On 28-29 November, 16 Armenian companies took part in a workshop in Yerevan on ‘Export Quality Management and Food Safety’ conducted by the International Trade Centre, as part of the ‘Ready to Trade’ project funded by the European Union in the framework of the EU4Business initiative.
The project aims to improve the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises from Armenia and other Eastern Partnership countries, and connect them with international and EU markets.
The objective of the workshop was the enhancement of the knowledge and skills of the companies’ staff to comply with prevailing market access requirements, including understanding of the quality concepts, public and private standards, technical regulations and SPS measures, different types of management systems, information sources on technical requirements, conformity assessment etc. The workshop was conducted in an interactive way, during which the participants were encouraged to raise issues that most interested them, and included practical exercises for the participants.
Issues related to the local requirements and services provided by the National Food Safety Service (NFSS) were also discussed during the workshop.
In addition to 16 beneficiary companies of the project, representatives from the Small and Medium Enterprise Development National Centre and local quality management and food safety experts were also present at the workshop.
After the workshop one-to-one meetings were conducted with the project beneficiary companies to understand their individual needs and requirements related to quality management and food safety.
The Ready to Trade project helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access new markets with a focus on the EU, helping SMEs identify and comply with quality and standards to meet international requirements, linking them with buyers along the value chain, and providing cluster support.
In Armenia, the project primarily supports the agro-processing sector, focusing on processed fruits and vegetables, dried fruits and vegetables, and herbs/teas, assisting exporting and export-ready SMEs along the whole value chain, helping them in producing value added goods in accordance with international and EU market requirements, and linking with EU markets.