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FAO project addresses food safety for Ukraine fishery products

A modern national food safety system for Ukraine’s fishery products – in line with European Union requirements – is the overarching goal of a new FAO project launched here today.

Funded by Norway and carried out in close collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the project will address law enforcement, fishery production chains, and access to international markets for Ukraine fishery products.

Approval of the project agreement symbolizes Ukraine’s commitment to improving coordination among different national institutions, identifying gaps in current fish safety and quality legislation, and developing an efficient food safety management system.

Following a November 2016 FAO analysis by FAO experts, the project will analyze the degree of alignment between Ukrainian and European Union regulations.

It will also include an awareness campaign for fishery laboratories, clarifying their responsibilities under new regulations, and training for fish inspectors on EU fish import regulations and certification requirements.

Food inspectors will receive specific training on inspection of fishing vessels, landing sites, fish processing plants, and food safety and quality management.

“FAO sees an extreme importance in introducing this project, particularly given the current outbreak of botulism in Ukraine due to ingestion of fish products,” said Mikhail Malkov, coordinator of FAO’s development activities in Ukraine. “One of the most critical issues here is that there is no proper control over sanitary-technical and sanitary-hygienic conditions of production.

“FAO has strong experience worldwide in supporting such technical fields as sanitary and phytosanitary issues,” Malkov continued, “and we have already built a good basis for most of the problems that are to be settled within this project.”

Since Ukraine has many current and potential fisheries producers ready to export to the European Union, harmonizing Ukrainian and EU legislation should help both state authorities and businesses, according to Borys Kobal, chief state inspector for veterinary medicine.

“The project will provide a solid support to fishers, traders and processors on traceability and labelling issues under new policy requirements,” Kobal added.

The FAO project will operate until April 2018, complementing recent efforts by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, the EU Delegation to the Ministry, and FAO, which recently completed a sectoral review of fisheries and aquaculture in Ukraine.

20 June 2017, Kyiv, Ukraine

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