EU Ambassador to Albania, Ms. Christiane Hohmann and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Frida Krifca joined the EU funded Food Safety Project (FSP) and other stakeholders at the Food Safety and Veterinary Institute (ISUV) on 25 May to mark Europe Week. The event started with a tour of the laboratory complex followed by an open talk on One Health.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Vanessa Cooling, FSP Team Leader, referred to One Health as a collaborative, multisectoral, and transdisciplinary approach, working at local, regional, national, and global levels with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes. Albania recognises the interconnection between the health of people, animals, plants and the shared environment through development of a national agri-food safety strategy that lays the foundation for effective implementation of One Health principles across the farm to fork chain.
This year, Europe Week is putting special emphasis on the importance of investing in Albanian people’s skills that are necessary for the country’s future in the EU. Since 2019 the EU funded Food Safety project has supported MoARD, AKU, AKVMB and ISUV with training activities to allow them to build and implement a national control system based on science, regulation and collaboration to deliver agri-food safety controls that ultimately protect consumers.
Mrs. Jeta Deda, General Director of AKU and Mr. Roland Meçaj, General Director of the National Authority of Veterinary and Plant Protection spoke about activities supported by the Food Safety Project that have helped to build capacity within their organisations. Other speakers included Mr. Pëllumb Aleksi, Director of ISUV and Rector of the Agricultural University of Tirana (UBT), Professor Fatbardh Sallaku who emphasised the need for collaboration across institutions.
The event concluded with a presentation by UBT graduate Merzai Bakiasi who presented her research on the impact of climate change on livestock farming and Food Safety in Albania.
This action is funded by the European Union and is implemented by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland in partnership with the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and The Marine, the Finnish Food Safety Authority and Creative Business Solutions (CBS), Albania.