The FINANCIAL -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is hosting the fifth annual food safety forum in Almaty on April 14, in partnership with the Damu Fund, to help Kazakh food producers ensure product safety while becoming more efficient and competitive.
The forum is focused on new business opportunities for local firms and global trends and best practices in food safety management. Food safety is paramount to food producers, whatever the firm’s size or location. Further, food safety practices can add value to a supply chain with improved hazard controls, according to IFC.
“Today Kazakh consumers have a great deal of choice -- everyday new foreign and local products are appearing. But for local producers it’s not easy to compete with foreign producers,” said Kanysh Tuleushin, Chairman of the Board of Entrepreneurs Development Fund DAMU. “In order to hold their positions in the market and stay competitive, local food producers must consider food safety risks. Therefore, the government, through the Damu Fund, supports these companies financially and helps them introduce modern standards of food safety.”
Kazakhstan's food industry has great potential, thanks to its leading position in wheat and flour production, vast land resources, and high potential for production and export of organic products. The introduction of modern, internationally recognized standards of food safety management will help Kazakh firms strengthen their position in the domestic market, enter new markets, and reduce costs and risk.
“By introducing modern technologies into the processing and packaging of goods, Kazakh food products can become competitive in domestic and foreign markets,” said Maia Tevzadze, Program Manager of IFC Agribusiness Standards Advisory Program in Europe and Central Asia. “IFC is helping local food producers implement internationally recognized food safety standards to boost their competitiveness and export potential.”
The event was part of IFC’s efforts to help the region’s agribusinesses fulfill their potential, creating jobs and growth. Supported by the Austrian Finance Ministry, IFC’s Agribusiness Standards Advisory Program in Europe and Central Asia has helped attract more than $198 million of investment in over 100 IFC clients in Europe and Central Asia, generating $185 million in increased sales, in addition to greater efficiency, cost savings, and brand value, and improved waste and risk management.