On 12 August, in the frame of 32 International Agroindustrial Fair AGRO 2020, All-Ukrainian Forum Milk Safety: National Policy and Regional Initiatives was held. The event was organized under the patronage of the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine (MDETAU) in cooperation with the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSUFSCP) and the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” which is implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland) in partnership with SAFOSO AG (Switzerland).
Over 130 participants registered and were able to join the online broadcasting: 27 representatives of oblast and rayon state administrations, 59 specialists of territorial bodies, state veterinary hospitals, inter-rayon and regional laboratories of the SSUFSCP from 19 oblasts, over 50 representatives of milk producers and processors, private sector associations, and experts.
The Forum was aimed at focusing attention on the new requirements to milk safety, production, and placing on the market as a food product as well as the challenges which accompany the process of implementation of the legislation harmonized with the European standards and require relevant changes.
Mykola Moroz, General Director of the MDETAU Directorate of Food Safety, gave a welcoming address:
“Development of the order on approving the requirements to milk and milk product safety and quality had been accompanied by intensive and interesting discussion. It’s been a year since the Order was adopted and came into effect, and we are now tracking its impact on the stakeholders. I hope that the concerns of the majority of food business operators were unavailing. We can now work and proceed to a higher level – safe and better products which, certainly, start with raw milk collection. The working group that monitors the market situation has been established within the Ministry. It consists of many participants directly working on the market and preparing their proposals regarding further amendment of the national legislation”.
Borys Kobal, Director of the Department for Food Safety and Veterinary Medicine of the SSUFSCP, highlighted:
“The present situation shows that all the issues related to milk quality and safety are extremely important, relevant and indispensable both for producers and consumers in Ukraine and abroad. Those Pilot Projects being implemented in some oblasts show that business supports the issues of raw milk control. Today’s meeting stresses the importance of all the works started and ongoing ones. Their results are essential both for business and the SSUFSCP”.
Igor Kravchenko, Local Program Manager of the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” mentioned:
“One of the objectives of our Program is to help to create the conditions that the national raw milk quality and safety monitoring program became functional; our consumers should be certain that they consume safe milk. This is an important prerequisite for both domestic and international trade development”.
The importance of implementing changes and new approaches requires joint efforts of food business operators and competent authorities.
Vitaliy Bashynskyi, Head of the Public Council of SSUFSCP, during his speech, noted:
“Evolution in raw milk production and processing in Ukraine has been very slow. On the other hand, Ukraine exports dairy products to the European Union, which has very strict requirements. Therefore, the statement that Ukraine is unable to produce quality products is not a topic for the today’s discussion. However, we have a number of problems, having analysed which, our working group has elaborated a strategic document. The national strategy, among others, should include constant monitoring of raw milk and guidelines on its improvement”.
“Implementation of changes requires a careful approach, which the pilot project “Raw Milk Control Program” is aimed at”, said Iryna Vysotska, Dairy Component Coordinator of the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” and told about the objectives and models of its implementation. Iaroslav Valiavskyi, Acting Head of the Directorate for Food Safety and Veterinary Medicine of the Main Directorate of the SSUFSCP in Poltava oblast, gave more details about the pilot project implementation in Poltava oblast.
During the event, the regional initiatives in Chernivtsi oblast were also presented; they are aimed at improving milk quality and safety on the primary level, control of its further processing and sale to the final consumer. Thus, Liubov Shtefuliak, Head of the Directorate for Food Safety and Veterinary Medicine of the Main Directorate of the SSUFSCP in Chernivtsi oblast, told about the project “Safe Milk for Bukovinian Children” and the competent authority’s role in its implementation.
At the end of the event, the participants were able to ask the speakers their questions in the online chat.
The event was held with the support of Switzerland in the frame of the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” which is implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland) in partnership with SAFOSO AG (Switzerland), www.qftp.org.