UNDP, GIZ, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and ‘Uzstandard’ Agency conducted the 3-day regional workshop for more than 90 representatives of public and private sector of Central Asia, including export companies to improve their knowledge and capacities on implementation of international quality standards for fruits and vegetables.
Uzbekistan’s fruits and vegetables export has been steadily growing, both in price and in quantitative terms. In 2017, the exports of agricultural products increased by 13% compared to 2016. However, in order to ensure sustainable growth of exports and expansion of sales markets, products must comply with international quality standards. In this regard knowledge of international standardization procedures plays vital role for exporters.
International experts from UNECE, UNCTAD, Germany, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey trained participants on the main trends in international trade in agricultural products, requirements of international wholesale and retail chains and commercial standards that can facilitate products’ access to world markets.
During practical sessions participants got acquainted with quality control methods for compliance of exported fruits and vegetables with UNECE marketing standards. Using samples of the mostly exported products of Central Asia, including tomatoes, melons, dried apricots, grapes and nuts, the experts trained participants on how to ensure proper classification of products according to quality standards.
Central Asian countries are actively engaging in international standardization processes. Regional cooperation and assistance of international organizations has led to establishing the Regional Working Group on promotion of commercial quality standards in Central Asian countries. Participants also discussed potential development strategies for sustainable exports of fruits and vegetables and further steps towards the quality road map in the countries of the region.
UNDP, by supporting implementation of international quality standards in the country, promotes development of exports, stimulates production of high-quality products, and increases the profitability of producers to improve people’s wellbeing.