On 17th of February 2023, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), presented the preliminary findings of the thorough sector assessment which aimed at identifying quality requirements in view of greater market access for two key industrial sectors, namely medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) and fruits and vegetables (F&V). As part of the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP), the stakeholder workshop saw the participation of more than 55 key stakeholders with the presence of Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Enio Civici, Vice Ambassador of Switzerland in Albania Mr. Patrik Meier as well as other high-level public and private sector representatives from the Albanian quality infrastructure system, the agricultural sector and international development community.
Preliminary findings of the value chain study highlighted that, although the production of Albanian medical and aromatic plants has more than tripled in a decade, many producers fail to comply with standards, operate on outdated facilities and technologies and lack the awareness and knowledge on standards and market requirements overall. Consignments of fruits and vegetables are rejected at the EU border because of contamination stemming from the lack of related national testing capacity to detect said contaminations. While testing laboratories are in place and basic equipment is available, staff is often not well capacitated to perform internationally recognized tests.
Against this background, within the framework of GQSP country project “Strengthening Quality and Standards Compliance Capacity for Selected Value Chains” in Albania will support to enhance the quality compliance capability of both sectors (Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and Fruits & Vegetables) in order to reduce border rejections and boost exports and to improve both quality and productivity in these value chains. UNIDO, through the GQSP, will aim at addressing the identified bottlenecks, which include supporting producers to upgrade their production and meet market requirements, strengthening related testing laboratories, accreditation and standardization capacities as well as raising awareness on the overall importance of quality and standards for trade and export.
The GQSP Programme is funded by Switzerland, through the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and implemented by UNIDO.
GQSP programme brochure
For further information please contact: Dorina Nati (d.nati [at] unido.org ())