Building Commercial Standards to Boost Trade in Nutrient Enriched Crops
In every step of commercial supply chains, purchasers look to standards to ensure that suppliers are providing valid products and services. Standards are essential for buyers to know what they are getting and to document transactions so that users further along the value chain know where their product has originated. Standards allow for smooth transactions of goods, and ultimately protect the consumer.
Nutrient enriched crops, also called biofortified crops, are a relatively recent innovation developed by HarvestPlus and its CGIAR global agricultural research partners to improve the micronutrient content of the world’s most-widely consumed staples, without use of transgenic modification. The primary objective of these traditionally bred crops is to tackle micronutrient deficiency (hidden hunger) on a large scale.
However, on the commercial side, there are gaps in the development of markets and related enabling environments to accommodate trade in these biofortified grains. A lack of product standards is a particularly important issue, which HarvestPlus and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) are working to address through the Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops (CBC) Programme.