Working in informal food markets in Africa we test if consumer demand for safe food can be
generated and utilised to drive improved standards of hygiene and safety up the value chain.
Materials and methods:
Following food safety value chain assessments and KAP surveys, large consumer awareness
campaigns were launched in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (chicken) and Harar, and Dire Dawa,
Ethiopia (tomato). These multimedia campaigns are implemented by commercial
advertising/communication agencies, and comprise TV and radio adverts, door-to-door household
visits and social media, including using social influencers to promote food safety messages. The
messages focus on purchasing quality, hygienic foods and following basic food safety rules.
Baseline consumer surveys were conducted to assess consumer consideration of food safety when
making food purchases. This will be compared to endline surveys to be conducted in 2023.
This work is performed within the Pull-Push project.
Hygiene standards in the target food value chains have major weaknesses. Before the campaign
consumer consideration of food safety was variable in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, with greater
concern in high income groups. There was a disproportionate concern about chemical hazards in
vegetables and to a lesser extent chicken. Results of the communications campaign’s impact on
food choice will be available in 2023.
Although foodborne disease exerts a massive health and economic burden on developing countries,
there is a lack of application of food safety standards. Furthermore, consumers continue to source
food from outlets with poor hygiene. If a communications campaign can influence consumers so
they purchase safer foods, forcing suppliers to improve standards, this will provide a way of
improving food safety in the informal sector where most people in Sub-Saharan Africa source their
food, and where efforts to improve food safety have so far had limited impact.
Knight-Jones, T., Amenu, K., Tacken, G., Ilboudo, G., Madjdian, D., Girma, S., Ibrahim, A.M., Grace, D., Vet, E. de and Dione, M. 2022. Pull-Push: Market and consumer interventions to improve food safety in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. Oral presentation at the 16th International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Halifax, Canada, 12 August 2022. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.