How to scale up initiatives that build trust between actors in the food chain, while at the same time ensure the full participation of smallholder farmers? This blog post shares some key reflections from the workshop “Scaling up the trust networks for food safety with small farmers” where VECO Vietnam and its partners shared their experience on Participatory Guarantee Systems.
On 4 July 2017, the Embassy of Belgium in Vietnam, the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Hanoi University of Public Health (HUPH), co-organised a workshop on the theme “Scaling up the trust networks for food safety with small farmers”.
This topic is very dear to the heart of VECO Vietnam as one of our flagship initiatives is the promotion of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) for safe vegetables, a tool that can help build trust between actors in the food chain and provide smallholder farmers better access to safe food markets.
Central to the discussions of this multi-stakeholder workshop were the issues of traceability, information exchange, risk communication and the role of every actor - from producer to consumer - in developing trusting relationships. Beyond the aim of fostering closer ties and synergies between the actors working towards safer food, the main objective of this workshop was to explore the existing support initiatives for trusted food networks. Then, based on those, to make recommendations for scaling up. But before we move on to present some of the key solutions suggested during the meeting, a quick recap of some key facts and figures is in order.