In order to further support Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) in the work on the future National Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (NARDS 2030) the Twinning experts from Austria worked on analysing the potential impact of the NARDS on the environment. The final objective was to finalize the interim draft of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) report chapter, titled “Current state of the environment”. Ultimately, the consultations with experts from different relevant institutions and the currently developed draft will be the basis of the final report on SEA.

LEADER in Moldova is an additional structural tool for implementing the agricultural strategy. The development of local strategies is a cornerstone for accelerating this process. In this regard, Twinning, AIPA and PL Solidarity Fund experts worked hard during this period to develop a functional legal framework. The last mission from December culminated in finalizing the Twinning input on this subject. Therefore, the constant consultations and the review of regulations contributed to making Moldova ready for launching LEADER. The implemented projects within this framework can advance the economic development and support the entrepreneurial sector in the regions.

The accreditation audit in AIPA according to Annex I Regulation 907/2014 was continued by the team of Polish experts who received feedback from the beneficiary on the Audit Report prepared in October. An Action Plan with recommendations on how to deal with the institutional weaknesses was elaborated. This provided the beneficiary with a solid roadmap against which the progress can be constantly checked.

In the beginning of November, a team of experts from MAFI participated in a study visit in Austria. The team had the opportunity to meet with experts from the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism. Methods of strategic planning, the Austrian financial support measures for farmers, the Austrian Rural Development program, the Austrian Environmental measures for agriculture, monitoring, evaluation and data management were shared and discussed. Furthermore, the experts of the Austrian Paying Agency (AMA), who are also involved in the Twinning Agrifood project in Moldova, presented the implementation of Rural Development and LEADER measures including their monitoring from the point of a Paying Agency. By sharing this experience and good practices, the beneficiaries were inspired and provided with potential ideas how to develop the institutions and improve their work efficiency.

In preparation to the audit, the Twinning Project supported ANSA on reviewing the official control procedures and checklists. Simulation of the official control inspections in accordance with the EU veterinary sanitary hygiene, food safety and quality requirements, were organized together with ANSA staff in the first poultry meat slaughterhouse and establishment and two egg packing centres in the previous quarter, therefore, ANSA and food business operators had sufficient time to implement the provided recommendations and activities proposed for improvement to the inspected establishments. Experts’ recommendations were provided for ANSA and food business operators to improve their production and final products according to EU requirements and quality standards.

In December an additional mission on a simulation of inspection in the second poultry slaughterhouse and processing establishment was organised. There were provided recommendations of the short-term experts from Lithuanian State Food and Veterinary Service to ANSA focused on official control carried out in food business operators by the regional subdivisions. In the case of non-compliances detected at the enterprises, ANSA will follow-up on the required improvements. Only following this, the establishment will have the possibility to be listed for export into EU. Food business operators need to understand the necessity to implement national and EU legislation, based on high level of protection of human health and consumers’ interests, that allows to ‘open the door’ to the EU market. A common approach to food safety by ANSA and food business operators should be reached.

A significant progress has been obtained during this year and the first Moldovan company has listed by EU (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/645 of 15 April 2021) and has received the right to export ice cream on the EU market.

Following the two DG Sante audit missions, carried out in April ‘Animal health controls for poultry meat, poultry meat products and eggs’ and September/October‚ Residues and contaminants, incl. veterinary medicines in live animals and animal products’, a further audit mission was conducted this November:

The third DG Sante audit of 2021 was held remotely from 8 to 19 November 2021 in ANSA. It evaluated the control system in place governing the production of poultry meat and products therefrom as well as eggs intended for export to the European Union.