Technical assistance to strengthen the BiH honey market analysis and monitoring

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Cardno Emerging Markets USA, Ltd.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Apply by 6 April 2018
Senior-level , Field assignment
Posted on 7 March 2018

Job Description

USAID/Sweden FARMA II - Description of Project

USAID and the Government of Sweden have awarded Cardno Emerging Markets USA a five year contract for implementation of the Fostering Agricultural Markets Activity II (FARMA II) project in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH). The purpose of the FARMA II project is to create agricultural and agribusiness economic opportunities for BiH farmers and entrepreneurs. FARMA II will achieve this by assisting agricultural producer organizations to adopt European Union (EU) and international agricultural and food standards and new production techniques, produce new high value products and expand their access to foreign and domestic markets. The objective of FARMA II Policy Component is to strengthen the BiH public sector capacity to implement regulations, norms, practices, and rules in the areas of agriculture & food, veterinary & plant health and safety, accreditation, standardization and quality certifications related to food and agricultural products which meet EU and international best practice requirements.

Beekeeping is a significant activity in BiH due to the richness of flora, beekeeping traditions and high levels of domestic honey consumption. In addition to honey, other bee by-products have also a significant potential: pollen, propolis, wax, royal jelly, and in recent times, bee poison. The processing of these bee by-products is a special challenge for the profession in technology, apitherapy, pharmacy, medicine, functional food and diet products, cosmetics and other activities.

Current challenges in improving productivity in the sector and achieving sufficient quantities include improving standardization of quality, improving access to knowledge and information on the use of modern production techniques and technology, better organization of sales and distribution of products, etc.
Natural honey production capacities in BiH are significantly higher than the amount of honey that has been marketed in recent years. Extremely rich flora (about 3,700 plant species), suitable and clean environment, including tradition, provide excellent preconditions for producing high-quality honey.

With improved organization and education of beekeepers (including marketing knowledge), well-targeted incentives and cooperative integration of producers (horizontal and vertical association of beekeepers), beekeeping has the potential to provide profitable and sustainable employment for many rural citizens in the country.
However the domestic market for honey remains vulnerable to the production and sale of adulterated honey (i.e. impure). Honey adulteration may also be associated with an inappropriate declaration of a particular type of honey in terms of the origin of the preparation and/or processing of honey. In addition, there are also products being marketed as honey on the market which are in fact much cheaper substitutes such as invert sugar or glucose-fructose syrups or similar which many consumers are unaware of.

To help to protect and regulate the market, the classification of honey quality through physico-chemical analysis can be extremely important. Through the use of such analysis, results can help to determine whether a product is within the prescribed quality limits to be defined as honey. Other analysis which can test for the presence of harmful substances, such as residues of drugs, pesticides and environmental contaminants can also contribute to improving beekeeping and ensuring the health of people.

To improve the control of the quality of honey in BiH, in the last quarter of 2017, the Food Safety Agency of BiH, in cooperation with the competent authorities of the entities and Brčko District, carried out a ‘Monitoring of the quality of honey in the market of BiH, 2017’. 100 samples of honey were analyzed, 72 samples were among domestic origin, of which 42 domestic samples were found not to be in compliance with current standards and regulations, and 28 samples from imports, out of which 10 samples of honey were also found to be inadequate.

Purpose of the assignment
The purpose of this assignment is to provide technical assistance to the Food Safety Agency of BiH and the competent inspection bodies to strengthen the honey market analysis and monitoring system. Expert will prepare detailed analytical reports based upon interpretation of analyzed honey samples obtained during honey market monitoring. Assistance will also be provided to plan future honey market monitoring activities. This will also include training of all relevant FSA personnel that will participate in the implementation of the Multi-year program of quality control of honey. As continuation of the activities previously supported by FARMA II which focused upon strengthening laboratories in pollen analysis of honey, this activity will extend analytical capacities to carry out more detailed official controls and more effectively regulate the market. The analysis capacity will enable the relevant authorities to follow up with producers who are mislabeling products as honey or misrepresenting the geographical and/or botanical origin of the product. This will include the ability to identify products marketed as honey which have been manufactured using exogenous sugars and/or other sugar products. The direct beneficiaries of this technical assistance will be relevant technical staff of the Food Safety Agency of BiH and the competent inspection bodies that will participate in the implementation of the multi-year program for quality control of honey, producers, importers and distributors of honey.

Indicative activities
  • Review and assessment of all available honey sample data;
  • Assistance in interpreting sample results and presenting the findings;
  • Targeted field trips and meetings with competent inspection bodies of the Entities and Brčko District to review sample and data collection methods, compliance checks for honey samples, consideration of adjustments and proposed improvements etc.;
  • Support and training of FSA officials and relevant inspectors in the development of future market monitoring and control plans to establish the prevalence of fraudulent practices in the BiH honey market;
  • Meeting with producers, importers and distributors of honey in the chambers of commerce of the Republic of Srpska, the Federation of BiH and the FTC;
Final report including detailed recommendations on proposed improvements of the market monitoring system.


  • Assessment of current honey market monitoring plan and development of proposed amendments, if needed;
  • Training program prepared and delivered;
  • Training materials prepared for future use by the FSA to guide inspectors and POs;
  • Instructions/guidelines for interpretation of honey sample analysis results;
  • Honey market monitoring and control plan(s) drafted and agreed with relevant authorities;
  • Final report including summary of main activities, results and recommendations (including all main advisory documents as annexes).
Timing and Level of Effort
Total LOE is estimated at up to 10 days (7 onsite & 3 offsite), including travel and is expected to take place between April and May 2018. The consultant is expected to undertake one trip to BiH during this period. Further on-line support and consultation may also be required during the period.

Qualifications and skills
  • University degree in veterinary science;
  • Ideally, post-graduate degree in veterinary science;
  • Excellent analytical, communication, presentation and facilitation skills;
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills;
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office applications;
  • Proven ability to work in a team and under pressure.

Professional experience
  • At least 15 years of relevant professional experience;
  • At least 10 years of relevant professional experience in food-safety quality requirements for animal origin;
  • Experience in implementation of the EU acquis in the field of veterinary, food safety area;
  • Specific knowledge and experience in the analysis of honey samples and regulation of honey markets preferred.

About the Organization

Cardno has a 50-year history of working in partnership with developing countries to deliver solutions for sustainable development. Through the expertise of professionals operating in more than 100 countries, we investigate the causes of poverty and focus on improving the physical, economic and social infrastructure that sustains communities.

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