Strengthened food safety joint monitoring by Consumers Committee (CC) with multi-stakeholders engagement
Name: Upazilz Consumers Committee (UCC). Address: Delduar Upazila, Tangail District.
Background and previous situation of UCC
The members belonging in the Upazila Consumers Committee (UCC) are living in the communities as an individual identity. They were no/less concern regarding the situation of food safety. There were no platform for raising their voice on food safety. There was no formal monitoring system on food safety issues in poultry farms, feed dealer and Live Bird Market (LBM) sellers in the project areas. There were no visible engagements among multistakeholders’engagements including Department of Livestock Services (DLS), Bangladesh Food Safety Authority( BFSA), Department of National Consumers Right Protection( DNCRP), local administration, local government, private sectors and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). But the Upazila Consumers Committee (UCC) members felt for a platform of multi stakeholder engagement that they can play their role as collective action for food safety and related other issues.
Turning point to change the situation
After the introduction of Issue Based Partners( IBP) project on food safety governance in poultry sectors Beez Bistar Foundation (BBF) formed UCC by the involvement with civil society representation for the purpose of regular monitoring including multi stakeholders engagement. Now UCC have regular monthly meeting with respective government department and private sector. The UCC have regular joint monitoring visit with the participation of the representatives of Department of Livestock Services (DLS), local government, and market committee. The UCC monitor the registered farms and licensed dealers shop whether thy follow the feed rules and act properly. UCC member closely work with poultry farmers and dealer to motivate and encourage them on registration and licensing procedures. Due to limited manpower local DLS officials were not able to conduct joint monitoring to enforce feed laws and policy in poultry farmers, dealers and LBM sellers. UCC member extended theirvoluntary services with DLS officials along with local government and local administration to continue the joint monitoring visit.
Present situation: changes and benefits
Due to regular monthly meeting, discussion, monitoring by Consumers Committee (CC) with DLS, local government, local administration, market committee farmers, dealers and LBM sellers strengthened liaison among stakeholders. Poultry farmers, feed dealers and LBM actors are more aware than earlier as they rea informed on respective rules and regulation through monthly meeting and discussion. Poultry farmers are seeking service from local DLS officials that helped to reduce their farm production cost as they adopt good farm management practices. More than 80% feed de dealers got licensed as this is prerequisite of animal feed rules and licensed dealers doing business only with likened poultry feed. LBM sellers are practicing good slaughter practices and good LBM waste disposal system due to regular joint monitoring visit effect. General consumers and CSOs are satisfied for regular joint monitoring visit and they are requesting for continuation of market monitoring system. Local print media published news on CC monthly meeting,monitoring visit that create positive effect among all stakeholders in poultry sectors.
Inadequate enforcement of laws along with limited manpower of DLS is the major challenges to extension the monitoring visit by the UCC in near future. Moreover high rate of registration and licensed fee along with uncontrolled market price are other challenges to include all farmers and dealers under regulation process.
Certification system and award declaration for safe farmers, dealers and LBM sellers should be staredt by DLS to sustain the good practices that may replicate in other areas as broader aspects.