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Value chain
Yard Long Bean

February 2015 – Start of the process

March 2015 – Kick-off meeting with authors of Feasibility Study on Yard long Beans

Current status:

February 2016 – Handed-over to local partner after implementation phase

Key facilitators:

Jenna Wijngaarde


Key challenges

Many years ago, Suriname was one of the leading exporters of tropical vegetables and of yard long beans, in particular to the Netherlands. Over the past few years Suriname lost market share to the Dominican Republic and Thailand due to high air freight charges and not supplying the preferred variety (Thai variety KB), amongst other things.

The EU market for (yard long) beans demands compliance with certain quality criteria. These criteria are in the first place aspects of health and food safety, followed by various environmental and social criteria (such as CSR). Specific points of attention are general hygiene (protection against pathogens, contamination) in all phases of the chain from the producer to the consumer; compliance with EU maximum residue levels (MRL) standards and the traceability of a product to its source in case a problem emerges at any point in the chain.

The Suriname yard long bean is well known for its specific taste according to experts and that is why it is preferred by the ethnic market in the Netherlands.

Host organisation

Suriname Bureau of Standards

Co-host organisation

  • Vereniging van Exporteurs van Agrarische Producten in Suriname (Association of Exporters of Agricultural Products in Suriname), VEAPS
  • Farmers association Kwatta
  • Association of Surinamese Manufacturers, ASFA

Development partners involved

The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in collaboration with the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)


Value chain analysis: Intervention areas and main quality gaps

The following bullet points present an overview of gaps related to selected quality and logistic standards for Yard Long Beans:

  • Product specifications: no written specifications regarding the Surinamese variety available
  • GlobalGAP not compulsory
  • MRL tests not required
  • No specific buyer manuals available
  • no strict specifications for packaging material available
  • no labelling requirements available
  • no traceability system in place
  • no strict specifications regarding storage temperature for yard long beans prior to their delivery available

The participants at the kick-off workshop had the following proposals:

  • Develop a GAP standard for the cultivation
  • Develop a manual for farmers
  • Establish a unit or assign persons to disseminate information to farmers and guide them to where they can do the necessary laboratory tests; Provide a list and identify a unit that will be responsible for disseminating this information and give recommendations to farmers
Actions for improvement per intervention area icon

  • Basic training in food safety for the hospitality industry and the retail
  • promote participation in the Technical Committee for the GAP Standards
  • Set up a certification body
  • Practical training in applying metrology skills for fabric quality control
  • Awareness raising about metrology and calibration via Facebook and YouTube
  • Select laboratory tests for accreditation
  • Set up a quality professional platform
Results and impact icon

  • A group of food traders were trained in basic food safety
  • More members joined the LOCAL GAP Technical Committee
  • A National Good Agricultural Practices Guide for Crops was developed
  • The establishment of a Certification body was initiated (ongoing)
  • A list of microbiological and chemical tests for accreditation was elaborated


For the Value Chain

  • The identification of a champion is very useful for encouraging VC stakeholders to participate in the Calidena process


For the QI in the country

  • It is necessary to have frequent consultations with the stakeholders to understand their needs for services

For the Calidena method

  • Stakeholders need to be constantly engaged and motivated to be part of the process
value chain map

Available Resources

  • Feasibility Study, 2015
  • Kick-off Workshop, 2015
  • Follow-up Report, 2016
  • Good Agricultural Practices standard for Crops, 2018 (available via the Suriname Bureau of Standards)


Author: Jenna Wijngaarde