KIEV, February 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine must defend its food interests on the world markets and the products it exports should match proper quality standards, President Viktor Yanukovich said at a meeting of the council of regions.
“Top quality foods and high standards of foodstuffs are pre-requisites for quality consumption and health of our people, children and families. Lastly, this is a component of our country’s positive image as a manufacturer of foods on the world market,” he said.
Yanukovich pointed out that the instances of forgery of Ukrainian products “jeopardize its access to markets and unconditionally harm our international image.”
In identifying such cases, he said, “the state cannot stay aloof.”
In part, Yanukovich said, there has to be “concerted action to ensure real responsibility” of the producer, manufacturer and importer (provider) of substandard products. He said the proper control must be exercised at the level of central agencies and of regional authorities.
About the current situation in Ukraine’s agriculture Yanukovich said that for this the work to reform the industry must be increase.
“There are no mechanisms of state support for farm producers, mechanisms of farm produce insurance, or ways of carrying out large-scale technological upgrade of production,” Yanukovich said with regret. He asked Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov to conduct “social monitoring of the condition of rural areas and to identify priorities in each individual region.”
The council of regions is a consultative and advisory body, created by the president in April 2010. Its main task is coordination of interaction by the central authorities and bodies of local self-government.