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Latvia - SAPARD


In co-operation with Latvian National Board of Fisheries have LarEll Associated Consultants fulfilled a project on preparation for application and use of the Support of Pre-accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD) for the improvement of fish products, processing and marketing. 

 Project background

Latvia as an associated country of the EU will have access to financial support for structural reforms in agriculture and rural development (SAPARD) starting from year 2000. The SAPARD funding will be operational from year 2001. 
The support under the SAPARD programme should be targeted at improving the competitiveness of the processed products on both the national and the international markets, by improving the structure of the Latvian processing industry, including the fish processing industry and raising the quality, hygiene and food safety standards in processing enterprises. 
Taking into account the strategic goal of the government of the
Republic of Latvia
to join the EU, all of the fish processing enterprises have to comply with the EU hygiene requirements until the accession moment to the EU. At the start of the project only 10 fish processing companies (8% of the total number of fish processing companies) are authorised to export their fishery products to the EU (EC Decision 2000/85/EC of 21.12.1999). 
The production premises of the majority of the fish processing companies do not comply with the EU and the international hygiene requirements because the buildings were built 50-60 years ago and thus being technically outdated.
Besides, the enterprises and the technological equipment which were inherited from the former fishermen’s kolkhozes and after the privatisation of the state-owned enterprises are technically out-of-date, hence a number of the enterprises produce con-generic production – canned fish, the ratio of which in total fish production volumes constitutes approximately 50%.
Thus, the fish processing enterprises should seek for new, effective forms of activity to solve the assurance of product quality problems, including the implementation of HACCP system and increasing the sales opportunities of the Latvian fishery products on foreign markets.
It will therefore come natural to some companies to apply for financial support through SAPARD programme in order to restructure their companies to a standard that meet with the EU requirements and thus open for the possibility to be EU certified and be able to develop the EU and other markets for their products.

Project objective

The overall project objectives were to assist the Latvian fish processing industry in adjusting to the EU requirements and to assure the best possible use of the SAPARD funds allocated to the fish processing sector by making available qualified expert assistance to the Latvian fish processing industry –


To train and assist the companies in general in analysing the needs for restructuring and renovation of their processing facilities to meet the requirements of the EU in terms of processing, hygiene and product quality


To train and assist the companies in applying for financial support from the SAPARD programme to carry out the restructuring


To work out manuals for the Latvian fish processing industry in preparation of project applications to the SAPARD fund;


To produce a manual for the National Board of Fisheries to be used in the evaluation process of the projects suggested

Project activities

The activities of the project was divided into a practical and a theoretical phase as it was not be possible to assist all Latvian fish processing companies individually.

The practical phase included the following –  


A selection of three fish processing companies being typical representatives for the industry to be pilot companies in the project


An in-depth analysis of each of the pilot companies as to the standard of their present processing facilities in terms of quality and hygiene


A “Technical Draft Project” including a layout for each of the pilot companies to be worked out and specifying the need for changes in plant layout, renovation of existing equipment and/or installation of new or second hand equipment, upgrading of facilities for workers (wash rooms, toilets, etc.) and including an itemised budget for such work to be used in an application for SAPARD funding  


Assistance to each of the pilot companies in preparing an application form including business plan and project for financing through the SAPARD programme;


A manual for the industry in preparation of application form, business plan and project to the SAPARD fund;


A manual for the National Board of Fisheries to be used in the evaluation process of the projects suggested for SAPARD funding  

The theoretical part included the following –  


Presentation of the findings and recommendations for restructuring of the three pilot cases to the level of EU certification


Presentation of and going through the manual elaborated in the project for restructuring of processing facilities and in detail explain how to complete a SAPARD application form, set-up a business plan and project for the Latvian fish processing industry on basis of what have been learned from the project work in the practical phase  

The theoretical phase was carried out in the form of a seminar  held in Ozolnieki, open for participants from the Latvian fish processing industry, from institutions related to the industry and from universities and colleges having fish processing and research on their training programme.  

Local consultants from Latvian Agricultural Advisory and Training Centre in Ozolnieki participated in the project as assistants (trainer trainees) to the consultants. It was in this way ensured that the know-how generated during the project was transferred to a local Latvian institution from where the industry can acquire support in the future.

Selected Latvian fish processing companies

SAPARD applications with business plans were prepared for the following three companies:
SIA "Saldus Galas Kombinats", Saldus.
SIA "Liedags", Lapmezciems.
SIA "Oniors", Daugavpils.

Seminar in Ozolnieki

A seminar on : How to prepare the application for SAPARD funds - was held at the Latvian Agricultural Advisory and Training Centre in Ozolnieki, on Tuesday 12 November by Latvian National Board of Fisheries, Latvian Agricultural Advisory and Training Centre and LarEll Associated Consultants. A total of 35 persons from outside the group of organisers took part in the seminar. The seminar included a presentation of the experiences from preparing the applications by the three participating fish processing companies; Liedags, Oniors and SGK Saldus.

The Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Directorate for Food, Fisheries and Agro Business have partly financed the project.

More information about the seminar and detailed programme - click here.

Programme and information in Latvian.

For official application forms - visit the website of Rural Support Service

Budget forms

Coffee break at the seminar

Some of the participants at the


Mr. Guntis Sinkevics, Latvian 

Agricutural Advisory and 

Traning Centre.

Mr. Jens Ellegaard, LarEll.

Mr. Johnny Haupt Larsen, LarEll.

Liedags - planned extension of 

processing facilities.

Processing facilities in good and 

well maintained condition - 

at Liedags

Oniors - dispatch area.

Packing of culinary products - 

at Oniors.

Products in Oniors's own shop.

Existing cannery - Saldus Galas


The building for the new fish 

cannery in SGK.

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Latest updated: 04-06-2007