For Immediate Release
Today the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) presented new food safety manuals that are of crucial importance for the development of food safety policies of Azerbaijan. During the presentation, the participants discussed the current practices and constraints, and outlined necessary future steps.
The manuals, called Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) manuals, will introduce state-of-the-art practices into a variety of food supply chain operations. The development of HACCP manuals was possible due to the close and long-term collaboration between the Ganja State Agrarian University, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and USAID. Application of practices embodied in these manuals will ensure the adoption of international best practices and will support HACCP equivalency requirements of the European Union (EU) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
USAID and USDA collaborated in the production of the HACCP Manuals .The manuals, produced in Azerbaijani and Russian languages, represent state-of-the-art guidelines for the development and application of HACCP operations in enterprises producing and processing meat, dairy products and fruits/vegetables. The manuals will be integrated into the curriculum of the Ganja State Agrarian University to eventually form a full-time course. They are intended to support strengthening of food safety knowledge, skills and practices in the country through introduction of HACCP curriculum in educational institutions and practices in the private sector.
The publication of the HACCP manuals is of particularly great importance at this moment when Azerbaijan is at the threshold of its accession to the WTO and closer integration with the EU. One of their requirements is implementation of HACCP in the food industry. Full HACCP implementation will greatly increase the export potential of national food products.
Ms. Aytan Gahramanova, a representative of USAID/Azerbaijan, opened the event, emphasizing the importance of introducing food safety principles and international best practices to support food safety reforms. Ms. Nazrin Bagirova, Head of the International Relations Department of the Ganja Agrarian University, expressed her appreciation to USAID and USDA for such fruitful cooperation and support. She noted that the 2008-2015 State Program on Food Provision of the Nation also underlines the importance of providing the country with not only sufficient quantity, but also high quality and safe food products. The State Program specifically calls for creating a normative-legal basis for introduction of quality management systems in the food production sector, improving food safety mechanisms and creating the legal framework for application of the HACCP system.
Representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Ministry of Health, as well as the Independent Consumers Union, who spoke at the event, highlighted that the manuals would be used as desktop tools/reference materials in food processing companies.
Officials from the Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patents, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Health, the State Veterinary Service and State Phyto-sanitary Control Service under the Ministry of Agriculture, representatives of donors (USAID, USDA, FAO, and GIZ), key private sector stakeholders, and consulting companies implementing HACCP in private companies attended the event.
USAID has been actively supporting the government, in particular the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture, since 2007 in developing relevant legislation through technical assistance of international experts to further develop the food safety system in the country.
Last updated: February 20, 2015