- Posted by Phillip Hamilton 18 Apr
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Considering the huge population and an increasing urban demand for time- and labor-saving food products in Bangladesh, there is a vast potential for companies to add value and increase incomes with ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat foods. Furthermore, production of frozen and ready-to-cook food items can help reduce high post-harvest food losses and provide an outlet for more smallholder farmers to sell their products.
Before partnering on this initiative, Winrock provided technical assistance to Golden Harvest Agro Industries Limited through the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program. Golden Harvest is a Bangladeshi processing company that produces frozen and ready-to-eat/ready-to-cook food. In operation since 2006, the company has successfully obtained international safety/quality standards certificates and exports its products to the Middle East, USA, Canada, and EU countries. Building on its ongoing success, Golden Harvest had a goal to diversify its products and target the emerging city dwellers in Bangladesh, particularly working families interested in ready-to-eat products at affordable prices. While the company’s leadership understood the market and growing demand, they lacked expertise in new product development. Winrock recruited and deployed a pro bono expert to help achieve this goal.
Mr. Clifford Wener, a food processing and business specialist, spent three weeks with Golden Harvest as a F2F volunteer, providing hands-on training to help the company develop new products, improve the quality of existing products, and improve overall operations. Wener also trained the factory staff on HACCP and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), recommending key changes to the physical facility, machinery, product lines, and products. After applying Wener’s recommendations, Golden Harvest is now producing several new value-added products. This success led to a 67% increase in annual gross sales and enabled Golden Harvest to participate in this new partnership as a way of giving back to its local community.
- Golden Harvest has partnered with Winrock and the World Food Logistics Organization on a $15 million USAID Global Development Alliance Cold Chain Project.
- Golden Harvest contributed $10.2 million of its own funds for this program, which will support over 18,000 rural Bangladeshi farmers, who will benefit by reducing postharvest losses and increasing sales as suppliers within the cold chain network.
- Golden Harvest’s investment enabled the launch of the Cold Chain Bangladesh Alliance, the country’s first integrated cold chain serving all divisions. The cold chain, once completed, will have the capacity to safely store agricultural products in temperature-controlled facilities.
“This new system of refrigeration is a game-changer for agriculture and nutrition across Bangladesh. Imagine hundreds if not thousands of refrigerated trucks and cold storage facilities preserving food for the people … This has been the missing piece of Bangladesh’s agricultural revolution.”— U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, Dan Mozena