TALLINN – The Agricultural and Food Board, a new joint state agency formed as a result of a merger of the Estonian Agricultural Board and the Veterinary and Food Board, started functioning as a joint agency on Jan. 1.
"The main aim of the merger was to create a center of excellence bringing together oversight over the entire chain of food supply, whose face is turned toward the customer," the director general of the Agricultural and Food Board, Urmas Kirtsi, said in a press release.
Kirtsi said that the reorganization of the two agencies into one will make business easier for clients and cooperation partners, who previously had to interact with two different agencies.
"In the future, clients and partners will communicate only with one agency," he said.
The deputy directors general of the new agency are Katrin Reili, previously deputy director general of the Veterinary and Food Board; Hele-Mai Sammel, previously head of the department for animal health and welfare at the same agency; and Anu Nemvalts, who was previously the head of the department for organic agriculture and seeds at the Agricultural Board.
The joint agency, which is responsible for the supervision of the entire agricultural and food chain, including the maintenance of arable lands, plant and livestock production and food safety, employs 550 people in total.