MoARD, NFA focus groups discuss inter-agency coordination on food safety communications
12 August 2020 [shqip]
The Food Safety Project is continuing its work with Albanian beneficiary institutions to improve how state agencies communicate on food safety among themselves as well as with stakeholders, the media and the public.
Two focus group meetings took place at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) and the National Food Authority (NFA) on 28-29 July. They aimed to map and test the current inter-agency food safety communications in Albania and identify gaps that need to be filled.
The project's experts presented a case from the European Union – the Irish pork dioxin crisis of 2008 – explaining lessons learned and best practices instituted by authorities and stakeholders to deal with the crisis.
Albanian officials discussed how similar situations would be handled in Albania and how EU best practices can be incorporated in future food safety communications. Several fictional scenarios were also put forward for discussion to identify gaps and find solutions.
There was particular focus on how the MoARD, the NFA and other central and regional state agencies that deal with food safety can better work together to address risk and crisis communications. The aim is to provide proper inquiry tracking, timely information and unified, science-based communications that build trust in the system.
The focus group discussions are part of the project's larger work on helping beneficiary institutions in Albania create and use operational documents on how to handle public, stakeholder and media inquiries relating to both day-to-day food safety issues as well as any potential crisis.
The Food Safety Project (“Support to food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary standards”) is implemented by a consortium led by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). The implementing group also includes the Finnish Food Authority, the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Creative Business Solutions (CBS) in Albania.
Two focus group meetings took place at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) and the National Food Authority (NFA) on 28-29 July 2020.