Enhanced Export Compliance: Global Market Access Requirements and Certification Standards for Peas and Beans
Kenya’s export of beans and peas in pods to the international market is facing critical challenges. These concerns include the excessive presence of pesticide residues, which poses health risks to consumers. Additionally, concerns are growing regarding the premature harvesting of crops, issues related to storage and transportation, disease and pest management and hygiene practices. These factors are collectively diminishing Kenyan competitiveness in the global market, whilst hindering farmers’ and agribusinesses’ ability to achieve premium prices for products due to their restriction to less profitable, regional markets.
While there are definite challenges, it is important to note that not all aspects of Kenya’s export industry are struggling. Many successful exporters maintain rigorous standards and successfully navigate the global market, and stakeholders have taken key steps to ensure this is spread across the industry.
Export regulations for beans and peas
To safeguard Kenya’s export market for beans and peas in a pod, the Horticulture Crops Directorate, under the Agriculture and Food Authority, has introduced comprehensive measures to enforce compliance with the National Horticulture Standards, Global Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P) and Horticulture Regulations. All exporters of peas and beans will be notified of the Horticulture Regulations, which mandates that they ensure their farms are certified according to the National Horticulture Standards or Global GAP food safety standard, with non-compliance potentially leading to the revocation of their export dealership for beans and peas.
InspiraFarms plays a pivotal role in addressing these challenges.
1. Expertise and Certification:
As an associate member of the GLOBALG.A.P. Community, InspiraFarms Cooling has acquired significant expertise in efficient, consistent and high-quality on-farm and near-farm cooling solutions, such as cold rooms, packhouses, and precoolers, among others. This certification is a cornerstone in guaranteeing that the solutions we deploy meet the GLOBALG.A.P. Produce Handling Assurance (PHA) standard, which provides stand-alone traceability certification of post-harvest activities, such as cooling, packing, re-packing, handling, and storage of crops for its consumers. In turn, all these factors are crucial to our customers to adhere to global export market requirements.
2. Food Safety Focus:
Many food safety regulations and standards require the maintenance of specific temperature conditions throughout the food supply chain. These regulations and standards, such as the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system, ensure that agribusinesses, exporters, 3PL, and food distributors are following best practices to ensure consumer safety. InspiraFarms cold rooms and packhouses are compliant with diverse food safety certifications such as HACCP, Global GAP, BRC, and ISO22000 ensuring our clients meet these stringent control protocols that prevent product contamination from bacteria and fungi, to export to various markets.
3. Efficient Cooling Solutions:
InspiraFarms Cooling’s solutions are customisable for each customer. We can evaluate the cooling requirements for beans and peas, tailoring cooling protocols and solutions to meet specific needs. A well-designed space that incorporates a receiving area, processing, packing and loading area is offered, to ensure products follow the correct path, avoiding contamination and facilitating a seamless process to meet export food safety compliance requirements.
Optimising cooling for peas and beans
The lack of a consistent and efficient cold chain accelerates degradation and limits the freshness of produce, which is a crucial factor for fresh produce reaching markets and receiving a fair price. Precooling is an essential process required for the rapid removal of field heat straight after harvest, preventing shrinkage and weight loss, allowing higher prices and fewe rejections, which is an included solution for peas and beans. Our cold rooms maintain the core temperature of perishable products at a predetermined low to medium range. Each solution incorporates precise controls for temperature, pressure, relative humidity, and airflow to maintain freshness and quality at a fast rate. For beans and peas, the required temperature for effective storage is 2 days at 1°C, 4 days at 2.5°C and 8-10 days at 5°C before chilling symptoms appear, while the relative humidity should range between 90-95%, to prevent dehydration and shrinkage. However, as the temperature rises to between 5-7.5 °C, discolouration of the entire bean or rusty brown spots become apparent, making the produce unfit for export.
InspiraFarms Cooling plays a critical role in addressing the challenges faced by Kenya’s horticultural export industry through our cold rooms, precoolers and other solutions provided to agribusinesses in Africa, including Kenya’s peas and French bean aggregator Instaveg LTD. Our expertise lies with on-farm, post-harvest cooling management and our commitment to minimising food and economic losses through energy-efficient cold storage. Furthermore, our compliance with international certification standards contributes significantly to enhancing the quality indicators such as well-formed beans, with a fresh appearance and a tender but firm feel. Through this, we enable our clients to lower their rejections, food loss and safety of clients’ produce in the market space, while promoting sustainable and responsible post-harvest practices.