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CAFIA Annual Report for 2002

1. Introduction

Dear Friends,
the year 2002 was a year of significant changes for the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, and a year of accelerating demands made not only on our authority as an institution but also on our employees.  

The CAFIA specialists accomplished a notable role in the process of drawing out an entirely new act to regulate activities of the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority, replacing the original law dating from 1986. The new act becomes effective on 1 January 2003, and it doesn’t only alter the name of the authority. The new act that is in full harmony with legislation of the European Union introduces some new competencies that will enable CAFIA to apply more flexible and impartial measures against the businessmen. On the other hand, the act and its relevant legislation place new duties on business entities, which should, consequently, ensure better consumer protection. The new act is modern, comporting better with the current conditions in the food market and taking into account also the EU legislation.

The year 2002 was also characteristic of intensive arrangements carried out within the framework of a new Phare project, which will be definitely launched at the beginning of 2003. Its objective is to implement a new comprehensive Information System for the Control of Food and Feed in the Czech Republic, establishing a reciprocal link between the Czech inspection and surveillance authorities. The on-line data transmission should provide a more efficient surveillance over the food and feed safety, respectively. The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority will become a contact point in this system for Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) that is operated in countries of the European Union. CAFIA will function as a node where data on products dangerous to human health or suspicious products, circulating in the unified European market, will pass through and, obviously, this will entail tremendous responsibility of our employees. The Phare project will carry on with the project of the Coordination Group for Food Safety established at the Ministry of Agriculture.

The exceptionally demanding arrangements for this project, carried out all through the last year, are to become the basis for its implementation in the years to come. 

In 2003 CAFIA will also launch – within the framework of the Phare project – an implementation of the Quality Management System in accordance with the standard ISO 9001:2000, which should be certified the following year. We expect of the new system further improvement of all the authority activities, on the other hand, we also expect increase in demands on accuracy and quality of work executed by all our employees.

The demands on professional qualifications required in majority of the CAFIA personnel continued to rise all over the previous period and will continue to rise also in the future. The main emphasis will be laid on professional competence, computer skills, knowledge of languages and communication skills. This will not be easy for many of us, but if we aim to access the European Union as a sovereign and modern authority, it will be essential to do it with fully qualified, responsible and self-confident specialists. 

I am sure we’ll make it by joining hands in our effort.


Ing. Jakub Šebesta
  Director General
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