Certificates of Competence in Demand as Never Before

EQA Workshop "Certificate of Competence in Animal Welfare" 
Sector-specific standards and norms in international feed and food trade already require that training needs be determined and proof of competence be provided. This has long been established practice for a range of activities in the agri-food sector. Also in the sector of livestock farming, legal provisions and EU regulations increasingly demand specific training and qualification measures for animal owners and veterinarians. Both occupational groups are already accustomed to having to provide training certificates for certain areas of expertise. Since 26 November, 2015, in the field of plant protection, users, consultants and retailers of plant protection agents, to mention a few, are obliged to provide a certificate of competence in cheque card format. In an EQA workshop held on 21 November, 2017, the EQA board and EQA-member EITCO along with representatives of the DRV e.V (German Raiffeisen Association) and the BLL e.V. (German Federation for Food Law and Food Science) have examined existing, legally required certificates of competence in the field of livestock farming and their legal framework. Since the use of anaesthesia for pain relief in piglet castration will be mandatory for all livestock holding facilities in Germany from 1 January, 2019, a team of experts is currently working on a model to design and organise a certificate of competence in the subject area “interventions on animals under anaesthesia”. Further steps include coordinating the execution and organisation in cooperation with training facilities such as the Andreas-Hermes-Akademie, Burg Warberg and the Geno Akademie, and establishing a financing plan. The EQAsce and its members have already made significant investments in this project. They expect that their investments will start to pay off in 2019, however, since they anticipate that European enterprises in the meat industry as well as governmental organisations, educational institutions and standard setters will draw on the EQAsce’s coordinating input for the international harmonisation of processes that lead towards certificate issuance.

Opening of EQA Office in Ostbevern

Mayor Wolfang Annen congratulated EQA's deputy chairwoman Dr. Susanne Lehnert wishing her all the best for a successful business activity. The mayor expressed his joy that the start-up which provides internationally acknowledged educational offers in quality, crisis and risk management has chosen his municipality as location for one of its offices. Dr Lehnert presented the mayor with the first publication by EQA-Edition which she has co-authored – the book "Qualitätsmanagement – maßgeschneidert für die Agrar- und Ernährungswirtschaft [Quality Management – Tailored for Agribusiness and Food Industry]".

The new EQA office was deliberately set up in one of Europe’s most significant regions for livestock production and food processing. Ostbevern is located in the district Warendorf, which is one of Germany’s districts with the highest livestock density and which is located in the Dutch-German EUREGIO region. The region supplies more than 50 million consumers per day with foodstuff such as meat, milk and eggs. EQA’s services for the qualification of Food Chain Managers, Food Safety & Health Managers, and Crisis Managers are directed in particular at veterinarians, farmers, and their consultants and service providers

Project "Blended Learning" Launched

Along with a Kick-Off Workshop, the Education and Qualification Alliance (SCE) has officially opened an office in Ostbevern (Wischhausstraße 73, 48346 Ostbevern). In its new office premises, the EQA has launched the project "Blended Learning" on 16 October, 2017. This project offers a wide range of services for farmers and veterinarians. The first project is a cross-border collaboration between partners from North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands in the scope of "Food2020", a German-Dutch project promoted by the subsidy program INTERREG. By spring 2018, this project will provide a tailored learning concept for farmers and veterinarians. Via webinars, expert hotlines and specific demo sessions, target groups will learn all relevant facts regarding the topic "Stable Disinfection and Reduction of Environmentally Relevant Residues".

Photo: Tim Mäckelburg, GIQS e.V. and Dr. Susanne Lehnert

From left to right: Wolfgang Annen (Mayor of Ostbevern), Dr. Susanne Lehnert (EQA), Prof. Dr. Brigitte Petersen (EQA), Bettina Hundt (Chainpoint B.V.), Henning Lehnert (topagrar)

Food Control and Industry Standards Move Closer Together

Both during events at the ANUGA 2017 and in the scope of the 1. Joint Summer School, it has been demanded that control in enterprises in the agri-food sector be further coordinated. During the IV. Food Safety Congress in Warsaw, a representative of the IFS has presented the next steps towards version 7.0 of the global standards. The improvement of the cooperation between food control authorities and private standard setters is intensely debated not only in Germany but also in Poland. Such an improvement particularly involves recognition of audit performance to investigate the fulfillment of standard requirements and implementation of a more consequent control-of-control principle, which is already covered by EU legislation. Another aspect is crisis communication. Recent incidents have initiated putting existing concepts in public-private-partnership exercises for crisis management into practice.

Photo: Speakers at the IV Food Safety Congress in Warsaw. From left to right: Prof. Dr. Arkadiusz Orłowski (Dean of the Faculty of Applied Informatics and Mathematics, Warsaw University of Life Sciences), Prof. Dr. Kazimierz Banasik (Prorector, Warsaw University of Life Sciences), Marek Marzec (President of EWA-BIS), Prof. Dr. Sebastian Jarzębowski (Lecturer at the Faculty of Applied Informatics and Mathematics, Warsaw University of Life Sciences), Monika Tyska (Director of the Export Support Office of the Agricultural Market Agency), Tadeusz Wojciechowski (Chairman of the Biuro Promocji Jakości [Bureau for Quality Promotion])

Opening of the International University Network TUN EQA

Signers of the Memorandum of Understanding together with the EQA Management Board and the chairman of the EQA Supervisory Board (from left: Bernd Hallier, Christian Grütters, Brigitte Petersen, Ema Maldonado, István Komlósi, Susanne Lehnert, Sebastian Jarzebowski)

Nowadays, education and qualification in quality, risk, crisis, and audit management for agribusiness and food industry require innovative solutions, which can only be achieved through cooperation between knowledge providers in Europe and all over the world. In order to broaden and deepen existing relations between national and international universities and the EQAsce, the International Thematic University Network TUN EQA has been established during the ANUGA Trade Fair in Cologne on 8 October, 2017 >>FoodNetCenter. The aim of this university network initiative is mutual recognition of qualifications in agriculture and food and feed industry, as well as of programmes certified by the EQA by interdisciplinary, international expert committees.

Top right: Christian Grütters, chairman of EQA supervisory board, and Bernd Hallier, president of the European Retail Academy. Bottom left: Christian Grütters and István Komlósi, Dean at the University of Debrecen, Hungary. Bottom right: Christian Grütters and Ema Maldonado, representing the University Chapingo, Mexico).

EQA’s Guided Tour Through ANUGA 2017

A guided tour through the ANUGA 2017 on Sunday, 8 October 2017, gave participants of the first EQA Joint Summer School and other guests of the EQAsce the opportunity to get to know some interesting parts of the world’s largest and most important trade fair for food and beverages. The group caught up on the latest and most innovative products and on the world’s greatest supply diversity. The ANUGA is the only place where the key players of the international food sector come together for a total of ten trade shows on current trends. The tour was focussed on booths of members and partners of the EQA: CSB-System, IFS Management GmbH, GlobalG.A.P., and GS1 Germany.

Top left: Dr. Klemens van Betteray explains new digitalisation solutions developed by CSB-System, an IT specialist in the sector, to increase company transparency. Top right: At the booth of GlobalG.A.P., the group caught up on new combined audits in the fields of food safety and sustainibility. Bottom left: At the booth of IFS, the group leader, Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, inquired about the latest developments of the international standard provider. Bottom right: The Hungarian participants showed particular interest in traceability systems for the retail industry.

Course and seminar offers

The service offer of EQAsce is being set up across Europe. The focus is on training courses in the areas “food chain”, “food safety & health” as well as “risk and crisis management”. At the moment courses are available in German>>

Talk to us

Have you got questions regarding a course or seminar offer? Are you interested in becoming a member? Then please feel free to contact us! Tel.: +49 (0)228-732821 or send us an e-mail to: info@EQAsce.euinfo@EQAsce.de

One Health and Food Safety Congress

18. - 19. September 2018
The Food Safety and Human Health Congress takes place at the University of Bonn.

>>Information and program