Over 60 DPR Korean participants from the local factories producing Super Cereals and Nutritional Biscuits for WFP gathered for a workshop in Hamhung City.
"How does number the 13 relate to the food produced locally in DPR Korea? And the number five? What about the number seven?" These were some of the questions that over 60 DPR Korean participants of a Local Food Production workshop were asked when their session started on 28 February in Hamhung city, on the east coast of DPR Korea.While individual factories have long experience in the production of biscuits and Supercereals in DPR Korea, their managers and core staff members have limited opportunities to meet and share issues of common interest to all producers.
Local Food Production is a successful partnership between WFP and the DPR Korea government that has provided fortified food to children and women in the country since 1998. The current project includes 13 factories located throughout the country, producing five fortified foods (biscuits and Supercereals) and using seven raw ingredients (wheat, maize, rice, soya beans, dried skimmed milk, vegetable oil and sugar). During the two-day workshop, representatives from the 13 factories shared their lessons learnt and best practices on how to improve nutritious food in the country.
Jong Pyong Ok, manager of the biscuit factory in Munchon explained that in her four-years as manager this was her first time to attend this kind of workshop. "This is a very useful opportunity for me. I’m learning a lot from my peers from other factories, especially on management best practices to ensure that we reach our production goals every month," she said.
During the workshop, all participants had a chance to visit the biscuit factory in Munchon, an example of modernization and innovation in the country, to learn some good practices introduced by Ms Ok that they could eventually replicate in their own factories.
"We have had a chance to learn how to improve food safety in the factory or the production process, how to do better reporting or how to ensure proper warehouse management," said Pak Gyong Jin, manager of Supercereal production in Hamhung. "Now, I’m better prepared to face the challenges of this year."
The workshop was organized by WFP in collaboration with local and central authorities. Participants included managers, engineers, book keepers and warehouse keepers from factories located throughout the country, as well as government representatives.