Wednesday, 11 December

Protest Planned: New Health Regulation Irks Bread Manufacturers in Armenia

Bread producers in Armenia plan to stage a demonstration protesting a government decision obligating them to obtain sanitary certificates to transport bread and related items.

They argue that the government hasn’t provided enough time to obtain the certificates.

A bread manufacturer, who wished to remain anonymous, told Hetq that those who fail to obtain the certificates by the September 1 deadline will be fined 300,000 AMD.

The bread deliverer said that he was all for the new regulation, having seen bread being delivered in banana crates or placed on carpet, but that food safety inspectors should start monitoring bread deliveries to the country’s kindergartens.

He argued that the new regulation was less about ensuring health standards and more a ruse to extract money from the people.

The man said he would have to spend 100,000 AMD apiece in order that his four vehicles satisfy the new health requirements, and even then, they wouldn’t pass inspection.

He gave the example of friends who reoutfitted their vehicles, only to have them fail inspection, which costs 22,000 AMD.

He says the State Service for Food Safety has provided the names of 2-3 organizations that can conduct the inspections, arguing that the organizations will not issue certificates to vehicle owners that have made improvements on their own, thus obligating them to pay the organizations to do the work at a higher price.

He also claims the new regulation, also covering meat transporters, will result in a 20-30 dram price increase for bread across the board.

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