Improved Food Safety to Increase Investment Readiness among Growing Food Businesses
Due to food safety challenges, many food professionals have more ease accessing informal financing methods or lines of government credit, which are oftentimes less reliable and predictable than formal financial services. When food safety practices improve, product quality and functional capability advance as well, resulting in a higher likelihood for growing food businesses (GFBs) to receive formal financing through lenders. Feed the Future Business Drivers for Food Safety (BD4FS) has developed a spectrum of training tools and strategies to improve food safety standards on a GFB level, which increases investment readiness for underfinanced groups. Using standards laid out by Prerequisite Programs, which define hygiene and sanitation conditions necessary for food safety operations, BD4FS works to implement best practices and build institutional knowledge on a business level. As GFBs align with internationally recognized safety standards, they become more appealing to appropriate lenders for infrastructure and production investment.
As GFBs gain capital investment and financing, additional improvements in food safety become feasible. Technologies including cold chain handling, certified production facilities and sanitation equipment allow for the option to scale up distribution regionally or globally. In turn, this signals to other actors in the market that food safety practices have a positive return on investment. BD4FS works to spread this message by showcasing success and educating public audiences to create a culture of food safety.