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Ponta Delgada ,  March 05, 2012

Vasco Cordeiro presents new programme to support Food Safety and Quality

The Regional Secretary for the Economy, Vasco Cordeiro, presented this morning the "Quality Safe" programme to support regional companies in complying with the legislation on food safety and quality.

This new programme, announced Vasco Cordeiro, will be in force for two years," during which the conduction of microbiological tests or staff training will be free of charges for adherent companies. These procedures are intended to implement, maintain or reinforce food safety and quality."

Companies without qualified technicians may also "apply for a support in the amount of 500.00 Euros per year to hire specialised technical assistance from consulting companies or business associations," revealed the government official.

The Regional Secretary for the Economy said that "the enhancement factors of companies, such as aspects related to Safety and Quality, cannot be neglected in the current context" and, therefore, this measure represents a "significant boost" for companies. "The increase of companies' competitiveness is considered to be a key factor for their assertion in the market as well as for the development of client loyalty."

The "Quality Safe" programme is addressed at "food companies, mainly food preparation and processing industries; restaurants; butcher and fish shops; commercial establishments handling unpackaged food as well as packaged food warehouses and companies."

According to Vasco Cordeiro, the strategy that the Government intends to implement with this new programme "aims to help companies through the allocation of financial support to the areas where costs are higher, such as the case of lab tests or staff training; the aforementioned areas represent the majority of the financial burden on food hygiene and safety systems. The measure goes "even further with the introduction of a mechanism to provide technical assistance to the companies covered by this programme."

The Regional Secretary for the Economy also highlighted the fact that this new programme will count on "the intervention of a wide range of entities."
In fact, it "the allows the intervention of consulting companies in the area of food safety and business associations through technical support provided to the companies covered by the programme. The aforementioned companies will be in charge of interpreting the results of lab samples correctly, indicating measures for the correction or improvement of any situation as well as of presenting training proposals and the respective monitoring. In turn, companies supported by this project will have the possibility of choosing the type of entity which they will request support in this area."

In recent years, the programmes to promote Food Safety and Quality, developed by the Regional Government, have provided training and qualification to nearly 1000 companies and over 2000 workers. "Our goal is that no company drops the programmes that were being developed due to the costs required by the implementation of the legislation in force," assured the Regional Secretary.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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