Activities of the Division of Quality Development

DEVELOPING THE INSPECTION GUIDE FOR STANDARDIZATION

This activity is part of the promotion and development of standards and quality in the program to improve the competitiveness of Cameroon’s industrial sectors.

 

In a constantly evolving market, where customer requirements and impacts are constantly growing, it is important that the State, through the administrations concerned, play a regulatory role at all levels: this enables it to fulfill its commitments to be drawn up. and to enforce standards and quality regulations.

The industrial sector’s sanitation objectives as well as consumer protection can be influenced by a number of factors, including the unexpected arrival of new actors, the development of the informal sector, counterfeiting, smuggling, innovation as well as the demands of customers and other stakeholders. Such drivers of change require the State to make available to industry the appropriate standards and mechanisms for evaluating these standards. Hence the need for the inspection guide to standardization.

Two main objectives are to be retained in this approach:

–       Purpose of the inspection

Administrative inspections in the field of standardization are aimed at the offline and online compliance check of standards made mandatory throughout the national territory by companies producing goods or services. They also aim to promote and popularize the quality approach in Cameroon’s industrial sector.

–       Purpose of the document

This inspection guide sets out the framework for assisting sworn inspectors of the administration or any other State official with the required qualification for dealing with standardization issues in Cameroon. It also helps economic operators to know the inspection procedures.

The main expected results are:

–   The description of the procedures for carrying out inspections in all production units;

–  The identification of responsibilities at each stage of the various control operations.

–   The forecasts in terms of sanctions, in particular warnings or repressive actions that may be taken against offenders, in case of non-compliances duly noted.

Planning of ongoing activities

–   The draft document is being drafted within the technical supervision in charge of standardization until July 31, 2013;

ROGRAM EDES (EUROPEAN UNION ACP-DEVELOPMENT OF SYSTEM SPS) IN CAMEROU N

This activity is part of the development of food standards and food safety as part of the program to improve the competitiveness of Cameroon’s industrial sectors.

It is a large program managed by COLEACP which extends from 2010 to 2014 for a budget of 30 million euros for all beneficiaries. The major concern of its initiators is to minimize the impact of food safety regulations (SSA) as a brake on trade and to have better control of these regulations.

It is funded by the European Union. In Cameroon, it is the result of a plea from the horticultural task force of Cameroon, to strengthen food safety both for products consumed locally, regionally and internationally and make them, just as competitive as the products from developed countries in the international market. The program takes into account the specific realities and needs of the country concerned. The implementation of the action plan will depend on Cameroon as it requires a participatory approach by all relevant stakeholders.

The intervention strategy for the implementation of the SSA is based on three main aspects namely:

  •       Risk assessment;
  •       Risk management;
  •       Risk Communication (Governance).

Currently, the program only covers Coffee and Fruits and Vegetables but will extend to other foods.

The stakeholders in this project are the public services which have a role of management and management; private operators in a role of self-control; independent experts in a role of scientific opinion and validation; and finally service providers in a capacity building role.

The main objective of the program is to support food safety systems in ACP (Africa-Caribbean-Pacific) countries, hence its anchorage with CNCOSAC.

Secondary objectives

  •      reassure the European authorities about the quality of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls for products in the countries of origin,
  •     assist in strengthening national or regional SSA policies and support the establishment of the national SSA system in countries,
  •     Encourage the application of the risk analysis principle to support stakeholder action in the system: Risk Assessment, Management and Communication,
  •     F acilitate the flow of information providing transparency, independence (Credibility) and continuous improvement in the management of the SSA system.

The expected outputs or outcomes are:

  •       Stakeholders involved in agri-food chains are trained on the importance and challenges of SSA in trade and the relationships that exist between different stakeholders.
  •      The effective support of the country to the structuring of its SSA system and improvement noted in the various components of the system taken into account by the program.
  •     Cameroon’s production of safer products to increase the volume of its exports in the main sectors targeted by the project.
  •        The effective provision of the necessary infrastructure and approach so that the initial experience can be extended to other agri-food chains.)

The following main activities have been initiated since the beginning of the project

  •        Sensitization of the ministerial departments to the SPS problematic;
  •        Diagnosis of the organization of the official control services;
  •        Structuring of an independent risk assessment system;
  •        Training in ISO 17020 (official control services);
  •        Development of a self-monitoring sector guide in the coffee sector;
  •     Registration system and database of operators (fruit and vegetable sectors);
  •        Support to analysis and testing laboratories;
  •        Structuring the national SPS information system;
  •        Support for professional organizations;
  •        Capacity building of consumer associations.

TECHNICAL COOPERATION PROGRAM ON CAPACITY BUILDING AT NATIONAL OFFICES AND CODEX CONTACTS POINTS FOR THREE COUNTRIES: CAMEROON, GABON, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

This project initiated by Cameroon falls within the framework of the coordinator missions of the FAO / WHO Codex Committee for Africa (CCAFRICA) and the implementation of the strategic plan of the latter, namely:

  •       Promote the participation of all African countries in the work of the Codex Alimentarius,
  •      Promote the capacity building of national Codex Alimentarius committees in member countries of the region,
  •      Encourage the use by member countries of Codex standards and related texts to improve food safety in the African region.

This project covers the entire Central Africa subregion, which itself is an integral part of the Africa Region. The countries concerned by this project for this first phase are therefore Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Gabon.

It is justified by the current low involvement of the countries of the sub-region in the work of the Codex Alimentarius and the non-application of codex standards in national laws and regulations. Indeed in Central Africa, some countries, like Cameroon and Gabon, which have already benefited from support for capacity building of codex actors, participate in the work of Codex both quantitatively (number of international meetings the country has participated), and qualitative (quality of presentations and interventions at meetings). But for other countries that have not yet benefited from such support, participation is weak and inefficient.

The overall objective is to strengthen the human and infrastructural capacities of the national committees and the Codex contact points of the countries of the Central Africa sub-region.

The specific objectives are:

  •        Train Codex Alimentarius stakeholders in the preparation, participation and monitoring of Codex Alimentarius activities,
  •          Assist the countries to better organize the National Committees and the Codex Contact Points, in terms of the organization of activities, the development of regulatory texts and the effective implementation of the structures involved,
  •          Encourage countries to use Codex Alimentarius standards and related texts in national laws and regulations, in the operational practices of food companies and in inspection and food control procedures.

The expected outputs or results are as follows

  •        Better participation in Codex Alimentarius activities;
  •         Better use of Codex standards and related texts at national level
  •     Effective support to countries in structuring and establishing National Committees and Codex Contact Points, and in the preparation, participation and effective follow-up of some Codex meetings;
  •        Effective assistance to countries in the use of Codex standards and related texts;
  •     Effective provision of the necessary infrastructure for Codex activities (computers, internet connection, photocopiers, websites, video projectors and fax machines)

The main activities are:

  •       Theoretical and practical training activities;
  •    Country assistance activities to the structuring, organization and establishment of National Committees and Contact Points of the Codex Alimentarius;
  •       Country assistance activities in the use of Codex standards and related texts;
  •     Activities of purchase and installation of the material necessary for the activities (computers, printers, internet connection, photocopiers, web sites, video projectors, fax etc.) and training of the stakeholders for the use of this material.
  •      Legislative and regulatory development activities, manuals and internal operating guides.
  •       Activities of exchange of experiences between the countries.
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