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The Export Quality Program and the National Competitiveness Council closed the cold chain program in Santo Domingo 31 January 2020. During the event, the progress made by both institutions in terms of cold chain in the country was presented.
The Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) played the role of developing, executing and supervising the different cold chain activities for the Export Quality Program in order to obtain favorable progress to improve international competitiveness in agricultural production and the export of fresh produce. These activities included study visits to processing plants, fruit vegetable exporters, logistics operators, ports and airports in countries such as Panama and Mexico, where participants from various agribusiness sectors had the opportunity to learn new techniques, hear about trends, and see top operations. In addition, the Program also led to the participation of year 1 and 2 of 14 members of different industries related to cold operations in the most complete cold chain study schedule in the world WFLO Institute Latin America.
The Export Quality Program focuses on improving quality, safety and increasing exports in the value chains of cocoa, avocado, pineapple, oriental vegetables and greenhouse. During the three years of development and implementation of cold chain changes, the most visible results include:
- Greater essential knowledge and basic principles of handling products at appropriate temperatures. Different sectors have made important changes and measures that help to export a better quality product.
- Developing better cold chain systems with the overall quality standards and temperature control needed to address the critical challenges faced by each sector when the study was initiated.
- Involving different sectors who have realized that an interrupted cold chain can cause economic losses, damage the country's reputation and cause a decline in exports by compromising the quality and shelf life of the product.
The program provided different perspectives of the Dominican export sector, with opening words from the American Ambassador, Robin Bernstein, the Director of the National Competitiveness Council, Rafael Paz, the Chairman of the Commercial Facilitation of AMCHAMRD, Alexander Schad and the Director of the Export Quality Program, Brian Rudert, among others.
"One of my main objectives during my time in the Dominican Republic has been to improve and facilitate bilateral trade between our countries. As these efforts result from all, today we are proud to recognize our champions of the cold chain: companies, associations and people who have invested time and money in improving the management of their cold chain," Ambassador Bernstein said during her participation in the ceremony where they were awarded different players of the sector.
Rafael Paz, Executive Director of COMPETITIVIDAD, in his presentation highlighted that "the maintenance of the cold chain, is a key element to increase the competitiveness of our exportable offer, which is why we have been working and promoting one-off actions to consolidate this theme on the national agenda."
The Exporta Quality Program was implemented in the Dominican Republic by the US non-profit organization International Executive Service Corps, with its local partner, the Center for Agricultural and Forestry Development (CEDAF), as well as the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) in cold chain, being founded by the Department of Agriculture of the United States (USDA). It focuses on improving quality, safety and increasing exports in the cocoa, avocado, pineapple, oriental vegetable and greenhouse value chains.