Through the PlantwisePlus program and in partnership with the Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya), ABI has delivered training to help Kenya meet the KS1758 food safety standard for its fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
The six-day training was provided for 120 trainers, who represent different fruit, vegetable, and flower exporters in Kenya, on issues such as post-harvest handling, labor safety, pesticide use, plant nutrition, traceability, and record keeping.
The Kenya Standard 1758: 2016 (KS 1758) is a code of practice for Kenya’s horticulture industry, outlining the sanitary and safety criteria for the production, handling, and sale of flowers, ornamentals, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. It is divided into two parts, with part one covering floriculture and part two covering fruits and vegetables.
The horticulture industry players in Kenya, in recognizing the importance of the sub-sector, and the challenges faced by the sub-sector, developed a code of practice to regulate the production of horticultural produce to guarantee the supply of high-quality, healthy, and safe produce for both the domestic and international markets.
This move gave birth to KS 1758. The Standard is based on four major pillars, namely: food safety, good agricultural practice, worker welfare, and care for the environment.
Mr. Okisegere Ojepat, the CEO of FPC Kenya, took the participants through food safety, quality, and hygiene. The objective of this session was to enable the participants to understand the concept of food safety and quality and the requirements of good hygiene practices.
As part of his introduction, he talked of food-borne illness being a genuine concern globally. Other challenges with climate change, changing agricultural practices, and human behavior continuing to be a key factor affecting food safety systems. He then discussed the concepts of food safety hazards, pre-requisite programs (PRPs), hygiene, the quality concept, traceability, and food infection. All these components are covered in the KS 1758 Standard, hence the push for the full implantation of the Standard.