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FAO helps Ukraine’s food safety system for fishery products meet EU standards

Ukraine, due to its geographical closeness to the European Union and its recently signed Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement, has committed to aligning its food safety and quality systems with EU standards.

The needed changes in legal requirements and in Ukraine’s official food safety control system bring with them changes to the country’s industry.

To this end, FAO launched last year an initiative in Ukraine to help the country achieve a modern national food safety system and highly qualified national institutions involved in food safety for fishery products.

Funded by Norway and carried out in close collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the project addresses the development of legislation and technical manuals, and it includes a campaign to improve awareness of food safety requirements among private sector operators.

A team of FAO experts, together with leading international food safety and quality professionals and in cooperation with the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection of Ukraine, delivered two one-week training courses on food safety for aquaculture and fisheries in Kyiv this week.

“Since Ukraine has many current and potential fisheries and aquaculture producers ready to export to the European Union, harmonizing Ukrainian and EU legislation should help both state authorities and businesses,” said Esther Garrido Gamarro, an FAO food safety and quality officer. “I strongly believe in the success of current trainings, which will definitely help local entrepreneurs and big businesses adapt to the changing legal conditions, including traceability and labelling issues.”

The first series of sessions was dedicated to the peculiarities of implementing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach. The aim was to enable Food Safety and Consumer Protection inspectors to successfully control HACCP implementation and to facilitate the approach among business operators.

The second training gave state inspectors a solid understanding of hazards and risks related to fishery and aquaculture products. It also introduced new approaches to the inspection of handling, processing and storage conditions along the entire supply chain, and it introduced a new inspection manual explaining how checklists and a risk-based approach to inspection could improve the efficiency and delivery of state controls.

Another aspect of the project is to assess the level of harmonization of the new Ukrainian regulation with the European Union, identifying gaps and providing recommendations.

The FAO project helping align the national food safety system for fishery products with EU standards will operate until March 2019, complementing recent efforts by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food and the EU Delegation to the Ministry.

28 September, Kyiv, Ukraine

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