Main topics to be addressed in the workshops, as clearly outlined in the tender specifications, are:
• Flexibility through the Hygiene Regulations: general overview and concept (legal basis and guidance document);
• Activities excluded from the scope of the hygiene Regulation, including practical examples; • Scope and practical examples of flexibility with regard to the implementation of procedures based on the HACCP principles;
• Scope and practical examples of flexibility measures to enable the continued use of traditional methods at any of the stages of production, processing or distribution of food;
• Scope and practical examples of flexibility measures to accommodate the needs of food businesses situated in regions that are subject to special geographic constraints;
• Scope and practical examples of flexibility provisions pursuant to Article 7 of Regulation (EC) Nº 2074/2005 for food operators producing food products with traditional characteristics;
• Scope and practical examples of flexibility with regard to the implementation of Regulation (EC) Nº 2073/2005;
• Assessment of the implementation of flexibility provisions by competent authorities taking into account the possible use of guides to good practice and implications for official controls;
• National measures and notification process; • Exchange of views and experience about the approach to flexibility in each country.
However, during elaboration of training materials and analyses of issue to be specifically addressed, the Opera Consortium will also address the following topics:
• Certain issues of the legislation providing for flexibility in the hygiene package that deserve a specific approach and will thus trigger specific interventions during the workshops;
• Sharing experience between different countries, in particular neighbouring countries, is crucial and networking of information and comparative analyses of situations between bordering countries will be fostered. • Shortfalls and recommendations identified within the report “General report of a mission series carried out in six member states in the period November 2009 To March 2010 in order to gather information regarding the application of the Hygiene Regulations in small establishments producing meat and meat products of mammals and dairy products” will be presented during the workshop;
• Possibilities offered by flexibility measures and the possibility to adopt measures that, despite non being compliant with detailed requirements of the Hygiene package, are nevertheless achieving the objectives of Hygiene aimed by the Hygiene package should be highlighted;
• Analysis of different use of flexibility measures by Member States and their influence on fair competition between FBOs operating in different MS;
• Reactions by countries where flexibility is not applied;
• Importance in ensuring that flexibility be viewed as a tool;
• Importance in highlighting how application of flexibility measures should determine appropriate official inspections.
Considering the topics to be covered, practical approach will have a pivotal role in the training, including visits in the field (4 field visits are foreseen), case studies, exercises, group work, videos. For this reason all training locations have been selected so as to allow easy access to a wide number of establishments where flexibility provisions are applied.