On December 13th in Tirana, the USAID Regional Economic Growth (REG) Project, under the B-REDI Assistance in Compliance with Key Agricultural Standards and Certifications in Albania, organized business meetings with Albanian Supermarket Chains. The Minister of Agriculture, Water Administration and Rural Development Mr. Edmond Panariti and USAID Mission Director in Albania Ms. Catherine Johnson gave opening remarks and noted the importance of complying with key agricultural standards and certifications as prerequisites to sell agro products on larger and more competitive EU markets. They acknowledged the success of the project and congratulated the fifteen companies certifying for Global GAP, HACCP and ISO 22000 standards for the first time in Albania, thus significantly improving their export competitiveness.
After the ceremony, the Albanian companies that participated in the program, as well as four fruits and vegetables processors rom Macedonia and two from Kosovo, had a chance to present their products to leading Albanian supermarket chains. More than 20 food producers and processors directly met with the purchasing managers of SPAR International, Conad, Big Market and Eko Market and opened discussions for supplying fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, canned products and fruit juices. The representatives of supermarket chains welcomed the B2B initiative with certified potential suppliers and expressed commitment for future cooperation.