PRICE to give EU food safety training to Dept of Fisheries

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The USAID-funded PRICE project and the Department of Fisheries announced the completion of a four-day training that began on November 4 to train 38 Fish Inspection and Quality Control (FIQC) staff on European Union (EU) food safety issues. This training was supplemented by the training of eight trainers of the FIQC so that they can train more than one hundred other FIQC field inspection personnel later this year, says a press release.

Led by two international trainers, this training was to assist the Department of Fisheries with meeting the food safety requirements of the European Union, a critical, ongoing issue for the Bangladesh shrimp industry. Approximately 50 percent of Bangladesh shrimp exports are to the European Union, which has imposed numerous import restrictions on Bangladesh shrimp due to food safety concerns, including an outright ban in 1997.

Currently, the EU requires that all Bangladesh shrimp exports to the EU be tested for nitro furans and other contaminants by the Competent Authority, the Department of Fisheries. Currently, this testing is being done by the FIQC labs.

The EU is sending a delegation in November 2008 to receive an update on the progress of the shrimp sector with regard to ED food safety requirements.

"As the EU represents the most critical export market for Bangladesh shrimp, we arc very pleased to work with the Department of Fisheries and Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation to arrange this training," indicated Robert Webster, Chief of Party of PRICE. "PRICE believe this will go a long way to giving confidence to the EU of the seriousness of the Government of Bangladesh in ensuring proper handling of shrimp for the EU market. We look forward to working with all industry stakeholders, such as the Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association and the Foundation, to ensure continuing access to the EU market."

PRICE (Poverty Reduction by Increasing the Competitiveness of Enterprises) is a USAID funded project whose objective is to reduce poverty by facilitating the increase of sales, jobs and investment in aquaculture, horticulture, and leather products.

PRICE's activities will be driven by the demand of the market and will seek to ensure that the benefits of growth are shared with women, young adults, SMEs and farmers as much as possible.



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