USAID Cooperation for Growth

Serbia marks World Food Safety Day

On June 7, 2019, Serbia marked World Food Safety Day for the first time
Food Dafety Day
On June 7, 2019, World Food Safety Day was celebrated for the first time in Serbia and worldwide. World Food Safety Day was established in December 2018 at the UN General Assembly, under the initiative of UN FAO and the World Health Organization. Its goal is to raise awareness about hygiene and safety of food across the world. The significance of this topic is enormous if we take into account the fact that 1 in every ten people worldwide suffers from health issues related to contaminated food and water.

In Serbia, this day was marked by USAID Cooperation for Growth Project together with the Ministry of Agriculture, at Hyatt Regency hotel. The Deputy Chief of Party at USAID Cooperation for Growth Project, Dragana Stanojevic, thanked the Ministry for the excellent cooperation and joint effort to mark this important day. She expressed satisfaction that the event gathered food inspections and the private sector in one place, united around a topic benefiting all citizens of Serbia and its economic growth.

Zeljko Radosevic, state secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, held the opening remarks and was followed by Nenad Dolovac, the director of Directorate for national reference laboratories, Veljko Jovanovic, director of Agriculture sector at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Dragan Pusara, director of Support Unit for the Coordination Commission for inspection oversight. All the keynote speakers emphasized the importance of aligning the regulation with EU standards, strengthening inspections and laboratories as systems of control, and supporting the private sector. The support for the private sector has to flow mainly towards SMEs so that they can increase their compliance with domestic and international markets.

The first panel discussed the reform of Food Safety Law, improving inspection oversight in food safety area and plans for the future. The participants of the panel were representatives of the Agricultural Inspection, Veterinary Directorate, Plant Protection Directorate, and Sanitary Inspection, as well as professor Miomir Niksic from the Technological Microbiology Department at the Agricultural Faculty. They concluded that adopting the regulation is not enough - we must ensure its full implementation. Food safety depends on strengthening the entire control system, which is a tool protecting Serbian manufacturers, the health of citizens, and Serbian competitiveness.

The attendees heard a presentation from Branimir Rakic, the co-founder of OriginTrail. He talked about the potentials the 4th industrial revolution brings to the safety of our food, using new technologies and trends in the food traceability area.

During the second panel, we heard from the representatives of Delhaize, Nestle, and PepsiCo. They shared practices and experience their companies have when it comes to food safety and how high standards impact competitiveness and placement of products in the market.

USAID Cooperation for Growth Project continues its years-long support for reform of inspection oversight in Serbia, to enable Serbian SMEs to do business in an enabling environment and increase their compliance to the requests of domestic and international markets, including the support to better food safety systems. You can see more photos from the event in our photo gallery.
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