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Food for the European Union Market

In June, a seminar on export quality management of honey and dried fruits was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in English and Russian. We organised the workshop together with the Ministry of Investment of the Kyrgyz Republic, MinInvest, as well as with international experts from the International Trade Center, ITC and Globally Cool, a consulting firm in the field of international trade.

Technical and commercial requirements of the European market, public and private standards, conformity assessment and certification as well as quality management systems were the main topics of the seminar.

The participants had the opportunity to try out different databases and tools to find the relevant information for their product: “The standards and requirements of our European friends were not only important for us, but are important for all developing countries”, said one participant. “During the two-day seminar, I learned about the EU requirements for imported goods. In my case, the requirements for standards, labelling, packaging of honey and dried fruits from our country. So I learned under what conditions I can get the necessary documents.”

The participants had brought many of their products, such as innovative mixtures of honey with strawberries or blackberries to dried fruits and nuts that are not yet labelled and are waiting for their big day on the export market.

“We need the knowledge of how to export. That’s why an opportunity like this to talk to experts in this market is very important for us. We can learn a lot from their practical experience and we need to do so in the future. In order to avoid additional costs for the subsequent processing of errors, it is essential to do everything right. What I learned is that exporting to Europe is hard, but possible if you do your homework on exporting,” said another participant.

The venue was set up according to Covid-19 safeguards and allowed 31 representatives from honey and dried fruit companies, business support organisations such as private consultants and regional chambers of commerce, as well as Kyrgyz quality infrastructure institutions to attend.

If you want to browse through the publications on Export Quality Management; they are here

The seminar was organised by Andrea Horf, who flew the PTB flag in Bishkek for a good six months, together with Meerim Erkimbai from MinInvest. The training itself was then conducted by Simon Heisig from ITC and Warner Uiterwijk from Globally Cool.

We thank them all very much for their excellent work!

Images © PTB, Andrea Horf