Support to food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary standards” programme will be implemented by a group of public bodies from EU Member States led by the Irish Food Safety Authority.
The European Union launched a 5 mln Euro programme on support to food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary standards in Albania for future accession to the EU through improved legislative framework and policy implementation, increased public awareness and acquis adoption. Programme will be implemented by a consortium led by the Irish Food Safety Authority Ireland (FSAI), and includes the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Finnish Food Authority and Creative Business Solutions as the only Albanian implementing partner. Over the next four years, public awareness and communication will be activated for producers, food business operators and consumers - consistent with a ‘farm-to-table’ approach.
During the joint press conference of program launch, Mr Luigi Soreca, EU Ambasador to Albania remarked 'The project we are launching today will bring Albania closer to EU standards. It will improve Albanians' everyday life and health. But let me emphasis one last benefit: it will contribute to opening the EU market to Albanian products. Our legislation is very clear about this – food items cannot be imported unless they respect the integrity of the EU food chain.'
From left to right – Mr David Butler, Director Sustainable Food Systems Ireland, Juha Pyykkö, Ambassador of Finland to Albania (non-resident), Samuli Virtanen, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Bledi Çuçi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania, Luigi Soreca, EU Ambassador to Albania, Helen McEntee, Minister of State for European Affairs of Ireland, Pamela Byrne, CEO of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Orla O’Hanrahan, Ambassador to Albania (non- resident).
The project will bring international field experts in food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary systems, to help Albania to harmonise its legislation to EU norms, to strengthen counterpart institutions and to improve consumer and business awareness of food safety issues.
Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, FSAI and a CBS partner said “We, along with our project partners, are very excited to have the opportunity to support Albania, an EU accession country, to improve its food safety, animal and plant health capabilities. Ireland’s international reputation in food safety is excellent, and working with countries to improve their food safety standards will enable Ireland to protect consumers both at home and abroad”.
Mr Bledi Çuçi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania stated 'We launch a new partnership with the European Union in the field of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary standards. Implementing this project through the Food Safety Authority in Ireland, its Finnish counterparts, two of the most prestigious institutions in Europe, and CBS as local partners, is a great guarantee to bring food safety standards in our country where needed'.
The strategic program is expected to contribute even to a long-term export policy for the stimulation of Albanian products export growth in the international market and open up EU markets for Albanian food producers.