Ethiopia is seeking to enhance fruit and vegetable exports into the European market with the help of the EDES food safety program.
A workshop to support the nation set up a food safety system up to international standards was held in Ethiopia with the aid of the EDES Program and administered by the Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) in partnership with a group of European organizations working in food safety.
Efforts to ensure safe food exports from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, which commenced in 2009, are now targeting the standard of Ethiopia’s production and the national capacity to enhance the country’s food exports to the European market.The EDES program which is an initiative to support ACP countries develop to meet the constantly evolving food safety requirements set within the European Union.
The COLEACP designed the program to support countries develop systems to meet the requirements according to Dr. Chagema John Kedera, Regional Coordinator of EDES.
Ethiopia is currently exporting fruit and vegetables but the national export of the commodities does not exceed more than 2% of the total amount of exports from the ACP region.
COLEACP is driven by market demand so countries interested in exporting products to the EU and other markets can take advantage of the situation.
It is to be remembered that countries are expected to meet the new EU program requirements. Like other ACP countries Ethiopia is yet to fill the requests from the EU market so the program is electing a proactive approach said Dr. Chagema.