From 7-9 May 2014, ProFound organised and conducted a strategic Stakeholder Conference in Abu Dhabi: ‘Natural Ingredients for Food & SME Development in Afghanistan’. The Conference was organised in close collaboration with representatives of CBI and UNITAR, as well as with other relevant Afghan stakeholders from a previous natural ingredients project.

Aim of the Stakeholder Conference was to discuss the opportunities and constraints of the Afghan Natural Ingredients sector, and seek opportunities to address these through joint initiatives. Key-outcome of the Conference will be a framework of a programme of support activities to Afghan SMEs in the Natural Ingredients sector, in synergy with other organisations so as to broaden the local support base of the CBI’s Export Coaching Programme (ECP) for Natural Food Ingredients.

Besides the Stakeholder Conference, ProFound will identify relevant stakeholders and activities for the ECP, and will source a total of 14 SMEs for the ECP based on CBI’s selection criteria. ProFound currently advises CBI’s Program Manager with the pre-selection and auditing of the companies. Important in this process is the evaluation of the commercial viability of the products of these companies on the regional and European markets, and whether or not the company’s long-term vision provides sufficient grounds for further investment.