By Rohey Jadama The European Union (EU) is supporting the food safety control system in The Gambia, according to a press release from the European Union (EU) in Banjul.The support mission of Technical Assistance which took place in The Gambia from 16th to 31st March 2015 is to strengthen the national food safety control system. The EDES Programme is funded by the European Union (EU) to the tune of €30 million, equivalent to more than GMD 1.5 billion, stated the release. It is designed to contribute to the production of safe food in the ACP (African-Caribbean-Pacific) countries. EDES also aims to secure the flow of food products of animal and plant origin towards the EU or at the regional level. According to the release, the ultimate objective of this programme is to guarantee food safety for all consumers in the ACP and the EU. It added that in order to achieve these goals, EDES will develop capacity building activities, mainly through training, technical assistance, facilitation or coaching. “The aim of the last EDES mission of Technical Assistance in The Gambia was to provide the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) with a new management tool to strengthen the performance of sanitary audits/inspections in conformity with the relevant international standards”, added the press release. The new database developed is intended to contribute to a better monitoring of official controls to protect the health of consumers,” it stated. It is also noted that food quality inspections are conducted within several producer organisations and therefore require the registration of technical data and a rigorous monitoring to ensure the appropriate follow up of the control activities. The release further states that the EDES mission provided the assistance needed in order to launch the testing phase of the prototype of the Inspection database. The EU funded experts had the opportunity to work with the control authorities on the design and the testing of the tailor-made database adapted to the local needs. This included the identification of producer organisations actively engaged in export sectors, their activities, and their production, to ensure that corrective measures demanded by the authorities will be implemented on time by each producer organisation controlled. The main purpose of the database is to contribute to the safety of the food delivered to consumers in The Gambia. The database is also intended to increase the level of credibility of the Gambian food safety system to other foreign countries which are potential importers of Gambian products, ensuring that controls are well performed and that appropriate follow up is given to all inspections. ]]>

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