IIR Working Group on the Cold Chain in Warm Countries appoints a new chairperson

Newly appointed chairperson, Halima Thraya, will oversee and coordinate the various efforts and projects carried out by the Working Group.

The already existing IIR Working Group explores the issues that matter on the Cold Chain in Warm Countries.

It is our pleasure to announce that Halima Thraya (see photo) has been appointed chairperson of the IIR Working Group (WG) on the Cold Chain in Warm Countries.

Currently the Director of the development of the food industries at the Ministry of Industry, and Energy and Mines in Tunisia, Halima Thraya leads elaborate projects covering multiple aspects in this domain. She is driving force for many innovative development schemes geared towards the advancement of the food industry and, more specifically, the cold chain, in Tunisia but also worldwide.

As a key individual of the Tunisian administration, Halima Thraya is responsible for many nationwide schemes related to the food refrigeration sector and is also the national coordinator of international cooperation projects often in connection with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

With extensive experience in the agri-food industry, particularly regarding refrigeration, Halima Thraya remains an active and influential member of several national committees and various economic spheres.

In her capacity as chairperson Halima Thraya will oversee and coordinate the various efforts and projects carried out by the WG.

To ensure that the objectives are achieved the WG frequently collaborates and pools skills with Commissions C2 (Food science & engineering), D1 (Refrigerated storage) and D2 (Refrigerated transport).

More information on IIR Commissions

IIR Working Group (WG) on the Cold Chain in Warm Countries

The vital role of refrigeration technology

Focused on the vital role refrigeration technology plays in the food cold chain, the IIR WG on the Cold Chain in Warm Countries aims to create an equal playing field in developing countries as in developed countries.

A decisive contribution in diverse sectors

The contribution of refrigeration can be decisive in key spheres such as the reduction of postharvest losses, losses in the fishery field or post-slaughter losses, enhancement of food safety and hygiene, food supply to cities and expansion of international trade in foodstuffs.

Refrigeration also plays an important role in the health field thanks to preservation of medicines and vaccines.

Other temperature-sensitive products such as chemicals, flowers and plants can benefit from refrigeration technology.

For all these products, and many more in warm, developing countries, compliance with the cold chain at each phase (storage, transport, distribution) is essential.

Key objectives

  • raise awareness of decision-makers and stakeholders with regards to the importance of the cold chain, and raise consumer awareness concerning the importance of cold chain compliance.
  • identify problems encountered in warm countries in the fields of preservation, storage, transport and distribution, and identify locally produced materials or processes
  • update IIR guidelines on the storage and transport of perishable products, and recommendations on the handling of these products. Standardisation and legislation could be based on such guidelines
  • create training material on “good cold-chain practices”, comprising modules for each cold-chain links and/or sectors.

IIR and FAO collaborate on cold chain development in Africa

The IIR actively participated in a regional workshop on cold chain development in Sub-Saharan Africa which was held in Yaoundé, Cameroon in June 2012.

Furthermore, IIR members attended the meeting of the coordinators responsible for the UNEP Ozone Programme in Francophone and Lusophone Africa, held in October 2014 in Cotonou, Benin.

During this meeting, experts outlined the impact of chlorinated refrigerants phase out on the food supply in these countries.

For more information on IIR-FAO actions in Africa