Filbert and filbert growing is a quickly-developing and competitive field that, unlike other agriculture fields, has never used state subsidies and the filbert exports are increasing irreversibly.
-Why do you refrain from entrusting the private sector to conduct laboratory research works and why do you make focus on state-owned laboratories?
-I would like to emphasize the role of filbert exports for Georgia, first. The association agreement with the EU has unveiled new perspectives for the Georgian economy. We can export our agriculture products to the EU market. Filbert is a leading product for Georgia.
This is a new direction in the Georgian agriculture sector, but, our country ranks third in terms of filbert exports worldwide. And this success brings revenues of tens and hundreds of millions of USD to Georgian farmers and enterprises.
Consequently, the government pays special attention to this field. We support all components for creating value chain, including farmers, collectors, enterprises and exporters. The government’s recent decision about filbert technical regulations will also promote the development of private laboratories.
-There are companies that have been working in this sector for many years and their revenues entirely depend on this field. They think the technical regulations are not necessary…
-There was no request from private companies in the filbert sector. This field was not regulated by the Government.
Everybody could export filbert without taking laboratory permissions, while technical regulations will originate the demand to re-equip private companies so as they meet the demand of entrepreneurs.
-Then what is the mission of state-owned laboratories?
– These significant enterprises will examine their own companies at private laboratories and state laboratories will examine them on selective basis. All these procedures should be controlled to prevent the previous undesirable practice, when one company was exporting filbert combined with peanuts to the EU market. Moreover, two weeks ago exported product examined by an Italian laboratory was returned back to Georgia.
The leading Georgian laboratories can only partly meet the EU standards, because they are able to detect only aflotoxines. As to allergens, it is related to combination of filbert with other products and falsification schemes. They cannot verify products on these parameters However, when the demand arises, they will be able to attract due financial resources too.
Our objective is to inspect products of the companies examined by private laboratories so as the exported filbert not damage the interests of the country and the field participant companies.