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IFC Helps Food Producers in Belarus Enhance Food Safety and Increase Exports

Minsk, Belarus, December 8, 2011 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched a new phase of a campaign to promote food safety in Belarus, an initiative designed to fuel the growth of the country’s food processing industry and open doors to new export markets.
IFC, through its Food Safety Project, is hosting a series of workshops for representatives of top food exporters and officials from Belarus’ State Committee on Standardization. Over 60 experts recently gathered for two days of intensive training on modern food safety management systems. Substandard food safety regulations and practices are one of the key barriers local producers face when trying to increase exports and move into new markets.
"The training we are conducting jointly with IFC will help improve food safety practices at Belarusian enterprises and contribute to increasing their effectiveness,” said Vladimir Shevchenko, head of the Belarusian State Institute of Professional Development of Standards, Metrology, and Quality Management. “This will guarantee food safety, increase the competitiveness of food processing companies and their products on local markets and increase their export potential.”
Belarus exports about 55 percent of its dairy production and around 30 percent of its meat, mainly to Russia. Increasing exports is regarded as a key part of the country’s continued economic development.  
“We are bringing the best experts to our seminars and showing very practical examples of how companies have benefitted from improved food safety systems,” said Olga Sherbina, manager of IFC’s Food Safety Project in Belarus. “Addressing food safety in a systemic and sustainable way at the sector level contributes towards reducing risks, enhancing market reach, improving overall reputation in the market and increasing profits.”  
As a part of its regional strategy focused on agribusiness, IFC helps client companies to implement HACCP, an internationally recognized food safety management system, and works with governments and industry experts to build local capacity through training programs and workshops. Since its launch in 2010, the Food Safety Project has trained over 600 officials, representatives of leading food producers and food safety consultants. More workshops are planned throughout Belarus next year.
IFC’s Food Safety Project in Belarus is being implemented in partnership with the Austrian 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. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit .
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