The 1st Baku International Food Safety Conference was held on May 18.
The conference was co-organized by the Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency (AFSA), delegations of the European Union (EU) and World Bank to Azerbaijan.
The event organized at Bulvar Hotel in Baku coincided with the 24th Azerbaijan International Food Industry WorldFoodAzerbaijan 2018.
The aim of the conference is to strengthen cooperation between the Government of Azerbaijan, representatives of food industry, international trade partners and bodies exercising public control with the view of developing reconstruction of food safety.
According to the "Strategic Road Map of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the National Economy Perspectives" approved under Decree No 1138 issued by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 6, 2016, the development of the quality of food products is one of the top priorities to adjust Azerbaijan's food safety to the requirements of the international standards and ensure food safety.
Chairman of the Food Safety Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan Goshgar Tahmazli said at the opening ceremony that the issue of food safety was of strategic importance in terms of ensuring stability and sustainable development in the society.
It was noted that the conference would play an important role in developing the cooperation between the Food Safety Agency and international organizations, foreign states, practicing effective coordination of the projects that can contribute to ensuring food security in Azerbaijan, as well as in strengthening cooperation and information exchange between the Agency and international organizations.
Goshgar Tahmazli said that the conference would further enhance Azerbaijan's cooperation with the international organizations as a reliable partner, make significant contributions to developing export potential of the country's agriculture and food industry sectors, creating conditions for the production of high-quality and safe products in line with the needs of consumers in domestic and international markets.
Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, customs service Lieutenant-General Safar Mehdiyev said that by continuing the sustainable economic development strategy set by national leader Heydar Aliyev, President Ilham Aliyev also made significant progress in the development of agriculture and food industry.
It was emphasized that important steps were taken by the head of state in order to ensure food safety and significant achievements were made in increasing accessibility to the high-quality food products and export potential.
Safar Mehdiyev said customs bodies were carrying out complex measures to ensure food security in the international trade chain from the border crossing to the release of food products.
Noting that facilitation of the border crossing procedures and customs clearance, as well as of import and export operations related to food products, the Chairman of the Committee also spoke about the activities of customs bodies in the implementation of state programs in this field.
Safar Mehdiyev said further improvement of the existing system, provision with high-quality food products, increase of the efficiency of control over food safety had been set as priorities for the next period, informed the participants about the measures taken to further increase transparency in this sphere.
Head of the Cooperation Department of the Delegation of the European Union Jeroen Willems spoke about the EU's role in food industry and production of food products, confidence among production, consumption and control systems in ensuring food safety and risks. Jeroen Willems said Azerbaijan had taken important steps in the field of food safety and expressed his gratitude to the Azerbaijani government for the work done,
Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mehdi Khaemian gave information about Iran's food industry and agriculture, talked about the work in the area of food safety.
Then, the conference was continued in sessions.
The presentations prepared by the local and foreign experts on food safety were demonstrated to the participants of the conference.
Local and foreign experts held discussions on official control over food safety, food safety certificate, ways of preventing food fraud, ensuring safety at the enterprises, food safety expenses and benefits.