Consumers worldwide increasingly expect the food products that they buy to be safe. For farmers and agribusiness companies, complying with higher food safety standards can be an opportunity in the local and export markets. However, compliance also has a cost, which can be insurmountable for many small businesses. In light of forthcoming negotiations between Georgia and the EU on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), Georgia has begun to harmonize food safety legislation with that of the EU. This is anticipated to have a significant impact on food value chains and local producers.
- How will the enforcement of higher food safety standards affect farmers and the food industry in Georgia?
- Is there enough interaction between the Georgian government and the local farming and agribusiness communities to make sure that higher standards are introduced smoothly?
These questions will be the focus of a joint FAO/EBRD Forum on Food Safety to take place in Tbilisi on 23 January, 2014.
Forum participants will be invited to voice their views on the potential effect of these changes and to interact with policy-makers, representatives of international finance institutions and other agribusiness companies.
The Forum will aim to establish a platform of constructive dialogue between government and private agrifood producers, paving the way to modernized food value chains and an improved investment climate.