Europe Foundation Assessed Food Safety Regulation in Georgia
On September 14, 2018, Europe Foundation (EPF) presented the assessment report – Food Safety Regulation in Georgia: Assessment of the Government’s Reform Efforts in 2017 – prepared by a group of independent experts. As in previous years, the report provides a broad overview of the activities implemented during 2017 by the Government of Georgia (GoG), identifying obstacles hindering the reform implementation in food safety field and outlining recommendations for overcoming the challenges
While the assessment team has noted a general progress toward the declared objectives, it is clear that several areas require more focused attention. Among these are (1) lack of estimations of the cost of compliance for public and private organizations, (2) long transition periods prior to enforcement of harmonized requirements, (3) need for improved transparency and participation in legal approximation process, (4) gaps in making the official food control results public, (5) high level of non-compliance detected in drinking water samples, and (6) traceability of products of plant origin is virtually non-existent.
This report is Europe Foundation’s seventh assessment of food safety regulation and practice in Georgia. The report is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Danish International Development Cooperation (Danida).
“EPF started to advocate for the establishment of a functional food safety system years ago. To ensure effectiveness of these efforts, we partnered with Georgian civil society organizations, as well as provided them with capacity building and funding opportunities to work on SPS-related issues. Our work has bared fruit and the country has achieved significant progress. However, there is not time to be complacent, as many obstacles remain, which are also highlighted in the assessment report. Water safety issues, need for increased coordination and communication in SPS field, and transparency of official control results pose serious challenges,” stated Ketevan Vashakidze, EPF President.
“Food safety is a very important issue, as it directly relates to human health. It is crucial to us that Georgia fully complies with the EU requirements in SPS field and that Georgian citizens have better access to safe food and water, which is still problematic, especially, in the regions,” commented Molly Lien, Head of Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden in Tbilisi.