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EU supports Georgia in strengthening food safety system and helps in sharing experiences of successful countries

The First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Mr. George Khanishvili attended the event at the Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace, where activities carried out within the framework of the EU-funded Twinning project - "Ensuring further progress of the SPS and food safety system in Georgia" were summed up by participants, who also highlighted key aspects of the project, as well as future plans. While addressing the participants, George Khanishvili expressed his appreciation for the EU’s support to strengthening the food safety system in Georgia. “Georgia is going through a new important phase of implementing modern food safety standards and approximating with the EU legislation in this area; therefore, sharing the experiences of the EU Member States involved in this project is essential”- stated Mr. Khanishvili.“The approximation process with the European Union legislation in the field of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary is proceeding according to the plan. In 2015-2020, up to 150 legal acts were approximated within the framework of the DCFTA agreement. As a result of the support provided by the European Union, we already have tangible results in protecting the interests of consumers, introducing modern standards in production and raising awareness in the business sector. However, challenges remain as we move forward. We have ambition to make Georgian products competitive on the EU market. In this regard, it is important to share the experience of other successful countries and this opportunity is being offered by the Twinning project” stated Mr. Zurab Chekurashvili, Head of the National Food Agency. "EU continues supporting Georgia in strengthening food safety for better consumer protection and export opportunities in Agriculture. The main benefit of the Twinning project is that it will boost the competitiveness of Georgian products in the European Union market and strengthen consumer confidence in the food control system’’ said the project leader, Director General of Latvian Food and Veterinary Service, Māris Balodis. The event was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Khvtisiashvili, representatives of the diplomatic corps, the Ministry of Finance, non-governmental sector and sectoral associations. The Twinning project has been implemented since October 2020, with the involvement of Georgia, Latvia, Estonia and Sweden. Experts invited from partner countries within the project share their knowledge and practical experience with their Georgian counterparts. "Twinning’’ is a European Union instrument allowing for a direct exchange of knowledge and expertise between EU Member States public administrations and their counterparts in the Beneficiary Country. The project will run until November 2022.For additional information please see the following link :https://www.pvd.gov.lv/en/projects/ensuring-further-progress-sps-and-food-safety-system-georgia-no-ge-18-eni-ag-07-19-eu-financed-twinning-project; www.eeas.europa.eu/delegations/georgia  
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According to the EU Commission Regulation EU 2022/34 of 22 December 2021, Georgia has been added to the list of countries, whence snails are allowed to be exported to the EU market

Before adopting the respective regulation, certain measures intended to get closer to the EU legislation were taken by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and the National Food Agency. All strides were made under the framework of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). It should be mentioned, that a number of projects promoting the development of snail production in Georgia have been implemented by the Rural Development Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture. In total, 38 loans exceeding 10 million GEL were issued for creation and development of snail production under the preferential agro-credit project. The co-financing of the Rural Development Agency amounted to over 824,000 GEL.Moreover, Georgian honey (from 2016), Black Sea anchovy (from 2017), pet food products (for dogs, cats..from 2020) and certain categories of non-food products (leather, wool) are allowed to be exported from Georgia to the EU market. .It should be mentioned, that 173 tonnes of honey were exported to various markets, including 143 tonnes exported to the European countries in 2021.The total value of exported honey amounted to USD 657 000. The value of export was increased by 436%, while the volume increased by 696%  compared to the same period of the previous year.
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Levan Davitashvili: "I believe, that Georgian wine companies will be even more successful in new markets in 2022"

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Mr. Levan Davitashvili commented on the diversification of wine markets, noting, that in 2021, the share of exports in the Russian market was 57%, which is the lowest rate, if compare these data to the period before imposing the embargo on the Georgian products (when 87%  was taken up by Russian market), and over the past few years after lifting the embargo. The decline in market share is resulted from the consistent policy of the Ministry-was noted by the Minister Davitashvili. " We should take certain measures towards diversification and annually reduce the dependence on the Russian market, which implies more marketing activities in the new markets, where awareness of Georgian wine is relatively low. Last year, the export of Georgian wine approached the million mark  for the first time in the US market, thus selecting Georgian wine as a marketing priority. Our goal is to actively implement a project, which supports the individual marketing initiatives  and state co-financing for trade marketing. In September, 2021, we held a presentation of the respective program, which aroused great interest from winemakers. Moreover, we are expecting to be more active in the priority markets of our country, especially, if we are strengthening diversification and effectively implementing the aforementioned program. I believe, that Georgian wine companies will be even more successful in the new markets " Minister  Davitashvili said.