National Food Agency fines “A.N. Food Service” due to supply of improper food products
ACCESS Grantee, the Human Rights Monitoring and Education Center (EMC) is conducting research on the state of the labor conditions and safety in Georgia. As part of their project EMC is conducting in-depth interviews with workers from various sectors, with special attention paid to high-risk industries. One such company under the project’s purview is the mining company Georgian Manganese, currently carrying out an ore-extraction operation in the Chiatura mines. Project managers spoke with workers who raised concerns about the quality of food available at their workplace, believing that it was dangerous for their health. Workers mentioned that the food served to them tastes and smells bad and is often old, moldy, or expired. During the summer, the heat and weather exacerbates the problem because of poor operation in the food distribution system during these months.
Based on the information collected from the project’s interviews, EMC has appealed to the National Food Agency to follow-up on the issues raised by the miners. The Agency has since initiated a special investigation into two food-supply companies serving Georgian Manganese. Their inspection yielded three critical and twenty-six non-critical food safety violations on behalf of the supply company A.N. Food Service which was fined 1000 GEL and had their production process partially suspended until the violations were corrected. An inspection of a second supply company, Kobuleturi Trading also revealed several non-critical violations, for which the company was given time to fix.
EMC will continue to monitor each company’s compliance with the National Food Agency’s recommendations and ensure that corrective measures are fully carried out in each operation. If needed, EMC will appeal to legislative authorities to ensure that safe and high-quality working conditions are shared among all Georgian laborers. In the coming months, EMC will appeal to the State Labor Inspection Department to conduct additional inspections of food products and to ensure the protection of workers’ rights and a safe workplace.