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European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA)

Better Training for Safer Food initiative

HaDEA is implementing the Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) initiative on behalf of the European Commission to:

  • Promote a harmonised and efficient approach to the operation of EU and national control systems;
  • Maintain a high level of consumer protection, animal health, animal welfare and plant health;
  • Create an equal-level playing field for all food businesses;
  • Enhance the trade of safe food;
  • Ensure fair trade with non-EU countries and, in particular, developing countries.

The initiative is designed to develop an EU training strategy in the areas of food law, feed law, animal health, animal welfare rules and plant health rules. BTSF trainings ensure that national authority staff involved in official controls along the agri-food chain in EU and non-EU countries are aligned with EU law.

Training in EU countries 

Ensuring uniform controls protects both consumers and the internal market. BTSF complements the national-level training on performing control duties that is offered by national authorities, by providing courses that focus on issues of special interest to the EU and that bring EU-added value to more local efforts.

This helps national authorities who are involved in official control activities to keep up to date with all relevant aspects of European law and ensures that they share a common understanding of the regulatory system.

Contractors organize both face-to-face and online courses with the objective to “train the trainers” and provide timely and accurate information. This can be easily shared beyond the class participants, as a wide variety of training materials is made available.

The trainings topics cover the fields of animal health and welfare, borders, movements, official controls, food and feed, one health, plants and contingency and risk planning.

Training in non-EU countries

The BTSF initiative organises specific training programmes targeting only non-EU countries.

The EU is a major player in the global agri-food market. Food, feed, animals, plants and derived products imported into the EU must comply with EU requirements. This may sometimes place constraints on exports by non-EU countries, particularly in many developing countries that may not have the necessary resources and structures to ensure controls and surveillance of their food production systems. In certain areas, this is in the hands of private organisations and importers, especially in the area of fruits and vegetables. Better understanding of EU requirements helps authorities in non-EU countries to improve controls and get their products to the EU market.

BTSF trainings can cover any sanitary and/or phytosanitary subject anywhere in the world and are provided through workshops or/and ad-hoc assistance missions.

Workshops have similar formats to those held in the EU. They are organised at regional level on selected topics that are of wider interest to a number of countries in a region and provide a detailed overview and explanation of EU sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards in the relevant areas, looking, in particular, at the recent developments of EU legislation and of international SPS standards. They can also take the form of targeted training missions where a specific safety concern is addressed. This may be take place in various formats, including farmer training, laboratory training and producing guidance documents.

A specific programme aims to train laboratory staff on state-of-the-art techniques for diagnostic testing. Laboratory trainings are organised directly in EU-accredited laboratories and ensure hands-on experience for non-EU laboratory staff.

BTSF Academy

BTSF Academy is the online learning platform for training courses designed under BTSF.