C
AETS implements a technical assistance and training project of 55 man-months in the sector of Plant Health and Food Safety under the BTSF initiative of DG SANTE, for the benefit of official Asian and Pacific states food safety and plant health authorities. Non-EU countries must, when exporting food, feed and plants to the EU, provide guarantees that exported consignments were obtained respecting EU legislation and that consignments respect all rules in regard to food safety, feed safety and plant health. The objective of the present project is to inform developing countries about these standards which facilitate their access to the EU market and at the end promote EU food safety standards at international level. In order to bring sustainable results, pedagogical activities (regional workshops, technical assistance mission) are coordinated and tailored to the needs to support non-EU countries authorities solving practical issues. AETS mobilizes internal staff as well as experts from EU competent Food and Plant Health authorities to carry out in 6 out of 7 workshops and 36 out of 40 missions. In order to face the complexity of a project involving 100 experts and staff, AETS headquarters ensures the general coordination of the activities with DG SANTE (orientation of activities), CHAFEA (submission of reports, experts profiles, reporting), experts (mission preparation, technical and pedagogical material) and external staff (training management, mission coordination). AETS representation in Thailand liaises with governmental authorities in the region in order to plan workshops, STMs, and adapt foreseen activities to local needs and situations. The experts and tutors are chosen for their experience in delivering official controls as well as for their pedagogical capacities and interpersonal skills. The evaluations collected in workshops at the present date highlight the excellent organisation and the usefulness of the technical contents. The coordination approach of AETS proved itself efficient, in particular in the identification and formulation of technical assistance missions. As a matter of fact local competent authorities require support to prioritise topics of assistance and match them with EUD’s and DG SANTE’s agenda. Thanks to this extra effort, the tentative calendar of the project could be respected despite unfavorable environment. By the end of the programme, the technical achievements of the project (better sanitary conditions of specific food and feed) should be such that they will generate better incomes to producers by the development of trade in food and feed to high-value markets.

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