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FAO boosts help to Ukraine on safety of fish products for EU markets

Ukraine recently signaled its willingness to align national food safety and quality systems with those of the European Union. The decision flows from Ukraine’s geographic proximity to Europe, and the recently signed EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area document.

Funded by Norway and carried out in close collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the FAO Office in Ukraine will work on a new project focusing especially on food safety of Ukrainian fishery products.

Entitled, “Coordinating the national food safety system for fishery products in Ukraine to move towards harmonization with the EU: 2017-2019,” the project got under way here yesterday. It will address regulatory and inspection aspects for fishery and aquaculture products.

Based on the findings of an assessment carried out in 2016 and conversations with relevant food safety authorities, FAO identified a high need for specific protocols in fisheries and food safety.

Experts from FAO’s Fisheries Division led the project’s inception workshop in Kyiv. Also participating were representatives of the Institute of Fisheries of the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, State Service of Food Safety and Consumer Protection, Standardization Laboratory of Quality and Safety of Agricultural Products, State Agency of Fisheries, European Union Delegation to Ukraine, the Embassy of Norway, and other concerned individuals. The event aimed to define a road map for implementing the project.

The project will include awareness-raising workshops for official food safety fish inspectors from the different institutions and laboratories, and other forms of capacity-building for new responsibilities using a training-of-trainers approach.

“FAO has considerable experience in assisting member countries to strengthen the national competent authorities to deliver fish inspection and certification in line with international market requirements,” said Esther Garrido Gamarro, FAO food safety and quality officer.

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food and other institutions such as the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection of Ukraine and State Fisheries Agency will be the project’s main beneficiaries.

“We have a positive experience of close collaboration with FAO experts,” said Borys Kobal, chief state inspector for veterinary medicine. “I am sure that the current project will contribute to the establishment of a well-functioning national food safety system for fishery products in line with the EU framework.”

The FAO project will operate until April 2019, complementing recent efforts made by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the EU Delegation to the Ministry, and FAO and contribute to the implementation of the Strategy for Agricultural and Rural Development 2016-2020, under another project funded by Norway.

18 October 2017, Kyiv, Ukraine

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