Georgia will benefit from higher food safety standards

For the next two years the EU will spend €4.5 million on Georgia’s food safety sector. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 13 Oct 2014 - 17:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Government believes higher food control standards will provide immense benefits to consumers and to do this, Georgians need to work hard to produce safer food in the country.

In addition, the agency responsible for food safety and quality in Georgia said businesses would also benefit from higher food standards and become more competitive in the international market.

In this regard, Georgia’s National Food Agency (NFA) moved to a new office equipped with modern technologies last week.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili attended the opening ceremony said the NFA would help Georgian food producers, importers and exporters adopt international food safety standards, though this was a requirement of Georgian law.

"Like other countries that care about their population, food safety control takes place [here in Georgia]. We care about our population. Supporting food safety is the main issue of Georgia’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement with the EU. Great attention is paid to the measures the National Food Agency has to take,” Garibashvili said.

Over the past few years the EU has been Georgia’s second biggest commercial partner after the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with a share of Georgia’s foreign trade turnover of around 30 percent.

Analysts agreed that improving food safety was a great challenge in Georgia’s quest to develop free trade agreements between itself and the EU and United States (US).

The Food Safety and Rural Development Attache of the EU Delegation in Georgia Juan-Jose Echanove said Georgia was committed to increasing food safety standards.

"But it is a complex process for businesses, farmers and the state. The EU has been assisting this development for the last few years including the training of inspectors, equipment of laboratories and a vaccination campaign.”

In this regard more than €14 million (31 million GEL) had been spend on the development of food safety in Georgia, Echanove said.

He stressed the EU would continue supporting Georgia increase its food safety standards. "For the next two years more than €4.5 million (10.8 million GEL) will be spend on Georgia’s food safety sector,” he added.

The grant aimed to establish effective food safety standards, veterinary standards and ensure a sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) management system in Georgia comes into alignment with EU standards and legislation.

The grant will also support the network of the Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture to provide a more reliable analysis service.

Click here to see article: The cost of food safety in Georgia