Food product safety and consumer protection is a priority for all Member States as well as all
accession countries like Western Balkan countries.
Western Balkan potential candidates for EU membership face several challenges regarding
food product safety and consumer protection issues. In majority of countries work according
to the HACCP standard is obligatory by national laws already but not working in praxis at all.
Food safety standard HACCP is effective system but very frequently misunderstood and
badly implemented. The work in implementing HACCP is done in Western Balkan countries
often by external experts who don’t have proper knowledge and skills. In fact everyone can
declare him/herself as an HACCP expert. It is observed that this was used as “market niche”
and “quick money” and misused by “so called consultants”. Usually the work done on
implementation of food safety standard remains only on the level of documentation (for
health inspection) prepared by copy-paste system.
Because of that in some Western Balkan
countries (especially FYR of Macedonia and Serbia) governmental and public opinion has
negative image on safety consultants and external experts no matter if they are god ones or
not that caused additional slow down successful implementation food safety standards.
So there is a need for national HACCP school/excellence and resource centres which will
train HACCP experts and certified their knowledge. On the national level directory of
qualified consultants with “proof of professionalism” will be published enabling all
interested companies and stakeholder to find a “good” expert for their needs. National
HACCP schools will function also as “HACCP Excellence and resource Centres”
organizing and hosting discussion groups to share experiences and on¬hand experts to examine