EWFC policy statement
The "European Working community for Food inspection and Consumer protection" (EWFC) exists since the year 1991 and was founded with the following objectives:
- to gather the professional and state federations of food inspection of the individual member countries of Europe;
- to intensify and accelerate the exchange of experiences and information’s;
- to harmonize inspection activities in Europe;
- to guarantee the protection of the consumers.
The present members are federations of food inspectors, food chemists and meat inspectors from Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, England, Ireland, France, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Austria. There are contacts to food inspectors from Czech republic, Latvia and Malta.
The European Parliament acknowledged the important role of the subjects of security of food for the protection of the consumers and the harmonization of food inspection within the new European food law in the course of a Joint Conference on November 3 and 4, 1997 in Brussels (Food Law & Food Policy). The "European Working Community for Food Inspection and Consumer Protection" supports these demands and has already expressed this in the past in numerous workshops. As a link to the consumers their demands for inspection and security of food are familiar to us and we are able to integrate this into our work.
In addition to the reports mentioned in the enclosure of the working group to DG III and the comment to the Green Book, concepts were developed for the improvement of general and further training of persons working in the field of food inspection, and in cooperation with the administration academies in Germany and the Netherlands, a pilot project for the exchange of joint workshops was introduced. These workshops were designed to put into practice Directive 93/43/EC (general guideline on hygiene) and Regulation 178/2002 (general food law) and to contribute to the harmonization of inspection activities of inspectors and were very successful.
Furthermore, EWFC developed guidelines for "good inspection practices" and "official sampling", even before the EU started with guidance documents on several parts of the legislation.
An additional aspect of all these workshops was the fact that information of individual member countries were collected and quickly passed on by means of publications in national journals and reports of the federations or by means of lectures to individual persons. New EU-member states, that were visited during different programs on training like TAIEX, were urged to take note of these guidelines to implement them in their routines.