Agricultural Standards and Certifications, Capacity Building for Absorption of Funds and Marketing Strategies to Support Economic Growth and Trade

Agricultural Standards and Certifications, Capacity Building for Absorption of Funds and Marketing Strategies to Support Economic Growth and Trade

Two-year development project financed by European Union in the framework of Cross-Border Program between the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania under the Instrument of Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) 2014 - 2015.

Implementing Partners

Strategic partnership is led by Creative Business Solutions, other implementing partners include the Municipality of Debar and Albanian Development Fund.


From left to right, the town of Peshkopi, Albania, and Debar, Debar Commune

Project Location: Dibra - Albania and Debar - North Macedonia

Project Mission: Strengthen Agriculture SME’s productive capacity and access to European markets through Certification of Food Safety Standards, Capacity Building to Absorb EU Funds as well as development of Marketing Strategies. Project is implementing a comprehensive solution combining technical and practical expertise for a long and sustainable project impact.

Specific Objectives: Certification of producers and processors of Meat & Dairy, Fruit & Nuts and MAP (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants) with international recognized certification of food Safety and Standards, incentivize trade in EU markets and increase productivity through enhancement of internal production and management capacities.

Launching Event of the EU funded project that consists in the growth and development of Agribusiness and will promote significant economic development in Peshkopia and Debar region.

Component 1
Certification of agribusinesses and provision of Tailored Trainings in order to enhance awareness on the importance of certifications.

Dedicated trainings will be provided to agribusinesses to increase awareness on the importance of key standards and certifications and further assistance for implementation of 4 main internationally recognized standards including GlobalG.A.P, HACCP, ISO22000 and Organic. Increasing agribusinesses awareness on the relevant standards applied to different agricultural activities will significantly affect the improvement of agricultural products quality by consequently generating sales revenues. Meeting minimum national and European standards and requirements will facilitate regional products penetration into international markets.

• Tailored Trainings to increase awareness about the importance of key safety standards and certifications;
• Assisting agribusinesses to comply with Key Agriculture Standards and Certifications
• Implementation of Food Safety Standards Certifications;
• Certification of agribusinesses through 4 internationally recognized food safety certifications;

Closer Look: Read more on the Launching Event of this Key EU Initiative and Agribusinesses success stories awarded certifications. 

The specialized training with international experts about “Food Safety Standards in Agribusiness Activities”aimed to raise awareness on the importance of food standards and their certifications

Component 2
Preparation of grant application packages combined with capacity building trainings offered to agribusinesses to increase fund absorption capacity.

Project intervention will facilitate grant absorption in agriculture and agribusinesses knowledge and awareness in regard to requirements and eligible criteria’s of donors grant program and respective government’s funds. Intervention consists in two stages: a) intensive agribusiness trainings for agricultural activities and requirements to complete agricultural business plans and b) preparation of successful applications through advanced business plans’ preparation. Significant financial capital will be injected into agribusinesses through IPARD funds and National Schema.
• Tailored trainings of Agribusinesses for available Grant and Alternative Financing investments opportunities including national and EU financing schemes;
• Facilitate the submission of full grant application packages for Agribusinesses to absorb capital and new investments;

Read more on: Trainings provided for Alternative Agriculture Financing, Training Session on First Call of IPARD and Women Entrepreneurs in Dibra participated in Alternative Financing Training

Training on Alternative Agriculture Financing, hosted and organized by the implementing partners, Creative Business Solutions (CBS), Albanian Development Fund and Debar Commune, in the city of Peshkopia.

Component 3
Integrated Consultancy Services for Marketing Strategies including branding, labeling and digital product promotion

Project will equip beneficiary agribusinesses with a personalized marketing strategy. Interventions consisting in marketing business plans development, promotion through upgraded websites and social media channels will build up products brands and unique identities, distinguishing one commodity product from another. Technical assistance will contribute to a long-term export strategy for the stimulation of products export growth in the international market, increasing sales and open up EU markets for Albanian food producers.

• Provide customized Marketing Strategies Product; 
• Labelling and Product promotion;
• Building Agribusinesses Unique Brand Identity;
• B2B / Trade Fair to Connect Agribusinesses with national and international markets.


The main focus of this training was the detailed description of the IPARD funding schemes, as well as the spot-on application method for agribusinesses.

Project Impact

90 agribusinesses provided with tailored Trainings to increase awareness about the importance of key safety standards and certifications; 
20 Certified Agribusinesses through four certifications - GlobalG.A.P, HACCP, ISO22000, Organic. Up to 15% of the certified number of agribusinesses will be owned and/or managed by women;
180 Agribusinesses trained in order to increase awareness for available Grant and Alternative Financing investments opportunities and increase absorbing skills; 
15 Agribusinesses supported with Business Plans and submission of full grant application packages;
20 Agribusinesses provided with Integrated Consultancy Services for Marketing Strategies including branding, labelling and digital marketing. List of clients assisted: 

20 dedicated professional articles in in order to increase visibility for certified Agribusinesses;

1 B2B / Agriculture Fair Event organized.

On November 23, 2018, another session of informative seminars on the First Call for Applications in the IPARD Fund Schemes concluded

Ms. Fotjona Tace, Project Coordinator,
Rr. Mustafa Matohiti No.IV, Third Floor, Tirana, Albania
YouTube Channel

This project was funded by the European Union, implementation consortium is led by CBS (Creative Business Solutions) in partnership with Debar Commune and Albanian Development Fund