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USAID, CCIAT launch new services offered by Chamber

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli (CCIAT) launched new business support services at the Chamber today, including facilities to test the quality of olive oil, collect and bottle honey, and dry fruit for local producers.

The ceremony to launch the new services was held at the Chamber in the presence of USAID Economic Growth Office Director, Dr. William Butterfield, Toufic Dabboussi, President of the CCIAT, Lebanese businesses, and other stakeholders.

In a press release by USAID, it said: "With $266,500 in total support from the USAID-funded Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) project, CCIAT established a fully equipped organoleptic panel test room (sensory analysis) for olive oil to complement the existing laboratory (chemical analysis). This is the first laboratory of its kind in Lebanon and critical for the classification of Lebanese olive oil as'extra virgin' following internationally recognized standards that require both chemical and sensory testing.

CCIAT also established a pre-testing collection and bottling center for honey to support small and medium Lebanese beekeepers in quality honey marketing.In addition, CCIAT received support from the USAID-funded LIVCD project to inaugurate a fruit-drying facility to serve apple, grape, and cherry farmers, among others, by providing them with an opportunity to sell their second grade fruits. The facility includes freeze-drying technology that is new to Lebanon and yields a final processed food product that is seeing growing demand in high value end markets.

USAID Economic Growth Office Director, Dr. William Butterfield, highlighted the major challenges in accessing marketsfaced by agricultural producers in Lebanon and emphasized U.S. government support in addressing these challenges through committed partners such as CCIAT. In turn, Mr. Toufic Dabboussi, President of the CCIAT, stated "We believe that our partnership with the USAID-funded LIVCD project will enable CCIAT to provide a full range of services to beekeepers, olive oil producers and farmers in the region,which will in turn ensure job sustainability and quality products."

Source: National News Agency