A partners meeting of the Interreg Europe QUALIFY project took place in Larissa (Greece) From 25 to 27 October 2021, organized by the Thessaly Region 

The mission to Greece consisted of meetings with heads of agriculture and food and European projects of the Greek regional administration and technical visits to the food industries listed below. The basic purpose of the meeting was to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences and to identify Good Practices carried out in other regions in the areas described to assess their possible implementation in the future action plan. The aim is to improve the competitiveness of SMEs with actions that affect a financial instrument in the areas of the project. 

At the initial meeting on 25 October 2021, the basic lines to be followed to select the actions and financial policy instruments to be included in the action plan of each region were discussed.

On October 26, 2021, the partners made study visits to several agri-food companies in the Thessaly region: 

PVG Hellas SA (table olives) 

Melissa Kikizas (wheat pasta) 

Hotos, SA (cheeses and other dairy products) 

Tyrnavos Cooperative Winery & Distillery 

At the meeting of 27 October 2021, representatives of the Regional Administration and other entities from Thessaly region presented initiatives related to the objectives and areas of the QUALIFY project, such as the promotion of the authenticity of the agri-food sector.  

The representatives of each partner present the basic lines of the Action Plan of their region in which they have started working, and the axes and actions that are planned. 

Bilateral meeting between the Region of Thessaly and the Generalitat de Catalunya 

On October 27, 2021, the representatives of the Subdirectorate of Agri-Food Inspection and Control of the Generalitat de Catalunya maintain a bilateral meeting with the director of the Department of Plant Protection, Phytosanitary and Quality Control of the Thessaly Region, Dimitris Stavridis, and representatives of his team of the Greek Administration.

The meeting organization and functions of official food control in the region of Thessaly and Catalonia, and the scope of their respective competencies were discussed. This meeting has been useful to have a first contact with Greek counterparts on issues of official food control.

Steering Committee 

Finally, and to conclude the meeting, Ricard Esparza, representative of the leading partner (Catalonia), reviewed the status of the project activities, and highlighted the conditions that must be met by the action plans (additionality, connection with any instrument of public policy, inter-regionality) and that the financing of the actions must be with own funds, since Interreg does not finance the implementation of the action plan linked to the project.

Monitoring and evaluation will take place in July 2022 and the indicators for evaluation and monitoring will need to be established in advance. The project's expenditure situation is also reviewed in relation to the planned budget. The calendar for making payments and possible redistributions of funds is remembered