Blue Moon shines in Egypt

Egyptian company Blue Moon has developed a comprehensive Arabic capacity building program for the supply chain in partnership with the British Retail Consortium (BRC), GlobalGAP, LEAF, and SEDEX.

Manal Saleh founder and general manager of Blue Moon, said: “We realised that compliance to international regulations and private standards does not represent a trade barrier. On the contrary it has improved social, agricultural and manufacturing practices, and increased exports. However, the ability to communicate in foreign languages still represents an obstacle to comprehending and implementing the requirements as intended.

“Egyptian suppliers need to comply with the requirements of good agriculture practice, good manufacturing practice and social accountability. Consequently, they are expected to complete the SEDEX self-assessment questionnaire and undertake a third party social audit, and receive certificates of conformity to GlobalGAP and BRC. They need to rely on a professional capacity-building programme that incorporates a competent interpretation of the requirements of the international regulations and standards in the local language, as well as practical links to local legislation and regulations as they represent a fundamental requirement for compliance to any other international regulation or private standard.”

Saleh says she is only targeting “serious” suppliers who are committed to following international food industry requirements. Since Blue Moon’s inception six months ago, it has managed to provide a unique service to many sectors within the food industry, especially as it relates to social compliance through the approved SEDEX programme.

Exporters in Egypt have already done much to raise international “trust” in the country’s products, Saleh believes, but there is more potential to come. “I personally believe that Egypt has a huge opportunity to supply the whole world with its products,” she said. “Over the past decade, a considerable number of serious Egyptian suppliers have exerted a lot of effort and commitment. They have successfully secured a prominent place on the international supply map.”

The next steps for Blue Moon are to use its expertise to help more Egyptian suppliers understand and implement international requirements so that they can receive international recognition through compliance, and have a fair opportunity to export their products and raise the profile of Egypt as an approved country of origin.

But Blue Moon’s sights are set beyond the land of the pharaohs too. “We can offer our approved training services for BRC, GlobalGAP, LEAF and SEDEX to any interested party that can communicate in Arabic or English,” said Saleh. “Our geographical scope is not limited to Egypt but can be extended to any other country as might be needed.”