
  • Establish “SMART” objectives for each of the challenges described.
  • Collate and synthesize the recommendations provided in the various project reports in line with the country specific policies, laws, regulations and aspirations; this should be done as a way of assessing capabilities and determining the actions required to bridge up the capability gaps.
  • Highlight the initiatives that have to be undertaken to realize the set objectives for each country. For each country, the initiatives should clearly indicate the specific actions, required resources, timeframe, and responsible actor(s).
  • Facilitate stakeholder engagements in order to generate and document national consensus on the developed draft roadmaps for the competent authorities in Uganda and Rwanda.

Consultant Tasks:

Under this scope of work, the Consultant will complete the following tasks:

1. Review of Documents: Undertake a review of relevant literature on vTPA programs and food safety including any Project Implementation documents available at the time. The document review will include, but not limited to:

  • The draft Roadmaps for use of vTPA data within National Food Control Systems
  • Summary notes for meetings between the CAs, private sector leadership and the expert (where they exist) who drafted the initial road maps
  • TRASE project reports on PPP interventions to increase regulatory oversight, including (i) PPP frameworks for plant health inspection and surveillance in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya, and (ii) the risk based inspection SOPs developed with the PPP lens.
  • STDF/vTPA Project report on mapping the existence and use of vTPA programs in Rwanda and Uganda
  • STDF/vTPA Project report on gender analysis
  • STDF/vTPA Project report on review/scan of the national food safety environment looking at prominent vTPA programs used within horticulture and aquaculture fisheries value chains in Rwanda and Uganda respectively.
  • Policy documents, laws, regulations, standards and any codes of practices detailing food safety control for horticulture and aquaculture (fishery) value chain in Rwanda and Uganda respectively. The consultant should liaise with the CA to get the relevant documents.
  • Project report on UK study tour
  • Any other available literature with reference to food safety control and use vTPA programs in Rwanda and Uganda

2. Consultative meetings with stakeholders: Undertake to facilitate stakeholders’ consultative meetings to generate consensus on the initiatives (next steps) that must be taken by both the private and public sectors as they move to start using reliable data from vTPA programs as part of the national food control systems. Specifically the consultant will;

  • Present draft road map to public/private sector stakeholders in national stakeholders meetings in Uganda and Rwanda, and facilitate discussions of stakeholders on the most appropriate way forward
  • Present consolidated final draft road maps to national public/private sector stakeholders in Uganda and Rwanda for validation and approval

3. Reporting: Prepare reports of the results in accordance with the report structure guidance. Specifically the consultant will:

  • Compile and prepare reports of the consultative engagements for submission to the Project Coordinator
  • Prepare and present findings, to key stake holders within the horticulture and aquaculture fisheries value chains in Rwanda and Uganda respectively
  • Compile the final draft road maps for Uganda and Rwanda for submission to the Project Coordinator

Consultant Deliverables:

Under this scope of work, the Consultant is expected to complete the following deliverables:

  • Draft road maps for Uganda and Rwanda clearly indicating challenges, objectives, proposed initiatives, with the initiatives clearly indicating the specific actions, required resources, timeframe, and responsible actor(s).
  • Reports of the national consultative meetings for Uganda and Rwanda, and the corresponding draft road maps
  • Final draft roadmaps for Uganda and Rwanda, with corresponding reports of the validation workshops.
  • Power point presentations to the stakeholders engagements

Requested Qualifications:

The consultant for this assignment will meet the following criteria:

  • Advanced degree in Agriculture, Food Science, Veterinary Medicine, Food Safety, Development Studies, Economics or Law or in the related fields.
  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience in food safety and corporate strategic planning.
  • Proven experience of working with international technical cooperation agencies or in SPS related technical assistance projects. Work experience in Africa preferred.
  • Proven working experience in Codex activities and good knowledge of the work of GFSI on vTPAs.
  • Good understanding of the CODEX “Principles and Guidelines for The Assessment and use of Voluntary Third-Party Assurance Programs”, CXG 93-2021
  • Proven knowledge of international, risk-based food safety requirements and of SPS related matters.
  • Knowledge of the WTO SPS Committee and the International Standards Setting Bodies, including Codex, WOAH formerly OIE, and the IPPC.

Reporting: The Consultant will report to the STDF Project Coordinator.

Period of Performance: The selected individual will be awarded an independent consultancy contract with a level of effort 20 working days for the development of the roadmaps and related deliverables. The consultant will propose an appropriate timeline such that the final report is complete by May 31st 2024.The final detailed schedule and timeline will be agreed upon with the chosen consultant.