Fit For Market official launch at the ACP House: unanimous enthusiasm!

The official launch of the “Fit For Market” Programme took place at the ACP House on the 6th of December. Besides the launch of a new programme, it was also a great opportunity to celebrate past achievements  given the longstanding historical Public Private Partnership between the ACP, the European Commission and the COLEACP.
 
All the positive testimonies on COLEACP actions were appreciated by the staff and members of the Board also present: a real source of motivation and enthusiasm to carry out the future actions  of FFM.

Dr. Patrick I. GOMES
ACP Secretary General

Mr Régis Méritan
European Commission DG DEVCO

“ACP has always been very proud of COLEACP. (…) It has done remarkable things. Not only because of the sector – essential  for life, for food, fruit and vegetables, cocoa, all aspects – but also because through their actions we feel that something very tangible is taking place in the lives of the people of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group (…)”

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“I think it is a really wonderful success-story of ACP-EU cooperation. (…) COLEACP was actually a precursor. (…) COLEACP has put in place a huge database to guide future actions. (…)”

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Viwanou GNASSOUNOU
 ACP Assistant Secretary General

Stephen MINTAH
COLEACP Chairman

“Our mandate is clear, we must work for the welfare of our people. (…) I was told that 15 years ago the trainers and experts in the field (COLEACP’s) were 80% European and 20% ACP. The most recent figures we saw before the new programme was confirmed has confirmed 90% are ACP and 10% European. And these are the kind of figures, the kind of changes we wish to see.”

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“COLEACP is in the front row of all of these changes (in ACP and EU agriculture). COLEACP has conceived this FIT FOR MARKET programme to better support producers, exporters, importers in their efforts. (…) We have put together the new programme focusing on competitiveness and sustainability. The objective mainly is the competitiveness. That is making sure that technical skills acquired by the businesses serve to improve the economic performance and beyond that help to release the agrifood potential in developing countries. (…) I am really more excited about this team (COLEACP’s) because of the values they are bringing on board into this new programme. (…) I hereby promise that you will see excellent results one more time.“

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Thomas HILDENBRAND
Manager Fruit Department | SIPEF

Moctar FOFANA
General Manager | Agrumes et Oléagineux du Mali

“(…) My experience as an importer, I started my professional career in West-Africa, 32 years ago, in production and my story with COLEACP started 15 years ago. For at least two decades, there have been huge developments mainly those that have been imposed upon us by the market. I think that today we are at the dawn of new challenges (…) social protection (…), ethical responsibility (…), environment (…), I think that with the new programme COLEACP is launching , we will be able to reach these new objectives.”

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“I am a mango exporter from Mali. I work with more than 1000 producers  and 200 producers are certified. I joined COLEACP 20 years ago (…). I moved from 300 tons in 2005 to 2000 tons now (…) In my country, our production of mango moved to 40 000 tons. There’s been an interesting knock-on effect. (…) The new project is a logical follow-up. (…) I am grateful to all the decision makers at local and other levels that have made it possible to secure funding for this project and who have made all kinds of efforts. I take this opportunity to also hail the work of the COLEACP team which is really not like the others. “

Watch the full speech in video