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German-Tunisian cooperation for increased food safety

09/2023, 16.05.2023

First meeting of the Steering Committee on 16.05.2023 in Tunisia

Within the framework of the joint project "Strengthening food safety and consumer health protection in Tunisia" of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), Professor Dr Dr Andreas Hensel, president of the BfR, is travelling to Tunisia for the first meeting of the Steering Committee. Under the leadership of the Tunisian Minister of Health, Dr Ali Mrabet, an initial assessment of the progress of the project is to be made. The Tunisian side will also be represented by high-ranking staff of Tunisian ministries and subordinate authorities responsible for food safety in Tunisia. For Germany, in addition to the presidents of BfR and BVL, representatives for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the German embassies in Tunis and Rabat will also attend. "Tunisia has set itself a major task with the restructuring of the landscape of public authorities in the field of food safety, from which the country can only benefit," says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. "The BfR and BVL support this important reform with their expertise so that food in Tunisia becomes safer."

The project aims to strengthen the state structures for food safety and consumer health protection in Tunisia through activities such as staff training, policy and organisational advice, train-the-trainer programmes and management training.

This July will mark the halfway point in the timeframe of this project. The meeting serves to draw a first summary and to discuss and agree on current proposals for future project activities.

So far, numerous workshops have already been held, e.g. introducing risk analysis or simulating a crisis event in the food safety sector. A large number of Tunisian experts and managers also participated in the BfR Summer Academy or the BVL's ITS Food. Collaboration at the management and working level was strengthened, among other things, by the visit of a Tunisian delegation to the BfR and BVL in Berlin in May 2022.


The BfR and the BVL cooperate at various levels with authorities in other countries. With this international commitment, they pursue the goal of sustainably strengthening food safety in producer countries through partnerships and thus ensure a high level of consumer protection in Germany and Europe.

In 2019, a new food safety law came into force in Tunisia, which provides for the establishment of effective official structures for risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. Together, BfR and BVL support the Tunisian partners in its implementation.

The project "Strengthening Food Safety and Consumer Health Protection in Tunisia" is the first project based on the "Agreement on the Integration of BMEL Division Institutions in Development Cooperation Projects". The purpose is to integrate the BMEL’s area of responsibility into the BMZ's development cooperation. As the project sponsor, the BMZ is financing the project with a contribution of five million euros from funds from the special initiative "One World without Hunger". The project will run for five years: January 2021 to December 2025.

Press Release in French

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution in the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). It advises the Federal Government and the Federal States on issues of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics closely related to its assessment tasks.

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


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