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IFC Forum Helps Drive Better Food Safety across Europe and Central Asia

Minsk, Belarus, December 5, 2013 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is hosting a two-day forum in Minsk on December 5 and 6 for over 100 food producers, retailers, industry experts and government officials from Europe and Central Asia, to promote better food safety management practices that will help reduce risks and open new markets.
IFC’s international forum Food Safety for Sustainable Development, held in Belarus for the first time, will discuss the latest trends in managing food safety risks and practical ways to implement them in different sectors, the regulations required to guarantee consumer safety, and lessons learned on how to open new markets, particularly for small and medium-sized producers.
“Making food producers in Belarus more competitive and helping them to open new markets and increase exports is a part of IFC’s broader work aimed at making Belarus’ private sector stronger and more diverse,” said Jesper Kjaer, Regional Head of IFC Advisory Services in Europe and Central Asia. “We hope this forum will further demonstrate the competitive advantages that producers, distributors, and retailers in Belarus can gain through an effective food safety management system.”
IFC, through its Agribusiness Standards Advisory Program in Europe and Central Asia, is helping food producers across the region introduce modern food safety management systems throughout their supply chains while also strengthening the capacity of local consultants. Improved standards will help agribusiness firms meet regional and export market requirements, while building a foundation to mobilize investments and help the agribusiness industry realize its full potential.  
The conference in Minsk is already the third annual food safety event organized by IFC in the region. The two previous forums were held in Ukraine and Georgia.
The Agribusiness Standards Advisory Program is being implemented in Europe and Central Asia in partnership with Austria’s Ministry of Finance.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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