There is a food technologist here for the weekend. I reckon he has been the most productive person I’ve witnessed in three months. Today we went to the grain warehouse to check on procedures and he questioned the person in charge of fumigating and quality control. This man in charge is employed by a Swiss firm called Société Générale Surveillance.
I wonder about the job this surveillance company is supposed to be doing around the world. Once again, who surveys the surveyors… The fellow checking the stock for moisture, weight, molds and insect infestation is not clear on procedure. This is what the food technician was to verify so that product sourced around the world by the World Food Programme will be consistent and meet International Standards. If you are in the game you have to play it. By the rules.
This Tanzanian man is on contract and goes out to the farmers’ warehouses to
check them as well. Trouble is, he’s not precise and systematic. Consequently, nor are the farmers clear about what makes for quality. One group we met with today have 570 members, some of whom bring in five bags of maize only. You can see the difficulties if you haven’t already switched over to your tv.
The simple things need hands on work. You do not need to be a scientist to follow consistent procedure, but it takes patience and time and often much repetition to build the confidence necessary for any job well done.
While working for a French non-government organization in Vietnam, Mr. VanHoan Nguyen was encouraged to go to France for his PhD. He works for the World Food Programme and is based in Rome, head office.
Best of all, VanHoan is from Hanoi and he was born after the war.