‘Made in Albania’ Brand Goes GLOBALG.A.P.

“The certification of ‘Made in Albania’ products is a necessity for farmers in order to compete in high value European markets. Through GLOBALG.A.P. certification, our companies will have more chances to sign better contracts with European buyers. GLOBALG.A.P. certification means more income, security and jobs.”

Albania’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Ermira Gjeçi, clearly summed up the country’s push to secure the benefits of its rich and diverse agricultural industry, in her opening remarks at the GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR 2019.

Albania has a growing agribusiness sector and favorable climatic conditions that make it attractive to Western European buyers. But to enter EU supply chains, Albanian produce will need to increase its competitiveness by meeting safe and sustainable agricultural requirements. Good reasons for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania and RisiAlbania to host a GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR event aimed at explaining the process and benefits of certification in fruit and vegetable production.

High Motivation Among all Stakeholders

The first TOUR conference ever in Albania took place at Expocity Albania during the 2 nd Edition of Agro-Tech Expo & Forum 2019. More than 110 enthusiastic delegates made up of fruit and vegetables agro-collectors, exporters, producers, supermarkets, consultants, and certification bodies took part in the lively discussions and presentations on the GLOBALG.A.P. system and products.

Flavio Alzueta, GLOBALG.A.P. Vice President & CMO, outlined the structure, requirements and benefits of the GLOBALG.A.P. System, as a means of improving competitiveness and facilitating access of fruit and vegetable producers to international markets.

“The Albanian industry’s motivation to improve business processes and market access through certification is quite strong. I was impressed with the very optimistic, positive and open response of all those who attended,” said Michaela Stollenwerk, GLOBALG.A.P. Manager and Team Leader Marketing, who provided an overview of the GRASP Add-on and the localg.a.p. Program.

Ejup Ahmeti from  Doni Fruits Export Company said, “ The solution for Albanian exports to access higher value markets is complying with required EU standards. It opens doors to EU supermarkets.

Change the Farmer’s Mind from Traditional to Modern Forms

GLOBALG.A.P. Option 2 Group Certification attracted a lot of interest from delegates as a means for small-scale farmer cooperatives to access national and EU markets. In Feb 2019, after a 7-month preparation period, the first grower group in Albania received Option 2 Group certification. Tomato Al, a cooperative consisting of 16 members, has now managed to increase sales in the EU by one million euros, and in 2019 plans to increase exports to EU destinations by 25%.

This is one of two farmer cooperatives that the Swiss funded project RisiAlbania has supported so far in the implementation of Option 2 Group Certification.

“Job creation in agribusiness is not just about numbers, it is about the quality of working conditions, and security of contracts with buyers,” stressed Stefan Joss, RisiAlbania project director, during his remarks.

Through the Agroquality platform supported by RisiAlbania and launched during the conference, all the GLOBALG.A.P. materials are now translated into Albanian, with clear instructions provided for applying and obtaining the Standard.