Dairy Group Criticises Deadline Extension

UK - A leading Bulgarian dairy association has attacked plans to extend the deadline for food processors in the country to comply with EU production standards, news reports have said.
calendar icon 9 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
As a number of newly appointed EU member states like Bulgaria and Romania look to benefit from improved trade relations in the bloc, they are being put under pressure to ensure that their food and beverage products, particularly for dairy and meat produce are coming up to standard.

If the government therefore consents to pressure to withdraw the deadlines for processors, a number of meat and dairy processors in the country could find themselves barred from trading both in the bloc and to their own domestic markets.

Dimitar Zorov, chairman of the Association of Dairy Processors in Bulgaria, said that extending the deadline would serve only to hold back legitimate meat and dairy processing in the country.

"No transition period was negotiated during Bulgaria's accession talks with the EU", he was quoted as saying by the Dnevnik news agency. "If such an extension is granted at this point, it would put at a competitive disadvantage the companies that have invested heavily to meet the relevant quality standards versus the under-the-radar businesses that made no effort to upgrade in the past two years."

Supporters of the deadline extension, which had been filed with the EU by farming minister Nihat Kabil in July, say that system will not keep processors that are in breach of EU requirements in business, but instead ensure they have time to come in line with the standards.

Source: foodproductiondaily.com
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