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EU agri-food mission visits Kazakhstan for the first time
The development of fruitful cooperation with the European Union, one of the main geopolitical centers and the most effective integration associations of the modern world, occupies an important place in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. Throughout the Post-Soviet period, Kazakhstan has been a key partner of the EU in Central Asia due to the high economic development of Europe, which has become an influential pole in the modern system.

In order to form a stronger and more modern partnership in the agri-food sector, the first visit of the EU high-level agri-food mission, headed by the European Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, to Kazakhstan is taking place from May 27 to 31 of 2024.

The business mission of the agri-food sector includes over 40 companies from 16 EU member states. As part of the visit, there are planned events, aimed at establishing the close contacts and defining specific areas of cooperation between representatives of the business circles of Kazakhstan and the EU. Agricultural cooperation is high on the agenda of both sides. Our country is an important destination for the EU agricultural exports. It bears noting that in 2023, its volume amounted to 702 million euros.

In this regard, the meetings of the EU agri-food enterprises with business representatives of Kazakhstan are taking place in Almaty and Astana. The participants of the mission present a wide range of food and beverages, including animal products, wines and spirits, fruits, vegetables and seeds, as well as the organic and specialty products that are protected by the geographical indications. Also, it will create unique opportunities for sharing the experiences and recipes, enriching the gastronomic traditions of different parties.


Between the business meetings, we talked with a participant from Romania, with

Andra Nichitean, representing the SC Rom Honey Group SRL company:

Qazaq Culture: First of all, thank you for participating in the interview for our publication. What do you think of our country?

Andra Nichitean: First of all, thank you for having the conversation here. It is a lovely country with a very interesting culture. We are astounded by the beautiful sights and very warm people. I represent the honey company from Romania, from the “Honey group”. We collect the honey from the Romanian beekeepers mainly, and export it to all over the world, including the USA and Japan. So, we are well owed with the international requirements for the export and certifications. We are also certified with the bio, because this is highly interested area for this import. I think, you have a very good honey here, very good food in general, and I think we are very interested in buying the high quality food by reasonable prices. And, if we cut back on the traders and buy directly from the producers, we can provide the better prices. For example, if we buy from France. So, we can provide the better quality or same quality, but the lower prices.

Qazaq Culture: Can you briefly tell us about your company, its history and core values?

Andra Nichitean: The history is quite short. Because, it took over the old honey factory, it was closed three years ago, and we reopened it. And, we started to focus on innovative products, made with honey, with the Research Institute from Romania, as well as the research projects on the European grants. Also, the glycemic index for diabetics was studied. Moreover, we participate in research projects in Europe as well.

Qazaq Culture: How do you confirm the quality of your products?

Andra Nichitean: The quality of our product is certified by all the certifications we have, such as the ISO and FDIS. Also, we have our own laboratory center, and we have the contracts with the laboratories from Germany, which confirm the high quality of our honey. We conduct over a hundred analyses for every slot of honey, even the small batches of honey, in order to guarantee its quality.

Qazaq Culture: Honey is a very complex product. What measures do you take to confirm its quality?

Andra Nichitean: Honey is a very complex product. You know, its first view seems very simple, but in fact, honey is a whole complex and the whole product system. And, honey is the second most adulterated product in the world. It is the second after olive oil, and after the honey, they require more than 100 analyzes and tests. So, there are many tests to prove its quality. Furthermore, we are open for the business perspective. Of course, we want to find the clients and business opportunities. Therefore, we are interested in more complex collaboration to have partnership with local business people for having the developed products together.

Qazaq Culture: Did you taste the local honey and cuisine in Kazakhstan?

Andra Nichitean: Yes, I tasted the honey in Kazakhstan during the breakfast. I have seen, you have a buckwheat honey from Ukraine. It is quite rare honey, because it is on a specific basis. And, it is not the white one, it is a dark one, and it is a buckwheat honey as well. But I really like all the foods and people here in in your area, and it feels so nice to be here.

Qazaq Culture: Can you tell me about your opinion and impressions about Kazakhstan?

Andra Nichitean: To be honest, I cannot tell you, because it is my first visit to Kazakhstan and I need a little bit of time to form my opinion. I am trying not to draw the superficial conclusions and prefer to get to know the country or business project better, before expressing my opinion.

Qazaq Culture: Thank you very much for the interesting conversation!

 

It is worth noting that Kazakhstan has been a key partner of the EU in Central Asia throughout the Post-Soviet period. In turn, the EU has become an influential pole in the global economy, and their partnership with Kazakhstan contributes to the development and strengthening of not only economic, but also, the cultural ties in the region. 


Dates of the event: May 29/30, 2024

Venue: Astana city, Interfood Astana, the EU Pavilion at EXPO, Mangilik El Avenue, 53/1

29 May, 2024
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