10 INTERVENTION PRINCIPLES
No substitution of local stakeholders
Investment in local expertise and human resources
Pooling of problems and solutions / Economies of scale
Demand-driven intervention / Cost sharing
Export as factor of modernization
Structured relationship between local value chain operators
Cross-cutting focus on youth and gender
A SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH BASED ON 3 PILLARS: CHARTER, TRAINING AND SELF-ASSESSMENT
This provides a simple framework for continuous improvement, focusing on the business case so that adopting good practice not only facilitates market access, but genuinely helps suppliers run more efficient, profitable and resilient businesses. It consists of three central elements:
COLEACP APPROACH IN MAURITIUS
COLEACP’s strategy in Mauritius, based on the current situation of the horticultural sector, feedback from missions carried out in December 2017 and May 2019, and requests for support received to date, has several objectives.
- Support horticultural producers selling on local and regional markets to comply with requirements, mainly regarding food safety issues.
- Support companies, including processors, to become more competitive through reviews and advice on their management practices.
- Support companies that are already on the export market to comply with food safety and sustainability requirements and standards.
- Advise the Competent Authorities on how to implement a national food safety system and how to comply with EU sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements, with a focus on the new EU plant health regulation.
Depending on the target, topics covered focus on:
- food safety and SPS requirements (regulations and private standards);
- pest and disease management in line with the national initiative for the reduction of pesticides (the Smart Agriculture project), and with EU requirements and the new EU regulation on plant health;
- risk analysis and internal auditing;
- management practices, with a focus on access to finance;
- market requirements at national, regional and international levels.
Since March 2020, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, COLEACP has adapted its modus operandi and has organised itself to continue working while integrating on a daily basis the recommendations related to the evolution of the pandemic in the different regions of the world. The safety of the experts who are members of the network, as well as of the staff of members and partners, is COLEACP’s priority.
Adjustments have therefore been necessary at the level of field activities to comply with the precautionary measures related to COVID-19.
This does not have a direct impact on the main thrusts of the strategy in the country but justifies an adaptation of support, increased use of conference-vision tools and, as far as possible, an accelerated digitalisation of advisory and training activities.
Producing/processing and exporting entities, service providers, associations and cooperatives, Competent Authorities.
MODE OF OPERATION
Technical assistance, on-site and group training, training of trainers. The objective is to strengthen the internal capacities of the partners and, in particular, the internal training systems.
COLEACP’s activities with the Mauritius horticultural industry will be implemented either globally (e.g. supporting SPS issues) or individually (e.g. supporting a development project of an individual company). When relevant, Mauritian beneficiairies will be invited to join group training sessions organised at regional level.
Since the launch of the Fit For Market programme, seven requests for support have been received and 4 Memorandum of Agreements have been signed: four from private companies active on the local market, one pineapple cooperative targeting the export market, two consultancy firms, and the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture. In May 2019, the new Fit For Market SPS programme and opportunities for collaboration were discussed with the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO). The official request for support still needs to be formalized and sent to COLEACP.
In connection with these interventions, strengthening public–private dialogue should also be a priority.
Developing partnerships enables more efficient use of funds and is also a way of answering requests for support that are beyond COLEACP’s framework.
Operational partnerships have not yet been initiated in Mauritius, but contacts have been made with the Delegation of the European Union. Information was shared regarding the business environment for the horticultural sector, as well as regional opportunities within the Indian Ocean Commission (Commission de l’Océan Indien, COI) and with regional programmes.