OREANDA-NEWS. April 01, 2014. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is launching a new initiative to help food producers from Moldova to strengthen their food safety management practices, according to a press release by the World Bank country office in Moldova.

The initiative’s goal is developing the food processing industry in Moldova and opening new export markets.

IFC summoned over 50 policy makers, industry experts, food manufacturers and retailers to a workshop in Chisinau. This is the first educational event on modern systems for managing food safety in Moldova.

"Agriculture is a key sector of the Moldovan economy. Food processing represents about two thirds of our exports", said Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Sergiu Ghetiu. "We want to increase our exports and open new markets for our producers. Hopefully, through IFC, we will learn from the experiences of our local neighbours and colleagues from around the world. "

The IFC consultancy services have been supporting the Moldovan government to optimise business rules for the agricultural industry since 2011. The consultancy teams will now work at individual companies as well. They will provide in-depth analysis on how to improve the food safety management systems and support educational events to raise residents’ awareness about these issues.

"We will extend our work on food safety consultancy in Moldova", said the head of IFC's agribusiness consulting standards in Europe and Central Asia, Sarah Ockman. "We will work with food manufacturers and retailers to help reduce costs and increase sales. This activity is based on our experience from other countries in the region, where we helped local young actors grow and create new opportunities", said the IFC official.

The World Bank Group Investment Climate team supported the government in reforming and simplifying the legal and institutional framework on food safety over the last years. IFC also helps client companies implement the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), an internationally recognised food safety management system and works with governments and industry experts to strengthen the local capacity through training programmes and workshops.