Aflatoxins: Finding Solutions for Improved Food Safety by Andrew Emmott
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Aflatoxins: Finding Solutions for Improved Food Safety by Andrew Emmott

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IFPRI Policy Seminar "Aflatoxins: Finding Solutions for Improved Food Safety" held at IFPRI on November 5, 2013. Presentation by Andrew Emmott, Twin & Twin Trading.

IFPRI Policy Seminar "Aflatoxins: Finding Solutions for Improved Food Safety" held at IFPRI on November 5, 2013. Presentation by Andrew Emmott, Twin & Twin Trading.

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  • Review of Jordan’s expectationsIntroduction to Twin and Liberation Review and discuss April concept noteReview samples and discuss potential supply chainNext steps
  • IFPRI presentationThe challengeUnderinvestment in infrastructure and systems, coupled with a lack of incentives and information (awareness) means that smallholders often produce groundnuts with high levels of aflatoxin,Two problems: 1. people are chronically exposed to the toxin through the consumption of staple foods, leading to cancer, suppression of the immune system and childhood stunting, 2. it is difficult for smallholders in Africa to respond to market demands for better aflatoxin controls and compete in international markets. ProgressWhile interventions along the value chain can greatly reduce levels of aflatoxin in formal and informal human food chains, evidence from more regulated value chains suggests some level of contamination may still occur.In order to reduce risk for vulnerable communities in the absence of market regulation, there is a need for innovative, safe, and economically viable uses for contaminated products to be developed in combination with programs to raise awareness. In the case of contaminated groundnuts, the production of groundnut oil is an example of the potential to convert high-risk stock into a safe value-added product. Developing these capacities at Afri-Nut, who are also processing product for use in RUTFs.Need to develop buying systems that take control of groundnuts that are likely to be contaminated and remove them from local food systems. This needs to be supported by greater awareness of the negative health impacts of aflatoxin consumption. Also GPAF experience suggests buyers must take control of buying process, further work is needed here.
  • European Union regulation on aflatoxin cost Africa $750 million each year in exports of cereals, dried fruit, and nuts.
  • IFPRI presentationThe challengeUnderinvestment in infrastructure and systems, coupled with a lack of incentives and information (awareness) means that smallholders often produce groundnuts with high levels of aflatoxin,Two problems: 1. people are chronically exposed to the toxin through the consumption of staple foods, leading to cancer, suppression of the immune system and childhood stunting, 2. it is difficult for smallholders in Africa to respond to market demands for better aflatoxin controls and compete in international markets. ProgressWhile interventions along the value chain can greatly reduce levels of aflatoxin in formal and informal human food chains, evidence from more regulated value chains suggests some level of contamination may still occur.In order to reduce risk for vulnerable communities in the absence of market regulation, there is a need for innovative, safe, and economically viable uses for contaminated products to be developed in combination with programs to raise awareness. In the case of contaminated groundnuts, the production of groundnut oil is an example of the potential to convert high-risk stock into a safe value-added product. Developing these capacities at Afri-Nut, who are also processing product for use in RUTFs.Need to develop buying systems that take control of groundnuts that are likely to be contaminated and remove them from local food systems. This needs to be supported by greater awareness of the negative health impacts of aflatoxin consumption. Also GPAF experience suggests buyers must take control of buying process, further work is needed here.
  • European Union regulation on aflatoxin cost Africa $750 million each year in exports of cereals, dried fruit, and nuts.
  • European Union regulation on aflatoxin cost Africa $750 million each year in exports of cereals, dried fruit, and nuts.
  • European Union regulation on aflatoxin cost Africa $750 million each year in exports of cereals, dried fruit, and nuts.
  • To achieve food security must consider the whole food system not just areas concerned with productivity
  • Working within market realities and taking a sector-wide approachis essential to addressing the issue of aflatoxin control. Agricultural,health, nutritional, and value chain experts need to worktogether to:raise awareness of the public health impacts of consumingunsafe food,improve drying, sorting, and storage both on-farm andthroughout the value chain,• provide training and access to equipment to changeinappropriate practices, such as by facilitating access tomechanical shellers to stop hand shelling, and• research and develop innovative market mechanisms to pullaflatoxin out of human food chains.

Aflatoxins: Finding Solutions for Improved Food Safety by Andrew Emmott Aflatoxins: Finding Solutions for Improved Food Safety by Andrew Emmott Presentation Transcript

  • Market-led Aflatoxin Interventions: Smallholder Groundnut Value Chains in Malawi IFPRI 5th November 2013 Andrew Emmott Twin & Twin Trading
  • Market-led Aflatoxin Interventions: Overview of Twin’s Paper Smallholder Groundnut Value Chains in Malawi • Target critical control points with appropriate interventions; • Deliberately pull aflatoxin from food chains; • Creating incentives to improve aflatoxin management & control; • Developing collaborative value chains; and, • Recommendations.
  • Aflatoxin: A global public health issue • 4.5 billion people at risk of chronic aflatoxin exposure (CDC); • It is a class 1 carcinogen and: – Contributes to 28% of all new liver cancers; – Liver cancer risk increases with hepatitis; • Suppresses the immune system: – HIV & aflatoxin exposure increases TB; • Stunted children have 30-40% more aflatoxin in their blood than children with normal body weight; • Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa View slide
  • Market-led Aflatoxin Interventions: Malawi context • Rainfed agriculture with single season; – Crops stressed by drought and floods; – Frequency of droughts increasing 2001, 04/5, 08; – Families store staple foods for long periods; • 1.6 million people needed food assistance during lean period (2012); • 46% of children under 5 are stunted; • Groundnuts are a valuable source of protein, unsaturated fat and energy; • Smallholders grow ca. 320kg groundnuts a year, < 200kg is kept to feed the family. View slide
  • Twin & Twin Trading Introduction: • Twin & Twin Trading established in 1985; – Twin (Charity); – Twin Trading (for profit); • Development through trade; • A different kind of trading relationship; – Built on trust & mutuality; – Smallholder value chains; • Smallholder producer-owned businesses; • Working through partnerships & networks
  • Twin’s Brands In 1991… In 1998… In 2001… In 2007… In 2012...
  • Twin’s groundnut experience • 1990’s – First experience of aflatoxin; – Projects in Eritrea & Gambia; • 2000 – 2003 – Consultation on whether or not to trade nuts; – Developed Fairtrade groundnut proposition; • 2004 – 2006 – First Fairtrade groundnut producers certified; – Started to trade Fairtrade groundnuts & – Developed new supply chains in the EU; • 2007 – 2013 – Established Liberation Foods CIC ; – Facilitated Afri-Nut formation; &, – Focus on food safety in peanut chains.
  • Aflatoxin: A barrier to trade? • Affects 25% of the world’s crops, (FAO) but • Not only a developing country issue; • Has many entry points pre & post harvest eg: hand shelling groundnuts: • 4 billion hours pa spent hand shelling; • Shells soaked to ease hand shelling creates ideal conditions for Aspergillus sp.infection; • Poor drying & storage compounds the problem • Fungal growth stops at 7% m.c.; • Informal traders don’t check for aflatoxin & compete with the formal trade.
  • African groundnut exports • African market share ($220m pa) of exports collapsed; 90% in the 1960’s – Macro economics; and, – Aflatoxin regulations tightening; • China, Argentina & USA are the largest exporters (now $1.2b pa) ; – Value chain investments; • Security of supply now in question; – What happened to groundnut production in Africa? – How to invest in Africa to re-engage with the global market? 40% in the 1970’s <5% by 2005
  • African groundnut production • African production declined but didn’t collapse; Percent of Global Production (In shell basis) 45 China 40 India 30 % 35 • Groundnuts considered a women’s crop – food security; Africa • Africa rebounded & is now 2nd USA largest producer @25%; Argentina 25 20 15 • Consumed mainly in domestic & regional markets; 10 5 0 1961 - 79 1980-95 Years 96-2011 • Consumers are largely unaware of the dangers of aflatoxin.
  • Malawi groundnut production & trade Malawi groundnut production & export 250000 200000 150000 Export (tonnes) 100000 Production (tonnes) 50000 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006 2011 0 Malawi groundnut export & waste (% of total production) 15.0 % 10.0 Export (%) 5.0 Waste (%) 2010 2008 2006 2004 2002 2000 0.0 • Exported > 40k mt pa to EU; • 1990’s exports & production collapsed; • Production is climbing; • Exports rebuilding to African markets supported by National Export Strategy; • But limited exports to EU; • 60% consumed through informal value chains; • Very little is wasted.
  • Formal vs informal value chains Controls in formal value chains: • Protect consumers in export, local retail & other markets; • Eg: Locally produced safe RUTFs for severely malnourished children; Informal value chains: • Improving quality will impact all consumers; • There is little awareness or food safety & control of aflatoxin; • Few incentives to reduce aflatoxin levels; • Crushing contaminated crop for oil & meal relevant to formal & informal chains.
  • Aflatoxin levels in the food chain Percentage of groundnuts with aflatoxin > 4ppb 58% 49% 43% 41% farmers households warehouses Source: ICRISAT (2011) local markets shops and supermarkets
  • Tests on 260mt of groundnuts On farm sorting: Not enough poor crop discarded! <2% sorted out 60% used in food or feed Groundnut flour had most contaminated samples; – 73% > EU 4ppb level. – 25% above 100ppb & – highest = 3871 ppb Sources: ICRISAT (2011) & Twin GPAF (2013) •70% of families add groundnut flour to meals ca. twice/ week
  • Improve food safety in all value chains Food security: when all people at control points to increase the Introduce interventions at critical all times have access to sufficient, SAFE, groundnuts for all consumers. quantity of safe nutritious food to maintain a healthy & active life Paradigm shift targeted at food loss to pull unsafe groundnuts Include food safety in sustainable development goals – with a (& other grains) out to the provision of clean water and sanitation. similar approach of human food chains and develop profitable alternatives eg: oil & meal.
  • Improve infrastructure, awareness & standards Partnerships: • Malawi Partnership for Aflatoxin Control (MAPAC) established; • Aligned to PACA; • Formal value chain partnerships eg: AfriNut encouraged; • Further investment up the value chain to address aflatoxin needed Storage Shelling Sorting
  • Recommendations Food safety is a pre-competitive issue Paradigm shift needed. Agricultural, health, nutrition, & value chain experts need to work together to: • Raise awareness of the public health impacts ; • Improve drying, shelling, sorting, & storage in all value chains; • Provide appropriate training & equipment; • Deliberately pull aflatoxin out of human food chains.
  • Thank you