“Croatia must have a top food safety system and promote the highest veterinary and health standards, primarily to protect the health of domestic consumers, but also because of large imports, ie the fact that food is an important part of the tourism industry,” said Croatian Chamber of Commerce Vice President Dragan Kovacevic. 13. Conference on Food Safety.
He stressed that we have a billion-euro deficit in the exchange of agricultural and food products with foreign countries. “It is encouraging that last year and in the first months of 2019, the growth of the deficit was stopped, food exports grew twice as fast as imports, and we recorded the highest export growth in the most demanding EU markets. That is why we believe that Croatian agriculture is at a kind of turning point, “Kovacevic said.
Chief State Inspector Andrija Mikulić said that the re-established State Inspectorate will not be a repressive body, but a body that warns prevents and educates. “For all minor offences, we will go to warnings, and not immediately to punishment. Punishment is not and should not be the only measure. I want a partnership between all stakeholders in the process, that we all try to agree on legislation because we are on the same task – to create the best possible food safety control system, “said Mikulic.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture Tugomir Majdak said that among the most important activities of the ministry is ensuring the self-sufficiency of Croatian farmers, primarily in livestock. “We want to enable the export of our health quality products to third-country markets. In that sense, the Ministry responds to all the challenges that the market poses to us, and this conference is a platform on which we can build a better food safety system, “Majdak emphasized.
Assistant Minister of Health Vera Katalinić-Janković said that some of their people went to the State Inspectorate, but that this should not be understood as a loss, but as an opportunity to further improve relations and develop a food safety system. “We must act together and work to ensure that healthy and quality food reaches the tables of our consumers. This conference is certainly an event that will help us in that, “said Katalinić-Janković.
Ghislain Marechal from the EC’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) spoke about food fraud in the EU, which has multiple negative effects because it harms consumer health, undermines the authority of institutions and creates unfair competition for companies. “Food fraud is defined as a deliberate violation of EU law with the aim of achieving economic benefits and misleading customers. This is most often the case of incorrect labelling, forgery, dilution or use of unapproved amplifiers. Our food safety system is not designed specifically to prevent fraud, so we have to think like criminals to catch them, “said Marechal, adding that additional problems are created by imports from non-EU countries with different food safety laws and regulations.
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