On November 5, 2016, the Food Connection Challenge (FCC) Final took place at the Afrikadag in Amsterdam. Dutch students pitched their innovative business solutions, developed to address postharvest issues of Ghanaian companies. The teams used the innovative expertise of Dutch entrepreneurs to support their business cases and aimed at adapting these technologies to the Ghanaian context.
The jury of the Food Connection Challenge (FCC) consisted of Froukje Verreijt of RVO, Anitra van der Kraan of NABC and Maaike Veen of ImpactBooster. They had a difficult task in selecting the winner, because of the variety of cases. “We liked the winning solution, because it is very easy and feasible”, explained the jury when they picked the Edanso team, consisting of Poppy Eyre and Naomi Berns, both studying International Food & Agriculture at HAS University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch. Edanso is a company that processes groundnuts into paste. Because there is a shortage in certain times of the year, Edanso could get a better price for its products when they would manage to store the groundnuts for three months. However, storing is not easy because aflatoxin forms a big risk.
The team found a solution by using innovations of the Dutch company VQM Packaging, consisting of a vacuum pump, a heat sealer and special plastic bags. In addition the team proposed Edanso to create an aflatoxin awareness program in which they educate the farmers they collaborate with on the effects of aflatoxin and how it affects their business.
It was an exciting final, as the fit-to-purpose solutions of the students really showed how Dutch and Ghanaian companies can work together to fight postharvest issues. Currently, the organizers explore the possibilities to pilot the different solutions.