Development of the Food Sector

Project description

Title: Development of the Food Sector
Commissioned by: Saudi Food and Drug Authority
Financier: Saudi Food and Drug Authority
Country: Saudi-Arabia
Lead executing agency: Saudi Food and Drug Authority
Overall term: 2009 to 2012


The quality and security of food products has long been a widespread concern amongst consumers and responsible authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), which was established by the Saudi Council of Ministers in 2003, is responsible for designing and implementing structures to ensure food quality nationwide. GIZ provides expertise from the German and European food safety sector to help SFDA achieve its goals.


The overall objective is to ensure optimum food and drug safety, internationally comparable with most developed countries. As such SFDA strives to act as a key player in the region (especially the Gulf Cooperation Council) for the safety of food, drugs, and medical devices.
During the first fact-finding mission by German experts in March 2007 GTZ (since January 2011 GIZ) and SFDA agreed that SFDA’s food sector should be expanded, improved and developed. The food import control system at the border inspection points (BIP) and the qualification and accreditation of its laboratories should especially be taken into consideration.

To strengthen SFDA’s prominent position regarding food safety in Saudi Arabia and the region, the project will feature:

  • a modern organisational and operational structure for a target-oriented food control system,
  • high and updated laboratory capacities for testing and analysing food which is accredited by an international body, and
  • active development of regulations and standards for food safety.


GIZ provides the following services:

  • Running a consultancy project analogous to the approach of the European Union’s Twinning Projects for new EU partner countries.
  • Establishing contact with, and assigning consultants from the relevant German authorities (BVL, BfR, BfArM, etc.).
  • Restructuring the food import control system.
  • Forming an effective organisation with efficient and transparent work flows at the border inspection points (BIP).
  • Training personnel from SFDA and other authorities in Saudi Arabia and in Germany.
  • Establishing a training academy in Saudi Arabia for lasting, sustainable effects.