Consultant: Support Labs and Food Businesses Improve Testing Regimes and Establish Food Allergen Management System
The Trade of Agriculture Safely and Efficiently (TRASE) is a 4.5-year Food for Progress (FFPr) project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by Venture 37 across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda from September 2019 – April 2024. TRASE will contribute to expanded trade of agricultural products (FFPr Strategic Objective 2) through strengthening national SPS systems in EAC partner states in line with the EAC SPS Legal Framework (ESLF), which are harmonized SPS measures developed at the regional level. The project primarily works with the EAC partner states of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.
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Since 2020 to date TRASE has been supporting select public and private food testing laboratories through a test-methods benchmarking process, training on root cause analysis, laboratory quality management systems and continuous improvement. This work has now reached a second phase where the project plans to support the laboratories through a practical mentorship phase under the guidance of AOAC specifically focused on problem solving, methods validation and verification coupled with the development of a laboratory guidance document.
Alongside the laboratory performance improvement activity, TRASE has partnered with the University of Nebraska to build basic skills and competencies on food allergen controls, testing and management proficiencies. The allergen management training program will contribute to the enhancement of Food Allergen controls and Management proficiencies for food businesses. The University of Nebraska will host and manage an online training program for up to 120 participants from 4 countries through self-paced modules on the fundamentals of allergen controls. After completion of the basic modules, the trainees will undergo in country coaching workshops on how to establish and develop allergen management systems within their operational premises. This second phase of coaching will be in country and will be done alongside the laboratory performance activities described above.
Objective of Assignment:
The overall objective of this assignment is to build capacity of 120 food business operators (FBOs) drawn Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda on food allergen controls and management and enhance performance improvement of 30 laboratories from the region on problem solving competencies, method validation and verification.
Both the in-country coaching on allergen controls and management and laboratory methods problem solving training are expected to be run for a period of six months starting from May 2023 until October 2023 with the coaching activities taking place in the host countries.
Scope of Work:
The contractor will
– Provide mentorship to laboratories that are participating in the AOAC Laboratory Performance Benchmarking Program with a focus on laboratory-basics of problem solving and continuous improvement through coaching sessions organized by land o lakes V37.
– Prepare an EAC laboratory guidance document.
– Organize and run 2 webinars series for the participating labs on uncertainties of measurement and analytical methods validation and verification both for chemical and microbiology labs.
– Facilitate the procurement of test kits and laboratory services for the participating labs.
– Facilitate 3 interactive online food allergen fundamentals webinars for a cohort of 120 candidates and provide Q & A support to participants after each online course module offered by the University of Nebraska in collaboration with experts from land o lakes inc.
– Organize and deliver 4 Food Allergen Management coaching in country workshops for participants in 4 countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda)
– Manage the learning cohorts, through email communications and updates on availability of resources for the selected courses of the laboratory and allergen training courses.
– Coordinate and manage course delivery within the assigned time frames.
– Communicate with the learning communities, as may be required by the learning program.
– Offer certificates of completion for candidates who completed the courses.
1. Prepare EAC laboratory guidance document
2. Mentorship of laboratories that participating in the AOAC Laboratory Performance Benchmarking Program with a focus on laboratory-bases problem solving and continuous improvement
3. Organize webinar series for laboratories.
- Uncertainty of Measurement
- Analytical methods validation & verification (chemistry & microbiology)
4. Support the procurement of equipment and laboratory services for EAC laboratories.
5. Facilitate 3 interactive Q & A webinars series in between the modules offered by the University of Nebraska in collaboration with Land o lakes experts.
6. Plan, organize and Facilitate 4 in country food allergen management training and coaching workshops for cohort of 120 candidates drawn from 4 countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda)
All other administrative-logistical issues related to travel, accommodation, etc. will be arranged by the TRASE project.
– Education: University degree in Food science, Chemistry, or related field
– Experience: A minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience in laboratory and allergen management, in addition to experience as a trainer. The consultant must have undertaken at least one assignment on laboratory needs gap assessment and food allergen management training. S/he should have additional experience working with accreditation bodies in assessing laboratories for compliance with requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017
– Communication Skills and Language Requirements: Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
Travel will be required to complete the scope of work. The timing and duration of the trip will be agreed upon with the selected Consultant.