Continued aid to assist Fiji’s access to the EU market

The Republic of the Fiji Islands is one of just two Pacific ACP countries to have signed trade agreements with the European Union (EU) guaranteeing market access for their fishery exports, and one of just three to have an authority responsible for inspecting produce to guarantee compliance with health standards. The EU is a potential market for Fiji’s tuna exports and access to this European market is crucially important for the region. The SFP programme is therefore continuing its aid action with more than 10 interventions in Fiji since 2007, relating in particular to a national control plan, traceability, industry modernisation and landing sites for catches.

New technical assistance actions were implemented in the first half of 2010 with the same objective, namely to help marine fishery products to comply with European regulations.  
The first mission involved assessing the CA’s response to Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) criticisms and helping to effect the necessary changes.  
A series of internal audits provided the basis for advice on how to correct deficiencies. The consultant also lent his support to providing training in food safety for 15 government employees from eight nations of the Pacific islands.   
A subsequent mission sought to improve the food safety information system. This is based on a database that records information on national health inspection activities. This action was the culmination of efforts made in this same field in 2007 and 2008.  
Kept at the Health Ministry in Suva, this database was developed to keep track of official inspections and health certification (approval file, inspection reports, follow-up verification, test results, health certificates).  
To conclude, specific training in this improved tool was provided for inspection personnel.  
For further information:
CA081FJI – Enhancement of the Food Safety Information System (Database) of the Fiji Competent Authority
CA007FJI – Support to the Fiji Competent Authority and the Pacific Regional CA Inspection Training Programme