Global Programs

With extension of SAFE project, Dominican Republic expected to meet and maintain U.S. food safety standards for beef and dairy exports

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The SAFE project is building a culture of food safety that stakeholders say is sustainable. Here, staff provide technical assistance during livestock field school demonstrations.

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a merit-based extension to continue the work of its U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded Safe Agriculture/Food Export (SAFE) project in the Dominican Republic.

The two-year, USD $5.1 million extension brings the project’s total operating budget up from $16.2 million to $21.3 million and narrows its focus to export and market-oriented farmers, beef and dairy processors, and achieving the re-instatement of equivalence with USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS)’s standards.

NCBA CLUSA has been implementing the SAFE project, known locally as Progana, since 2015. Despite recurring droughts and a global pandemic, SAFE produced significant impacts for 12,498 direct beneficiaries. Specifically, the project:

  • Supported the Government of the Dominican Republic to meet all conditions for achieving FSIS Equivalence for beef exports to the U.S. market of Puerto Rico, except for the in-country audit delayed due to COVID-19.
  • Established improved beef and dairy sector coordination and trust among public and private-sector actors, resulting in policy reforms.
  • Improved food safety systems and sanitary practices through private co-investments made by slaughterhouses, farmer organizations, and dairy processors; and
  • Achieved 12 percent productivity gains and increased incomes at the producer level by using the Livestock Farmer Field School methodology.

The SAFE project’s midterm evaluation, in 2019, found that its activities had already created “a culture of food safety that is growing and will continue to grow.” The project’s final evaluation reinforced this finding, indicating that the SAFE project’s activities have “significantly improved the quality of sanitary practices and established new norms, a trend that stakeholders believe will be lasting.”

Through this extension, NCBA CLUSA and its partners Junta Agroempresarial Dominicana (JAD), Fundación Rural Economic Development Dominicana (REDDOM) and U.S. cooperative Genex, in collaboration with other U.S. and Dominican cooperatives and actors, aim to achieve the goal of reinstating equivalence with U.S. food safety standards after nearly 25 years and generate $22 million in exports of beef manufacturing trimmings to Puerto Rico by 2023.

Increased beef exports and dairy market growth are expected to fuel a cycle of investment that, combined with SAFE activities, will increase total productivity by 20 percent; strengthen 40 producer organizations, associations and processors who will generate an additional $30 million in beef and dairy sales; and mobilize an additional $2.1 million in private investment and loans.

For more than 65 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in 100+ countries in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, building resilient communities, creating economic opportunities and strengthening cooperatives and producer organizations. Our work empowers smallholder farmers, women and youth in the areas of food security and nutrition-led agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, market development, natural resources management, positive youth development, gender equality and enabling regulatory environments.

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