037/04VIE Developing GAP systems for dragon fruit producers and exporters in Binh Thuan and Tien Giang provinces

The VNCI initiative pilot: • Project life of 12 months • Focused on the development of a cooperative with a finite total number – no new members were accepted • Only using the EUREPGAP standards for the farmer through to the on-farmpacking option • The quality systemdeveloped was bottom-up driven and stand alone, with all the financial burden of employing the required specialist quality personnel • Focused on well-off farmers who welcomed change and had plentyof resources for those changes • Target markets have been at the commodity level e.g. The Metro supermarket chain • Small amounts of compliant dragon fruit available for export.

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Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development 037/04VIE Developing GAP systems for dragon fruit producers and exporters in Binh Thuan and Tien Giang provinces Milestone 7 Farmer Cluster Groups Applying Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) June 2007 Campbell J The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd HortResearch Nelson Region PO Box 220 Motueka 7143 NEW ZEALAND DISCLAIMER Unless agreed otherwise, HortResearch does not give any prediction, warranty or assurance in relation to the accuracy of or fitness for any particular use or application of, any information or scientific or other result contained in this report. Neither HortResearch nor any of its employees shall be liable for any cost (including legal costs), claim, liability, loss, damage, injury or the like, which may be suffered or incurred as a direct or indirect result of the reliance by any person on any information contained in this report. CONTENTS Page BACKGROUND........................................................................................................................ 1 1. DOCUMENTATION OF GAP APPLIED BY CLUSTER GROUP SMALL-HOLDERS. 3 Farmer Selection .................................................................................................................... 6 Small-Holder Sector of Project Pilot Group Establishment................................................... 6 2. PROGRESS TOWARDS SMALL-HOLDER CERTIFICATION AS EUREPGAP COMPLIANT AND PERFORMANCE AUDITED.................................................................. 8 Choice of Quality System Standards...................................................................................... 8 Dragon Sruit Quality Manual ................................................................................................. 9 Stakeholder Skill Sevelopment .............................................................................................. 9 Associated Dragon fruit GAP Project .................................................................................. 11 3. BASIC ANALYSIS OF SMALL-HOLDER, AND EXPORTER FINANCIAL BENEFITS .................................................................................................................................................. 13 APPENDIX 1 ........................................................................................................................... 14 Benchmarking Questionnaire ............................................................................................... 14 APPENDIX 2 ........................................................................................................................... 21 VNCI Certification............................................................................................................... 21 1 BACKGROUND The implementation of the dragon fruit GAP project has been based on the development of people’s skills in good agricultural practices (GAP) principles. The people targeted have been: project personnel stationed at Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI) and other SOFRI staff, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) personnel in the two project responsibility provinces, dragon fruit exporters, packers and dragon fruit farmers both small and large holders (with priority given the project document requirement of addressing small-holders). The national capability has been developed by the project in a sustainable way and there has been an increasing awareness, understanding and confidence in GAP principles, especially in the project national team, which has been evident in their subsequent achievements. At the commencement of the project implementation, a benchmarking survey to define baselines for GAP being applied at the small farmer level was undertaken. 126 small-holder farms were surveyed in the Binh Thuan province and 30 small-holder farms were also surveyed in the Tien Giang Province. The purpose of the benchmarking survey was to define the level of operations on the small- holder farms compared with the documented standards of Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group; Good Agricultural Practice (EUREPGAP). EUREPGAP was chosen as the standard by which the farms would be compared, as this is the minimum standard that is accepted by the high value markets of the United Kingdom and Europe and the standard the project initiatives would seek to attain. Some 92 questions, based on the EUREPGAP standard, were asked of the farmer (Appendix 1 – Benchmarking Questionnaire) by the Vietnamese project team and assisted by young scientists from SOFRI. All data were subsequently translated into English, entered into a specially prepared database and analysed by HortResearch personnel. A Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® presentation (Refer to August 2006 Project Report: Appendix 2) was prepared by HortResearch and delivered to SOFRI staff and to DARD staff, packers and farmers of the Binh Thuan Province by the project leader during his March 2006 visit. The benchmarking database is held at SOFRI and portions of the database and Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® presentation have subsequently been used by SOFRI personnel for training and research purposes in dragon fruit and other crops. Observations and feedback from the benchmarking, survey preparations, implementation, and interpretation of the data collected, gave an early indication that a demonstration model to show and prove the viability of Good Agricultural Practices in the dragon fruit industry was needed before small-holders would respond to project initiatives for them to adopt GAP (the many constraints preventing small-holder farmers from adopting GAP have been documented in the project regular reporting). Figure 1. Benchmarking survey, questionnaire testing with small-holder dragon fruit farmers. A commercial model “Pilot” of dragon fruit exporter, packer, large farm and small-holders has been systematically developed by the project and is close to meeting the selected quality system standards. The pilot model was set up for two main purposes: 1. To prove the viability of the pilot when implementing GAP, quality systems and standards that would provide access to high value export markets 2. To establish the structure within the pilot that has a quality system embedded in the packhouse, to assist the small-holder dragon fruit farmer in implementing their quality systems, to provide uniformity of standards across the pilot, to be simple to operate, accurate and a low financial burden to operate. Following external audit and certification by a registered Certifying Body, the pilot will begin exporting to high value markets. It is at this time that the true value and costs of GAP implementation will be defined. It is expected that returns could be significant for the farmer and there will be little problem with attracting and holding the interest of the small and large holder at this time; indeed strong organisation of the industry and possible constraint could be required at a later date. This dragon fruit GAP project has placed great importance on a systematic delivery of the project objectives and the ultimate sustainability of the intended outcomes. To address the three bullet points of this report, it is necessary to outline the technology transfer progression/evolution of GAP from the project, firstly into the host Vietnamese Institution, SOFRI, and then out to the wider dragon fruit industry. When implementing a ‘people development’ project of this type, it is necessary/important to lift each prerequisite stage progressively to a high level of understanding prior to its replication and/or moving on to the next stage. 2 3 1. DOCUMENTATION OF GAP APPLIED BY CLUSTER GROUP SMALL-HOLDERS The following table documents the project training programme: Stage Area Component Prerequisite Training Outcome 1 Project management ƒ Project Leader ƒ Knowledge ƒ Acceptance ƒ Management ƒ Delivery ƒ Project exceeds expectations ƒ SOFRI Project Team ƒ Responsiveness to change training ƒ Ability to implement project obligations ƒ Motivation to pass on knowledge gained ƒ From project leader via mentoring, presentations, team interactions, etc. ƒ Learning from training delivery feedback ƒ Networking ƒ Study Tour: to New Zealand ƒ Formal courses: e.g. NZOQ Internal Auditor Course ƒ Complete understanding of the dragon fruit crop ƒ Being customer driven ƒ Complete understanding of quality systems and their implementation to the level of the adopted standards ƒ Peer recognition as experts in the field ƒ Respect for their competence in the project scope and nationally ƒ Increased demand on their quality knowledge transfer ƒ SOFRI Environment ƒ SOFRI leadership is quality driven ƒ SOFRI Leadership has set up a strong quality environment at the institute ƒ SOFRI staff quality motivated ƒ Project leader presentations ƒ Networking ƒ Mentoring ƒ Other obligations outside the scope of the project document ƒ Dr Nguyen Minh Chau has set up an excellent environment within SOFRI for project delivery and management ƒ All SOFRI staff are on the path to GAP learning and application/support ƒ Respect for Dr Chau has facilitated the smooth establishment of the project’s commercial “Pilot” and a start to national infrastructure development to support the high quality dragon fruit industry 2 Project delivery ƒ Benchmarking survey ƒ Project team with the necessary understanding and skills ƒ Test sample ƒ Training of young scientists ƒ Conducting the survey ƒ Learning through listening and observing ƒ Documentation of the GAP status of small-holder farms in relation to the EUREPGAP Standard ƒ Selection of farmers with project delivery potential ƒ Increased GAP understanding and capability of SOFRI and DARD staff ƒ Identification of a suitable packer/exporter for project GAP intervention 4 Stage Area Component Prerequisite Training Outcome ƒ Small-holder GAP project intervention ƒ Competent project team and trainers with the necessary understanding and skills ƒ Willingness to learn GAP principles ƒ Have access to necessary resources to make the physical changes needed ƒ Have the ability to understand and implement GAP ƒ GAP benefits extolled during the benchmarking survey ƒ Farmer group training through discussions, Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® presentations, demonstration, etc. ƒ Individual farmer training through discussions, farm mapping, and requirements needed to meet the standards, etc. ƒ HACCP surveys and training ƒ Health and Safety training ƒ Risk analysis and documentation ƒ Safe use of agrichemicals ƒ An increase in GAP understanding by small-holder dragon fruit farmers ƒ Initial training presented to a wide range of farmers previously selected through the benchmarking survey and DARD personnel ƒ Workable alternatives to small-holder farmers’ lack of commitment to take their level of GAP to the customer driven standards of EUREPGAP ƒ Project continues to recruit small-holder farmers for GAP intervention as they increasingly become committed ƒ Small-holder farmers are ready to flock to the GAP production of dragon fruit following proof of viability as demonstrated by the project pilot ƒ Infrastructure development Prerequisites for a dynamic quality driven dragon fruit industry include: ƒ Certified laboratory services for soil, leaf, water analysis ƒ Safe use of agrichemicals ƒ First Aid certification ƒ Internal auditing. ƒ Trainer of approved trainers ƒ Certifying bodies ƒ Standards development ƒ Problem solving, R & D Promotion, etc. ƒ Documentation of areas to be addressed ƒ Mentoring ƒ Study Tour observations of working systems Although outside the scope of the project document, this area has been encouraged by the project leader. Dr Chau’s quality systems skills and understanding and position of authority and respect have led to significant development in this area. ƒ Approved/certified/appropriate providers to service the quality needs of the dragon fruit industry to the standards demanded by the customer – BRC and EUREPGAP ƒ A competitive market for the service providers to ensure costs to the farmer are kept to a sustainable minimum ƒ A strong quality-driven, organised dragon fruit industry is established ƒ Pilot development ƒ A commercial packer/exporter of dragon fruit that has the resources, desire, skills and attitude to adopt the changes necessary to comply with the selected quality standards ƒ Quality advice for the ƒ Identification and project selling to the packer/exporter – an education/negotiation process ƒ Mutual respect between pilot and project team, particularly with the packer ƒ Identification of farmers for project quality intervention – farmers include large-holders ƒ Pilot packer/exporter selected and agreement to cooperate with the project ƒ Full cooperation by farmers with project team ƒ Implementation of systems and advice delivery ƒ Documented quality system developed – “Dragon 5 Stage Area Component Prerequisite Training Outcome packer/exporter to follow on its path to quality compliance – to work closely with the project team ƒ Establishment of a documented quality system ƒ A code of honesty, transparency and understanding ƒ A willingness to take the lead in the quality development of the pilot and to fulfil the system responsibilities to the “supplier” (small-holder) ƒ Allow the project to have access to all the data generated by the project initiative, for subsequent analysis and technology transfer to other dragon fruit groups (and other crops) and well as small-holders – an education/negotiation process ƒ Define the existing processes and train for changes necessary to facilitate compliance – general and very specific training ƒ Train individuals and groups to a level of proficiency for stakeholders to “understand”, “control” and improve all processes continuously ƒ Train the quality manager as leader of the “quality” responsibilities and in the role of self assessment (Internal Auditing) fruit Quality Manual” in English and Vietnamese written and presented to pilot ƒ Specific achievements in implementing the dragon fruit quality manual e.g. Product traceability, quality control, etc. ƒ Physical changes made in the packhouse and on the farms and services to facilitate compliance issues as directed by the project team ƒ Farm registration, location, mapping, documentation, etc. ƒ Supplier contract and schedule of costs agreed and signed between packer and farmer in compliance with the standards ƒ Honest, transparent and customer-driven supply, grade, pack and postharvest chain 3 Marketing ƒ Identify High Value Markets ƒ That the pilot has attained compliance with the BRC and EUREPGAP Standards and operates at that level at all times ƒ Train all pilot personnel to understand the processes, to keep those processes under control at all times and have the ability to improve them constantly ƒ Train to be customer driven ƒ Attain and maintain preferred supplier status with the customer and to work together to resolve any issues jointly ƒ BRC Global – Food Standards Certification at the packhouse: maintained ƒ EUREPGAP Standards Certification for all supplying farms: maintained ƒ Consistently high returns for product being exported ƒ Access to top-end markets through providing product that is safe, legal, of the quality and presentation demanded by the customer ƒ Good communication between customer, exporter, packer and farmer 4 Compliance ƒ External Audit ƒ Compliance of the pilot confirmed by internal audit ƒ Internal Auditor trained to the appropriate proficiency ƒ Corrective action process and implementation ƒ Good working relationships with Certifying Body ƒ External audit completed ƒ Corrective action implemented ƒ Sign off of changes ƒ BRC Global – Food Standards Certification at the packhouse ƒ EUREPGAP Standards Certification for all supplying farms 6 FARMER SELECTION The project has continuously encouraged the forming of cluster groups of small-holder farmers and for them to receive project training support. The project has continually included willing small-holder farmer individuals as well as cluster groups. During the benchmarking survey the opportunity was taken, when interviewing each farmer, to discuss the “project”, identify areas for improvement on the property and discuss issues and concerns of the farmer. During the survey, it was also a chance to identify farmers who would respond to the project initiatives with those identified being targeted to receive project GAP training. The survey identified that significant changes were needed right across the questionnaire scope to most properties, for them to be able to meet the standards of EUREPGAP. Indeed the benchmarking survey was the first project training initiative, as during the farmer interviews it was necessary to talk about GAP principles and how to achieve the necessary GAP standards as part of winning the farmer’s confidence, so that all questions could be answered in a relaxed and honest manner: some questions being of a sensitive nature for the farmer. The benchmarking survey was an excellent chance for the project team to deliver the project intentions to the region and to gain an indication of the best approach for project delivery. The benchmarking survey preparation and implementation enabled the project leader to define GAP competence at all levels of the project scope and the most appropriate approach for implementing the project’s documented outcomes in a sustainable way. It was found that most farmers targeted in the survey did not have resources to make the necessary changes for them to comply with the standards. Many farmers were found to be reliant on collectors to harvest and sell their dragon fruit. The combination of small farm size, poor agronomic practices and the farmer being dependent on the collector for finance that could involve pre-harvest advance payment for the crop indicated to the project that it would be difficult for the farmer to respond to the project GAP initiatives, no matter how strong the initial enthusiasm was. No provision had been made either within or outside the project to provide the resources the farmer would require to make the changes. It was also very difficult for the project to convince farmers with extremely limited resources to implement change when, because there was no precedent, the project could not guarantee that, until tested and confirmed, the farmer would increase profits from their dragon fruit crop. The project document scope determined that the poor farmer must be targeted for improvement. However, it was found during the initial project training programmes that, after initial enthusiasm to make change by the poor farmers, they quickly lost interest and did not attend more ongoing GAP training sessions. SMALL-HOLDER SECTOR OF PROJECT PILOT GROUP ESTABLISHMENT The project shifted its stance slightly by targeting farmers that had the willingness, ability and resources to exploit the project’s GAP training, to establish a pilot of a packer/exporter and a group of farmers that were serious about making the quality changes. Considerable urgency was placed on the establishment of the pilot. The project has consistently extolled the benefits of GAP to the farmers in the areas of improved living 7 standards and a safer living environment, but has been unable to indicate if GAP production to the standards required by the high value markets would more than offset the cost incurred to implement the changes. In spite of the project negotiating a bonus incentive payment from the exporter/packer for GAP produced dragon fruit, the true return potential will only be realised following the actual production, grading, packing and export of dragon fruit through a certified system to high value markets. The project pilot consists of: a packer/exporter, up to three large farms and several smaller farms. The farms are at varying stages of meeting compliance and the quality systems being established in the pilot are dynamic and can expand as new farms reach the minimum quality standards. The structure of the project pilot has been established so that farmers can join the pilot at any time, either as an individual or as a group, including cooperatives. The farmers’ group, for the early part of the pilot establishment, is quite fluid with farmers intermittently attending the GAP training. Serious farmers have made excellent progress towards meeting the EUREPGAP standards. It is anticipated that when compliant dragon fruit is exported to high value markets and increased profit returns are advertised, there will be a surge of committed farmers willing to undertake the necessary changes to enable them to receive the same benefits. Figure 2. High quality dragon fruit packed for export: Exporter purchase order to farmer. Project initiatives and training are determined to develop the pilot that has robust, transparent and honest quality systems to demonstrate the advantages of GAP, to be very market driven and to provide a viable, sustainable and clear model for duplication to the wider dragon fruit industry and across to other crops. 8 2. PROGRESS TOWARDS SMALL-HOLDER CERTIFICATION AS EUREPGAP COMPLIANT AND PERFORMANCE AUDITED CHOICE OF QUALITY SYSTEM STANDARDS The quality standards of EUREPGAP at the farmer level and BRC Global - Food at the packer level were chosen to be implemented by the project. These quality standards are very similar and compatible standards and are the minimum requirements for market access to the high value markets of Europe. One of the key advantages of the two systems is to gain direct access to high value markets and prevent any product rework in the importing country. Management of the quality systems of the project pilot has been embedded in the packhouse under the control of the Quality Manager. There are many advantages from having the quality system managed by the packhouse. They include: • The packer is market driven and can provide the vision, leadership and motivation to develop and maintain the full quality system so that it conforms with the standards at all times • The packer can provide coordination of the quality systems from the field to the customer • The packhouse requires a strong quality management system to meet the standards and these include many on-farm functions • The packhouse quality manager can assist farmer’s quality obligations in areas where they are deficient. This area is particularly important when lifting the GAP standards at the small-holder level • Distribution of technical information to the farmers in an accurate and systematic way so all farmers are coordinated in their management and quality approach • The operation is of a size that gives it the capability of contracting out to specialists for problem solving • Bulk purchasing of consumables at discounted prices • Provision of internal audit services at the packhouse and on the farm to enhance uniform operating standards and to ensure corrective action for non-conformities is undertaken and closed off 9 • Costs of compliance are less to implement and manage with the quality system being managed at the packhouse and those costs can be spread over a large throughput of fruit. Figure 3. Spray diary auditing and farmer training in the pilot dragon fruit production programme. DRAGON FRUIT QUALITY MANUAL A dragon fruit quality manual has been developed by the project (Milestones # 4; Draft Manual and #8; Final Draft of GAP/EUREPGAP Manual) with the small-holder farmer section encompassed in the overall quality manual. The farmer section documents the farmer response to every EUREPGAP Standard Major, Minor and Recommended question. Figure 4. High quality dragon fruit. STAKEHOLDER SKILL DEVELOPMENT Project training emphasis has been on improvement and development of understanding of all the stakeholders in the dragon fruit industry. Delivery of training to the stakeholders has been a mixture of: 10 • Formal presentations using Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® to significant groups of farmers • Individual training for farmers based on specific functions, for example, land/dragon fruit plantings mapping and documentation for farmers and extension officers, GAP requirements for specific applications/farms, risk analysis surveys, corrective action and understanding, HACCP surveys, corrective action and understanding, traceability systems • General discussions and prepared Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® presentations for packer/exporter, for example, the evaluation and selection process to identify the “packer/exporter” for the pilot, to define the expectations of the pilot and to ensure capability with the project requirements for the intended outcomes • Understanding and documentation of the “process” from the farmer through the packer to the exporter and subsequently the customer • Development of an acceptable and workable documented quality system. It is important to remember that the quality systems being implemented in the pilot are based in the packhouse and rely on an interlocking system with strong infrastructure and team work, honesty and transparency to assist the farmer to meet compliance to facilitate the ability to export to high value markets. Figure 5. Small-holder dragon fruit farmer group training. The farmer training process being applied by the project: • firstly creates the understanding of the GAP quality systems • identifies the physical changes required on the farm • imposes the quality systems • trains farmers for an understanding of the quality system requirements • internally audits the whole process to ensure the quality systems are operating as described and to the standards required. The very nature of this dragon fruit project and its requirement for a mixture of training approaches mean the usual training session measurements of success criteria cannot be applied. However, a more appropriate and robust and indisputable measure of success will be provided when the pilot has been evaluated by the Certifying Body and Certification awarded to the packer and farmers. This process is expected to be completed in July. 11 ASSOCIATED DRAGON FRUIT GAP PROJECT At the commencement of the CARD Dragon fruit GAP Project, there was one other project, funded by Vietnam Competitiveness Initiative (VNCI (USAID)) being implemented. The VNCI initiative was to be a farmers’ cooperative based on a bottom-up quality initiative of some 25 farmers, which included the establishment and maintenance of an autonomous quality system with the employment of quality specialists by the cooperative. More than half the original farmers interested in the cooperative dropped out during the training phase, leaving just 11 to proceed to compliance inspection. Every effort was made during project commencement by the leaders of both projects to coordinate the two initiatives for the good of both projects. These efforts resulted in a memorandum of understanding being developed and signed by both parties. The cooperation between the two projects resulted in a lot of interaction with some good GAP developments at the farmer level over the period of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), but it also highlighted some incompatibilities between the different approaches/scope of each project. Some of the functions the CARD project team provided to the VNCI initiative were: • Regular communication and coordination between the two projects • Farmer training in specific areas of the quality system to meet the requirements of the EUREPGAP questionnaire (e.g. safe use of agrichemicals, MRLs, physical changes required, GAP practices, etc.) • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) analysis and reporting • Risk analysis assessment and reporting • Internal Auditing. The VNCI initiative provided: • Regular communication and coordination between the two projects • Information and presentations from consultancies conducted by VNCI to enhance the GAP projects in the areas of Market Access Study, Postharvest Handling of Dragon fruit, and Quality Control. Differences in project duration, quality systems and approach and project philosophy of the two projects always meant that it would be difficult for the two projects to be completely complementary. However, the CARD project team input into the VNCI initiative greatly assisted those farmers to reach EUREPGAP compliance and Certification on 26 October 2006 (Appendix 2). The main differences between the two projects included: The CARD GAP project pilot: • Project life of 30+ months and based on ‘people development’ to support the project’s strong emphasis on long-term sustainability • Strong encouragement for the development of the infrastructure and an overall environment conducive to horticultural quality development in Vietnam • Customer driven and targeting high value markets • Implementation of the quality systems BRC at the packhouse and EUREPGAP on the farm 12 • The top-down driven quality system embedded in the packhouse for leadership, sustainability, robustness of systems, process control and operating economy, especially for the farmer • Implementation of the quality system to very high standards for high value customer confidence and for demonstration to other farmers • Farmer participation focus on the small-holder farm • Ability to expand continually, at both the farmer and packer levels • To provide certified dragon fruit in quantity to have the critical mass for export market testing and subsequent supply. The VNCI initiative pilot: • Project life of 12 months • Focused on the development of a cooperative with a finite total number – no new members were accepted • Only using the EUREPGAP standards for the farmer through to the on-farm packing option • The quality system developed was bottom-up driven and stand alone, with all the financial burden of employing the required specialist quality personnel • Focused on well-off farmers who welcomed change and had plenty of resources for those changes • Target markets have been at the commodity level e.g. The Metro supermarket chain • Small amounts of compliant dragon fruit available for export. Although the VNCI pilot attained EUREPGAP Certification early, it is understood that there has been no real financial advantage to the farmers and more supplying farmers have left the group. It will be difficult for the VNCI pilot to maintain compliance and achieve certification renewal in October 2007 without ongoing support. The CARD project team are aware of this and will provide ongoing support and assistance if requested/required. Figure 6. The Project’s Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI) team delivering training to the Vietnam Competitiveness Initiative (VNCI) pilot dragon fruit farmers. 13 3. BASIC ANALYSIS OF SMALL-HOLDER, AND EXPORTER FINANCIAL BENEFITS The project’s systematic approach to the development of the two quality standards of BRC Global – Food, in the packhouse; and EUREPGAP, for the farmers of the pilot, has meant that a full and accurate analysis to determine the financial benefits of the implementation of the quality systems will not be quantified until after certified fruit has been exported to high value markets. In the project pilot, every effort has been made to maximise the benefits of the GAP initiative for all stakeholders. Some of the efforts include: • The choice of quality standards that enable direct access to high value markets (to avoid revenue erosion through rework of product in a high labour cost country) • Provision of quality training and creation of an awareness and understanding by stakeholder personnel of quality systems management for the sustainable operation of those quality systems that included corrective action, improvement and an ability to lift the level of operation to meet elite customer specific requirements (increased product price generation, sustainable marketing) • Establishment of quality systems in the demonstration pilot that are robust and managed, as part of the packhouse quality control processes to provide economical quality system management at the farmer level (to provide guidance and create uniformity for the farmer, especially to those who may have constraints with quality system understanding, farm size, quality issues to resolve when operating at the intended level) • Development of a supplier contract between the farmer and the packer, as well as a schedule of costs as part of the pilot’s selected standards requirement • A memorandum of understanding between the project champion and the packer has established the model for the packer to provide a fee for service system to be in place for a trial period, and through this, the farmer will receive the full product returns less costs as per the pre-agreed schedule of costs, exporter’s fees, etc. • The data collected through the use of this system will, when analysed, accurately determine all costs and returns when export of certified dragon fruit through the pilot’s certified system to high value markets commences • The project’s pilot processed data will then be compared against the pre-project intervention information. In the interim, the project has negotiated a bonus payment from the packhouse for dragon fruit being supplied to the packhouse from farms moving towards GAP production. 14 APPENDIX 1 BENCHMARKING QUESTIONNAIRE 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 APPENDIX 2 VNCI CERTIFICATION

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