FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO–Türkiye Partnership Programme enhances collaboration among food safety authorities in the region

©FAO/Alessia Pierdomenico


The Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP), a collaboration between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Türkiye, includes a spectrum of activities aimed at strengthening the food and agriculture sector in Central Asia. FAO, with funding from Türkiye, is now midway through the implementation of a three-year project to improve food safety systems in the region to deliver safe, reliable and nutritious food from farm to table.

With the overall aim of strengthening official food safety controls and regional cooperation, the FTPP project supports Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan and Türkiye in following risk-based food inspection procedures and in improving food safety risk communication with relevant public authorities, food businesses and consumers. Significant progress is being made in the following areas:

Effective risk communication and emergency response: Managing food safety incidents to protect consumers and ensure the safety of food in the marketplace is a routine part of the work of food safety authorities. Incidents or food safety emergencies require a coordinated response and authoritative communication on risks associated with contaminated foods and actions to manage the event. Advice for consumers and industry must be an integral part of any response.

The FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia is helping Azerbaijan, Republic of Moldova and Türkiye establish their own multiagency coordination group responsible for crisis management, including a food safety emergency response plan that clearly articulates the steps to be taken in times of a crisis.

Assessment of the food control system: To advance the efficiency of its food safety system, Azerbaijan requested FAO support in an evaluation by using the FAO/WHO Food Control System Assessment Tool, which helps to identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in national system performance and provides evidence for improving the system based on specific, tailor-made recommendations. An international team of FAO assessors is working with the competent authorities and national focal points to complete the assessment by the end of 2023.

Experience and knowledge exchange: Food safety authorities plan and implement effective procedures to keep food control systems functioning and to ensure fair practices in food trade and access to markets. In order to react rapidly to emergencies, food control systems must be agile and responsive to developments, based on science and evidence and aligned with global standards. A collaborative food safety culture in which public authorities, food businesses and academia work together within countries and across national borders is critical.

Through the FTPP, work is underway in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan and Türkiye to strengthen official food safety controls and help the public and private sectors understand and address food safety risks. A recent regional technical workshop facilitated a technical exchange among beneficiary countries on official food control and risk communication. Given its similar strategic goals and needs, Georgia also participated in the meeting.

Keeping food safe is a complex process that starts on the farm and ends with the consumer. As agrifood systems transform sustainably within the 2030 Agenda, appropriate food safety measures must be in place to underpin them. The FTPP works to achieve this goal.

13 April 2023, Budapest, Hungary


Mary Kenny
Food Safety and Consumer Protection Officer

Gokce Akbalik
Food Safety Consultant