The Raimond Company and Wawa Chips have become the first two food producers in Federated States of Micronesia to open factories that comply with an international standard for hazard analysis and control.
Based in Kosrae State, the Raimond Company in Tafunsek which produces gluten free taro flour and Wawa Chips in Lelu which makes banana chips are businesses supported by the European Union’s Increasing Agricultural Commodity Trade (IACT) Project which is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).
The Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) compliance is an internationally recognized standard that emphasises hygienic food preparation and is crucial for opening up market access for companies, as consumers are more confident in the way their products are prepared.
SPC and the EU have assisted Raimond Company and Wawa Chips in building a factory, providing equipment, facility improvement as well as designing and printing of packaging materials amounting to USD 91, 000.
Technical assistance has also been provided through business management training, food safety programmes and processing methods to gain quality and safe products.
In addition to these two companies in Kosrae, the IACT project also assists an enterprise in the Marshall Islands – Tobolar Processing Facility – that has now also become compliant as well, making these the first three locally-owned HACCP compliant enterprises in the northern Pacific region.
Speaking at their factory opening, Wawa Chips Managing Director, George Youngstrom, said that this milestone achievement was the result of working together towards a common goal.
Youngstrom added that without a coordinated effort by various supporting agencies, this HACCP-compliant processing centre could not have been realised.
The HACCP compliance of the Kosraean companies boasts its positioning in import substitution, utilising local produce such as taro, a gluten free product in the face of increasing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the Pacific. Similarly, the production of banana chips is better alternative to imported salty snacks.
“We are today witnessing the results of hard work, commitment and dedication of both factory owners and their families. This successful output has been a collaborated effort between them, the Department of Agriculture and Trade at Ministry of Resource and Economic Affairs, and the European Union supported IACT Project for the past 3 years,” the Pacific Community’s IACT Project Official, Apiame Cegumalua, said.
The Kosraean Director of Resources and Economic Affairs, Lyndon Cornelius, officiated at the opening ceremony.
Media contact: Solo Matthewsella, IACT Communications, [email protected]