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Izmir becomes world’s capital of dried fruits and nuts for a week

The production and international trade of dried fruits and nuts has increased steadily over the past decade and is expected to continue growing. Helping structure the offer of local producers and implementing international trading standards is of vital importance for major producing countries and new market entrants. UNECE has become the platform for countries and companies to cooperate in the development of international standards, which are the reference for farmers, producers, traders and exporters wanting to engage in the international trade of nuts and dried fruit.

This is why some 80 delegates from 20 countries (from Chile to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the USA to the European Union, Albania, Kenya, North Africa and Saudi Arabia) representing public authorities, the industry and international organizations such as OECD, are gathering this week in Izmir for the annual session of UNECE’s Specialized Section on Standardization of Dry and Dried Produce. This will be the first time that UNECE will be linking standard setting with training and learnings from technical assistance projects in Central Asia and Afghanistan (led by UNDP and GIZ) to maximize input, impact and implementation.

Participants discussed the latest market trends based on data provided by the International Nuts Council (INC). They also reviewed UNECE’s Recommendations and Standards on Dried Apricots, Figs and Grapes (of which Turkey is a leading producer and one of the largest exporters worldwide), Dates, Inshell Pistachios, Almond Kernels and Walnut Kernels. The Specialized Section will also develop the first sampling plan to harmonize how inspectors check and assess quality.  Opening the session, the Deputy Minister of Economy of Turkey said:  ‘UNECE agricultural standards are crucial not only for traders but for producers at the bottom of the pyramid’.

During a special workshop on “Agri-Food Supply Chains in Cross-Border Trade of Nuts and Dried Fruit” (1-3 July), participants from all over the world will be trained on how to use, check and implement UNECE quality standards and food safety regulations; how to analyse and improve their supply chains and sell their products on markets worldwide. In opening remarks to the session, UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach stressed that UNECE brings a holistic approach to agro trade, addressing issues linked to trade facilitation; risk management and risk assessment; environmental concerns and transport.

The workshop is organized by UNECE, the Ministry of Economy of Turkey and the Aegean Exporters’ Association.

For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=38239#/