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Minister Na7as signs a Memorandum of understanding with the food industry syndicate to reinforce food quality and safety standards || Newspapers (Arabic)


The Minister of Economy and Trade Nicolas Na7as signed yesterday a memorandum of understanding with the syndicate of food industries in Lebanon through which the quality programme of the Ministry and which is funded by the European Union will provide technical advice as well as training to assist the industry in securing ISO 22000 certification for 20 products.  The event was held during that national day for food industry organised as part of the Horeca 2013 exhibition at BIEL (c.f. yesterday's news: Opening of Horeca 20th food exhibition) and was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Hussein Haj Hassan, the Minister of Industry, Freij Sabounjian, the IDAL CEO, Nabil Itani, the President of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, Nehme Ifram, and the President of Food Industry Union, George Nasraoui.
In his keynote address, Minister Na7as talked about the current state of foreign trade which requires a proper network to ensure quality and safety, and the importance of protecting this sector from politics interference.  He also pointed out to the need for establishing a vibrant sector that focuses on marketing, financing through Kafalat, support from the Ministry of Finance as well as creativity and expansion and registering trademarks at a rapid pace in addition to ensuring high quality which is key for food processing.
Minister Sabounjian indicated that he was working with the Minister of Agriculture on improving the level of coordination between the two ministries as well as organizing joint monitoring according to decree 1/950 and which stipulates the obligation to register food industries.  Sabounjian also added that the food industry sector in Lebanon has improved markedly and is constantly developing with due regard to the HACCP/ISO standards.
For his part, the Minister of Agriculture noted that the food industry is a key component of the national industry and not a burden as it provide work opportunities to thousands of people as well as part of the food needs of the population.  He also pointed to the need of regulating the sector in terms of health registration, to the numerous exhibitions which were organized by IDAL, to the potential for developing new agricultural raw material production that can be planted in Lebanon, the importance of scientific research and the data base project currently being implemented with the Lebanese University.  Finally, he stressed the importance of boosting competitiveness through implementing selected market protection measures.
Source: Al-Safir, Al-Nahar, Al-Mustaqbal, Al-Diyar

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