The COLEACP EU and ECTAD Caribbean signed Memorandum of Understanding this month, aimed at providing technical assistance to the ECTAD Caribbean to support it’s marketing efforts in Europe and overseas. COLEACP would provide technical assistance to strengthen the business model for the high-end market for ECTAD Caribbean and to ensure that it is in a strong position to meet the compliance requirements of the EU markets.
With the continued change in regulations monthly in trading areas, it is very important that partners like COLEACP support ECTAD Caribbean, in order for us to maintain a very solid market position for our small farmers.
This COLEACP MOU will help strengthen ECTAD Caribbean and its regional branches competitiveness and sustainability via the agriculture trade program that we coordinate for our small farmers. It will also bolster our sanitary and phytosanitary systems so that we will be better able to satisfy the requirements of international standards.
COLEACP -The Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) is a civil society organisation established in 1973 by stakeholders in the international fruit and vegetable trade. It is a not-for-profit association that supports the development of sustainable and competitive agriculture and agribusiness. Its main objective is to facilitate the flow of trade within the ACP region, and between ACP countries and the EU. Since 2001 COLEACP has been entrusted by the European Commission (EC) to implement five EDF funded programmes where support for SPS compliance was the central element. These include PIP (2001-2015), EDES (2010-2015), and Fit for Market (2016-2020). It is also a partner in several regional research and development programmes such as PAEPARD and the West African Regional Fruit Fly Programme. Over the past 15 years, COLEACP has delivered technical assistance in over 50 ACP countries. It has developed and trained a network of some 1000 local ACP (mainly SPS) experts and has an established and proven system for training, technical support, and institutional strengthening for both public and private sectors. In addition to core programme activities, COLEACP is regularly approached by both public and private ACP and EU stakeholders for assistance to address food safety and plant health crises in ACP countries, in particular where SPS non-compliances have resulted in special measures and the risk of disrupted trade.
In summary, core programme activities have included:
- Support for ACP producers and exporters to meet SPS regulations and standards through a comprehensive programme of technical assistance. SMEs and smallholder farmers have received support to establish and implement internal food safety management systems, among others.
- Support for ACP competent authorities in the establishment and implementation of national food safety and plant health systems, with particular emphasis on risk assessment, management, and communication; inspection services; pesticide registration; national monitoring systems; analytical services; and regional harmonisation.
- Innovation brokerage to ensure that the EU pesticide MRL Harmonisation Programme and the Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 review process does not leave ACP producers without essential Plant Protection Products. This included defending or extrapolating existing EU MRLs, and establishing EU Import Tolerances, with some parallel work to obtain CODEX MRLs for local and regional trade.