The modern kiosk sells fresh fruit & vegetables, not magazines

The modern kiosk sells fresh fruit & vegetables, not magazines

in News

The kiosk, a small shop or booth with an open window, has existed for over 500 years, selling any small item people might need on the way. What kiosks have on offer has evolved with time: From magazines and coffee to lighters and SIM cards. Are fresh fruit and vegetables the next items on that list?

Why Arusha needs the kiosk

In Arusha, buying healthy fruit and vegetables isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. A lot of the fresh products sold to local market vendors contain high levels of pesticides and bacterial contaminants. The Arusha Food Safety Initiative is taking action to tackle this problem, from the field to the market, with the kiosk being one piece of the puzzle. The kiosk has inspired the Food Safety Initiative as a model for selling safe and healthy fruit and vegetables to address poor hygiene on the market and during transport. Contamination can come from different sources:

  • Vendors putting their products on the ground
  • Car emissions, both at the market and during transport
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables being transported together with chickens (possibly leaving faeces on them)
  • Poor sanitary infrastructure at the market
  • Toxic packaging
  • Wrong use of chemical cleaning products

This is not an exhaustive list, but it shows that contamination can happen more easily than one might think. The kiosk model minimalises the risk of contamination by following certain processing, hygiene, transport and packaging standards. The Food Safety Initiative has developed a 45-point checklist which kiosk vendors must follow to prevent contamination. Standards go from setting up a good drainage system to washing hands on a regular basis.

Covid-19 as a catalyst for progress?

One big barrier to achieving a safe market for fresh fruit and vegetables, is the lack of awareness about food safety. However, the covd-19 pandemic can be a game changer here. Because of covid-19, there is much more attention for hygiene measures (e.g. using good water, washing hands) which address the pandemic in the first place, but can also have long lasting positive effects on food safety. Together with the Tanzania Horticulture Association, Trias and AgriProFocus, we are using this momentum to sensitise consumers about the importance of hygiene when buying at the market and about the good example the kiosk model vendors are setting.

Curious about the kiosk model?

Curious about the kiosk model?

Reach out to our expert Hilda

Cover picture by Philippe Leyssens