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Regional Certification Program Kicks-off in Albania

90 Albanian farmers and 20 agriculture experts have participated on three day training in Lushnjë to help certify agribusiness with internationally recognized certification for food exports and food processing

September 2015 - A regional certification program 'Assistance in Compliance with Key Agricultural Standards' will be implemented in Albania, Macedonia and Serbia, for the first time. The program, aims to certify 15 Albanian agribusinesses with GlobalGAP, HACCP, ISO 2200 and Bio certifications during a one-year period. The project managed through B-REDI program supported by USAID is implemented in Albania by CBS. The first three day training on Global Gap system was organized in Lushnja attracting great interest from the area agribusinesses. 90 farmers participated in the training which was led by Ljubica Temova, a GlobalGAP expert from Macedonia. The training was organized in coordination with AAC-Lushnja. The project aims to certify agribusinesses with international valid certifications for export and food processing.

HACCP is another certification that Albanian farmers will need in order to comply with key national quality food standards, but even more to expand into regional markets. As most of fruit vegetables processors and olive oil producers as well as cold storage operators (consolidators) are required to take the HACCP certification.

While ISO 22000 is another certification, part of this program, which is also a key requirement by the major groceries and international supermarket chain present in Albania as well as domestic national retailers with many branches throughout the country. As such fruit and vegetables processors and exporters are looking up at adopting ISO 22000.

This certification meets international minimum required standards including food safety and management standards but also integrates basic aspects of trace-ability so in many cases it is accepted even by larger supermarket chains in the region. So, certification for ISO 22000 is proposed to allow Albanian processors to offer export contracts and sell their products to advanced wholesale traders and larger retailers in the Balkans.