GCCA supports the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) on the USDA-funded Exporting Quality and Safety Program (EQS). The program provides technical assistance to increase productivity and sales for domestic and export markets of high-value fruit and vegetable global value chains in the Dominican Republic (DR). From July 18-29, 2016, GCCA sent a team of experts to complete a cold chain assessment in the DR.
The team included Transportation Specialist Stephanie Larsen, Warehouse Operations Specialist Brian Beazer, Team Lead/Agricultural Marketing Specialist Paul Forrest, Refrigeration Engineer Juan Carlos Hencker, Postharvest Specialist Lizanne Wheeler, and Association Development Specialist Debbie Corado (GCCA). The goal was to provide an updated report of the cold chain in the DR, which would be more comprehensive than an assessment that was completed in 2009. The team looked at the cold chain as a whole, but focused on its impact on key products, including avocado, pineapple, Asian vegetables*, and greenhouse vegetables.
The final report is expected to be available next month. GCCA will participate in a cold chain conference in the DR in September to announce the results of the report and convene stakeholders to discuss cold chain challenges and solutions. Based on the findings and the discussions, working groups will be formed to address these challenges and implement solutions.
*Referred to in the formal report as "oriental vegetables" per custom in the DR.