Project news

Study visit to Dublin – 12 to 14 October

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Frida Krifca, her team and the General Director of the National Food Authority recently visited Ireland as part of a peer learning study tour organised by the Food Safety Project. This is the second study tour organised by the project team to support the Albanian government in progressing towards alignment under Chapter 12 of the EU acquis.

The focus of this study tour was to provide a practical understanding to the implementation of the official control regulation which the Ministry of currently preparing at their Head Quarters in Tirana.

The delegation were provided with a deep insight into how Ireland organises and maintains its official control system and how food safety has played an essential role in the growth of Irish food exports to over 180 markets worldwide.

The visit commenced by meeting Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland who emphasised the importance of building and maintaining a robust regulatory system and continuous engagement with stakeholders to build trust among farmers, food producers and consumers. A representative from Bord Bia shared Ireland’s approach to marketing and promotion of agri-food products and the process for the development of a food nation branding. A meeting with Peter Cleary from the International Trade Division in the Irish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and John Rae from Sustainable Food Systems Ireland involved discussion on opportunities for developing international trade and again focussed on the importance of food safety in maintaining Ireland’s reputation as a producer of safe and trustworthy food.

Onsite visits were a key part of the study tour including a visit to Dublin Port where an inspection from the Environment Health Service of the HSE was demonstrated on a consignment of food from a third country. Import controls are a key part of the regulatory system and the practical experience

and best practices shared from the environmental health services inspection team was extremely valuable to the Albanian delegation.

A visit to Ireland’s official laboratory complex in Backweston provided opportunity for the delegation to see the functioning of the official laboratories and to discuss important aspects such as resources which are needed to operate this part of the control system.

In particular the delegation were briefed on the importance of a “One Health” approach to monitoring and surveillance programming in order to protect against emerging risk and ensuring the environmental, animal health and public health perspectives are considered in the planning process.

Ireland’s agriculture and food development authority (Teagasc) also hosted the Delegation at their Dublin based research and training centre where Delegates learned about Teagasc’s work across the country in food research, technology transfer, education and provision of advisory services for


The Delegation also visited the European Commission’s office in Grange, Co. Meath (SANTE F - Health and Food Audits and Analysis) where the Minister outlined Albania’s commitment to progress alignment with Chapter 12 of the EU acquis and to progress the remaining actions needed for Albanian to expand its exports of food of animal origin to the EU to include meat and milk products.

Photos from the Study visit to Dublin