Through the support of the European Union under ENPARD IV, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has launched the first support opportunity for Food Business Operators (FBOs), which have benefitted from ENPARD I, II, or III. The support package will include technical assistance and a matching grant opportunity to improve the food safety standards in compliance with the food safety legislation.
FAO has already reached out to the eligible beneficiaries with an offer of participation in the program. In total, 85 candidate FBOs have expressed interest, and the FAO team is currently defining an action plan for each participant with them.
The first phase of the EU-funded support cycle will ensure that the benefiting FBO representatives are trained on food safety. They will have the opportunity to learn about the topic from international and national FAO experts. Furthermore, the FBOs, which still need the HACCP plan, will be supported to develop it.
After this training, FAO will assess the equipment needs of each beneficiary to reach food safety standards. Based on the assessments, EU-funded matching grants will be offered for purchasing the identified equipment.
The maximum amount of the EU-funded matching grants will be up to USD 50 000, and FAO will cover up to 70 per cent of the costs of the identified equipment.
“The partnership of FAO and the EU in Georgia through ENPARD has created thousands of opportunities for farmers through educational modules, technical assistance, and, of course, the matching grant mechanisms,” says Javier Sanz Alvarez, the FAO Program Coordinator. We are launching the first support cycle under ENPARD IV, working with previous ENPARD beneficiaries to enhance food safety measures in their facilities, but also to increase their competitiveness on national and international markets. Georgian consumers deserve the best food safety standards, following the EU model.”
Under the EU-funded ENPARD IV, FAO will gradually launch various support packages consisting of technical assistance and matching grants to address some of Georgian agriculture’s most pressing food safety challenges.
The European Union supports rural development in Georgia through its ENPARD Program. Aiming to reduce rural poverty, ENPARD has been implemented since 2013. The Program started by supporting the development of national agriculture potential. Afterwards, it concentrated also on creating economic opportunities for rural populations in Georgia. Since 2021, the program has placed an even more significant emphasis on improving food safety in the country, with the support of FAO and the Czech Development Agency as main implementers of the ENPARD IV program.