World Food Day: From Farm to Fork and the Vital Actions and Progress in betweenOct 2021
Food Security encompasses many different aspects of the production, processing, packaging, transport, sale, preparation and consumption of food around the world. Recently, additional criteria, especially those concerning safety and sustainability, have become primordial. How does this improve access to safe, nutritious food in sufficient quantities to meet nutritional needs in Africa, where systemic infrastructure and energy issues are now exacerbated by increasing natural disasters and epidemics? This World Food Day we asked our colleagues at Webcor about our strategy, from growing to ensuring food quality and safety.
Under the banner ‘Our Actions are our Future – better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life’, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) once again celebrates World Food Day to promote worldwide awareness and action for people suffering from hunger and solutions to ensuring healthy diets for all. It defines food security as “the situation in which all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious resources and foods that meet their dietary needs and preferences for an active and healthy life”. This definition comprises availability, stability, access, and utilization. Webcor is active in developing solutions across all these aspects and phases.
Availability means the ability of the market to meet the demand for food. Angoalissar, the largest distributor of staple foods in the Angolan market, supplies tons of staple foods to the country annually. Additionally, GMA and Lactiangol, two important industries producing flour and dairy products, guarantee access to nutritious staples.
To boost the country’s productive capacity, VeraNova supplies seeds and fertilizers, as well as technical assistance to small and medium farmers. António Miranda, Managing Director at VeraNova, says “VeraNova imports quality seeds and fertilizers and has developed projects in southern Angola, supporting local farmers. We are committed to developing the country's agriculture and ensuring good harvests, as well as providing technical assistance to combat instabilities due to climate change and agricultural pests. Angola relies heavily on small-scale local fruit, grains, and vegetable production.”
In addition to investing in local industry and agriculture, Webcor Group is working on reducing packaging costs so as to make affordable, safe nutritious products available to consumers with dwindling purchasing power. Felix William, Group Quality Audit & Regulatory Manager, explains. “Last year, we launched about 12 new products, despite disruption in food supply chain due to the pandemic. Food safety and ensuring access to quality food has become one of the unconditional requirements when it comes to consumer demands. Supplier on-site/verification audits coupled with the implementation of Food Safety & Food Security policies help to ensure that our food is not contaminated at any point during its journey along the supply chain. Also, ensuring regulatory compliance along the supply chain plays a vital role. Risks at various points of the supply chain are effectively mitigated by employing the right people, processes, and technology. Launching smaller packages with a promise of delivering on quality and price is always our ultimate goal.”
Evandro Veronesi, EH&S Director at Lactiangol, explains precautions to ensure safe food production, storage, and distribution. “Milk plays such a vital role in people’s lives. As food producers have the responsibility to ensure the quality control of our processed foods. The distribution and marketing of food products has specific features of which the players in the sector must be aware. These include, of course, all aspects related to good hygiene practices in food handling and storage. We follow the national and international law throughout our processes and the best practices established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the Group’s strict quality processes and procedures.”
At Webcor, ‘Zero Hunger’ and ‘Good Health and Well-being’ development goals are corporate commitments and targets that guide and shape our actions, and we are proud to play such a vital role in food security, from farmer to fork, on this World Food Day.