On the 10th of February Mr. Ishkhan Karapetyan, the Head of the Service (hereinafter referred as the Head) and Mr. Albert Weterings, Country Coordinator of “Netherlands senior experts” foundation (PUM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at creating large platform for business operators to learn about the international best practices.
Mr. Johannes Douma, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Armenia (residency: Tbilisi), Lusine Davtyan, Deputy Head of the Service, Vahe Danielyan, Head of the Food Safety and Quality Control Inspection of the Service, Suren Khudaverdyan, PUM representative in Armenia, Levon Mnatsakanyan, Executive Director of the “Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development Center” Foundation attended the event as well.
PUM is a non-profit organization working with more than 3000 volunteers who share their knowledge and experience with entrepreneurs in developing countries promoting the development of small and medium enterprises.
The Head introduced the priorities of food safety sector stipulated in RA Government Program and highlighted the need of providing business operators with new skills, business advice and experience.
“The main goal of this cooperation is to assist those businesses where violations, shortcomings and deviations are detected during the state surveillance. This is a good chance to improve food safety field via sharing the best practices and skills of the experts with Armenian entrepreneurs”, said Mr. Karapetyan.
The Head of the Service was hopeful that capacity building and quality development will facilitate the production of higher quality food products and the competitiveness thereof in foreign and domestic markets.
Mr. Albert Weterings spoke about the procedures of the services provided by PUM and introduced the process of registration assuring that the services provided by experts will be sufficient to achieve good results. 53 business projects successfully implemented in Armenia are proof of it. In the meantime he mentioned that food safety is one of the target areas of PUM and expressed satisfaction.
Mr. Johannes Douma highly appreciated the cooperation between Armenia and the Netherlands and the steps aimed at introducing international quality standards.
Taking into account the fact that main target groups of this cooperation are food and alcoholic beverages production, dairy processing, fish farming, beekeeping, farming, animal origin production, greenhouses etc., the Service had organized a meeting with Suren Khudaverdyan, PUM representative in Armenia and business operators engaged in food production. During the meeting achievements gained in the result of PUM project as well as perspectives of the cooperation stipulated by current MoU had been introduced.
The representative of “Eko Kat” company had highlighted the positive results achieved by the assistance of Dutch experts in the framework of PUM.
It is worth mentioning, that a number of business operators have already expressed interest in cooperation with Dutch experts. Levon Mnatsakanyan, Executive Director of the “Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development Center” Foundation had expressed his willingness to promote five business operators, as their beneficiaries.
The program will be ongoing. The Service will initiate awareness raising as well as consultancy activities aimed at progressing in the food safety sector.