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Germany and Tunisia - working together to improve food safety

13/2021, 30.03.2021

Press release by BfR and BVL: Project launch to strengthen consumer protection in Tunisia

Whether it be olive oil, dates or almonds, Tunisian food ought to become even safer. That is why the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), both institutions in the portfolio of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), launched the project "Strengthening Food Safety and Consumer Protection in Tunisia". The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provide in total 5 million euros for this over 5 years. The BMEL provides the necessary technical expertise through its two authorities. To begin with, high-ranking representatives of German and Tunisian ministries and authorities met today. The German Ambassador, Peter Prügel, opened the event. Under the chairmanship of Hichem Mechichi, the Tunisian Prime Minister and co-initiator, and in the presence of Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, and Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture as well as Mohamed Fadhel Kraiem, acting Tunisian Minister of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Maritime Fishing the BfR and the Tunisian Ministry of Health signed the implementation agreement for the project. "Building a functioning food safety system is a milestone for consumer health protection in Tunisia," said BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "We are pleased that we can support Tunisia with the expertise of our institutions," added his colleague BVL President Friedel Cramer.

In 2019, Tunisia adopted a new food safety law that allows the establishment of effective risk analysis structures. In the joint project, BfR and BVL are supporting the North African country in its implementation on the ground. The aim is to strengthen the administrative structures for food safety and consumer protection in Tunisia. The aim is to protect consumers and create better working conditions. In addition to regional trade, stable administrative structures and international standards are also important for the increasingly global and complex chain of goods.

Since the new law was passed, Tunisia has already set up a national Food Safety Authority (INSSPA) and a national risk assessment Agency (ANCSEP/ANER). Both are under the responsibility of the Tunisian Ministry of Health. As subsidiary bodies of the BMEL, BfR and BVL will advise the Tunisian sister authorities and provide training. Activities in the fields of policy advice, organizational development and training programmes for experts and managers are currently being planned together.

It is the first project to be based on the "Agreement on the involvement of BMEL business institutions in development cooperation projects". The purpose of the agreement is to systematically integrate the expertise of institutions in the BMEL business area into BMZ's development cooperation. The project is thus part of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s Africa Strategy, which defines strengthening food security as a goal for Africa's participation in regional and international trade.

Press Release in French


About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the German federal government and German federal states ("Laender") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

About the BVL

The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) is an independent federal supreme authority within the remit of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). BVL contributes to food safety through a wide range of measures. It issues approvals and coordinates monitoring programmes together with the Laender. Within the framework of the European rapid alert system, BVL ensures the flow of information between the EU and the Laender.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.


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