08 November 2010 – Taste Test

The past few weeks have been quite eventful. I had a very good meeting with the Director General of the Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) regarding food safety and testing. Since everything we do is built on a foundation of food safety, it’s critical to understand what independent resources are available to ensure that our product is 100% safe. RBS recently unveiled its strategic restructuring plan, and we aim to work with them to help develop the safety infrastructure of Rwanda’s food industry.

I also had the opportunity to meet with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health. She is an impressive woman who has a tremendous reputation for getting things done. I took time to introduce MANA and provide her with samples of our product. She invited me to join a technical committee on supply chain management for health commodities in Rwanda, and she also offered to allow us to conduct an efficacy trial at a rural health center in the near future. I’ll be working out the details this week. Additionally, she was kind enough to offer her staff to conduct a taste test for MANA! Watch for the results of that in the weeks ahead. Speaking of taste tests, you might enjoy this MANA taste test video:

Part of our work at MANA is to develop safe, local, consistent supply chains for the commodities we use in our RUTF product and in other nutritious products we are developing. Consequently, we have started discussions with the US Peanut CRSP program regarding peanuts in Rwanda. We hope this will lead to increased peanut production by Rwandan farmers that can be used in products to treat Rwandan children who are suffering from acute malnutrition. I hope to meet with the Ministry of Agriculture in the next week or two as well.

Our friends at USAID and Project Healthy Children have been a tremendous help to us, as have our friends at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Rwanda Development Board. We’re making good progress!

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