FAO initiates a three-year project to strengthen food safety systems across five countries in Europe and Central Asia

At a national inception meeting in Azerbaijan on 16th of March 2021, FAO launched a three-year project (from 1st of January 2021 until 31st of December 2023) with the aim to improve food safety controls and risk communication systems in the following five countries: Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan and Turkey. The project was initiated because of the prominence of an effective food control system from farm to fork and its benefits for all actors along the supply chain. It is based on ongoing efforts by Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency (AFSA) and its cooperation with FAO.  

The Government of Turkey decided to finance the project through FAO-Turkey Partnership Program on Food and Agriculture (FTPP II) in order to amplify official food safety controls and allow public and private sectors to engage in addressing major risks associated with food safety. The project will promote the creation of more efficient food safety systems in the five countries and the implementation of risk and evidence-based food safety controls aiming to improve agri-food trade and market integration. Yunus Bayram, Deputy General Director of Food and Control at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, stated that this project will be valuable for developing effective risk management structures. In addition, according to Melek Çamak, FAO Representative for Azerbaijan, this multi-country project will allow beneficiary countries to share their experiences and exploit cross-learning to succeed better in the execution of this project.