The Roadmap and Vision for the Raw Milk Control Program Implementation on the National Level Presented

On 19 June, the round table “Presentation of the Roadmap and Vision for the Raw Milk Control Program Implementation on the National Level” was held.   

The event was jointly organized by the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection and Ministry of Economy of Ukraine (hereinafter – SSUFSCP) in a hybrid format combining both online and offline participation, with support of Switzerland in the frame of the Swiss-Ukrainian program “Higher Value Added Trade from Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine” (hereinafter – QFTP) implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL, Switzerland) in partnership with SAFOSO AG (Switzerland).

Thus, Viktor Shutkevych, Assistant Director of the Swiss Cooperation in Ukraine, the Embassy of Switzerland, in his welcome speech which opened the event, noted:

10 years ago exactly, Ukraine and the European Free Trade Association signed the trade agreement, a part of which is the Memorandum to support Ukraine in the field of SPS. In 2014, Switzerland launched the Milk Safety Project in the frame of which the Pilot Project for implementation of the national raw milk control program was created. And today I am happy to see that this project is gaining momentum and will be rolled out to the national level.

The Roadmap development was supported by Vladyslava Magaletska, Head of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection, who, in her welcome words, highlighted the importance of the raw milk control program roll-out to the national level and briefly presented the provisional results of the second phase of the pilot project which is fully implemented in 13 oblasts and is being dynamically joined by new oblasts. The network of laboratories that conduct raw milk testing is also expanding (17 SSUFSCP laboratories are registered in the Dairy Module as of 19 August 2021). Vladyslava Magaletska also noted:

Today’s presentation is important for those who still doubt or hesitate – the raw milk control program will be implemented on the national level. This is important as our children’s health and our future depend to a large extent on the quality of milk and dairy products. 

Marco De Nardi, Senior International Expert, SAFOSO AG, also welcomed the round table participants, highlighting, in particular, that the Roadmap was developed with the participation of the multi-stakeholder working group, including the experts of the SSUFSCP and Ministry, and with the support of the QFTP experts from April to June 2021. The Roadmap is a comprehensive guiding document that clearly distributes responsibilities for the elements and activities over the time period which covers the period of transition to the raw milk control program from the regional pilot project (10 oblasts) to the national level.

The Vision to the Roadmap defines the end of 2024 as the endpoint for the full-scale functioning of all the elements of the Raw Milk Control Program both in the public and private sectors. In her speech, Iryna Vysotska, QFTP Dairy Sector Component Coordinator, highlighted the Vision provisions in more details.

The second part of the round table was focused on the presentation of the key elements and activities according to the responsibilities for their implementation of responsible actors as defined in the Roadmap.

The raw milk control program which is currently implemented as a pilot project by the SSUFSCP  is a type of monitoring by the competent authority of raw milk controls implemented according to Article 40 of the Law of Ukraine “On State Control over Compliance with Legislation on Food Products, Feeds, Animal By-products, Animal Health and Welfare” and Order No 118 of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine “On Approving the Requirements to Safety and Quality of Milk and Dairy Products” dated 12 March 2019.

However, the legislative framework for the raw milk control program implementation is not fully established. The tasks of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine with this regard were presented by Mykola Tibezh, Chief Specialist of the Expert Group in Food Safety, Animal Health and Welfare of the Directorate on the State Policy in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

Thus, the priority directions for policymaking by the end of 2021 include the revision of requirements for small-scale milk production and milk collection points and amendments to the requirements for milk and dairy product quality and safety (Order №118/2019 of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine) for the purpose of the raw milk control program implementation based on the Dairy Module, an IT-platform of the SSUFSCP. These and other activities will be implemented in the frame of the Ministerial working group led by Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Iryna Novikova.

Borys Kobal, Director of the Department of Food Safety and Veterinary Medicine of the SSUFSCP, focused on the elements “Training and authorization of sampling delegates”, “Preparing the laboratories to start of testing” and “SSUFSCP gets ready to the Program launch” in more details.

Anatolii Vovniuk, Deputy Head of the SSUFSCP for Digital Development, Digital Transformation and Digitalization, in his speech, emphasized:

The Dairy Module will allow consumers to learn which dairy products they consume. Producers, in their turn, will feel more value on the market, because they know that they sell safe and quality products. The SSUFSCP plans to provide access not only to the Dairy Module but also to other functions in the frame of the unified cabinet for Food Business Operators, which will allow providing a complete cycle of services. A dedicated team is working on the Dairy Module which makes communication easier and contributes to faster problem-solving. The SSUFSCP’s task is to ensure the pilot project roll-out to the national level on the basis of the Dairy Module.

Tamara Kozytska, Head of Scientific and Research Department for Microbiological Testing of State Scientific and Research Institute of Laboratory Diagnostics and Veterinary and Sanitary Expertise (hereinafter – SSRILDVSE ), told more about the laboratory component and role of reference laboratory. Thus, with the support of the QFTP, the SSRILDVSE experts revised the methodological guidelines on defining TBC in raw milk and calculation of SCC in secretion from individual cows’ udder and in bulk raw cow milk using a microscopical method and defining a geometric mean value.

To sum up the presentation, Vladyslava Magaletska thanked all the parties involved in the Roadmap development. Viktor Shutkevych noted that the Dairy Module is a result of the titanic and fruitful work of all the parties involved. He also highlighted that in early 2022 active planning of the next Program phase will start and the next steps should be defined. Marco De Nardi mentioned that the Roadmap development had become a significant achievement of the Program. He also highlighted that the Dairy Module is a tool that will help to implement the raw milk control program.

For the Roadmap in Ukrainian see the link.

For the live broadcasting of the round table see the link.