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Ukrainian meat for Georgian Army

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, July 25
Under the conditions of a recently announced tender of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia (MOD), the winning company Ukhvi LTD will provide the Georgian Army with Ukrainian meat, instead of local produce.

The company explains that under the contract, they have right to provide either local or imported meat.

Under the agreement, the company will provide meat over the next six months, and the total value of the tender is 640,000 GEL.

Levan Izoria, Georgia’s Defense Minister, has made an explanation over the issue.

The Minister noted that the supplier informed the Ministry of Defense that there was a deficit of meat on the Georgian market, which prompted them to make their decision.

In an official letter to the Ministry of Defense the supplier “noted that there was a deficit of Georgian products on the market and therefore, the supply of Georgian troops with meat was at risk. So, we made an adequate decision to prevent this risk," Izoria explained.

The previous Minister of Defense, Tina Khidasheli, launched a project in winter 2015, according to which eleven military bases of Georgia were to be provided only with local products, including meat.

Khidasheli explained that this decision had several goals. Firstly, the Army would receive fresh and healthy products; secondly, the project would promote local businesses, and thirdly, the ministry would spend less on local production rather than on imports.

Former Deputy Defense Minister Davit Ebralidze criticized the MoD for their decision. He stressed that rejection of Georgian meat was a “crime”.

He believes that the project implemented by the former minister had “double benefits”.

“Beef is one of the most voluminous components of the Army’s rations, and in the past we solved two problems with one step - the Georgian Army was receiving fresh meat instead of frozen, and that the meat was produced by Georgian farmers,” he stressed.

Ebralidze says that through the decision of the ministry to import meat from Ukraine, the government rejects its main promise that local production would be promoted.

“The government should not allow such changes. Everybody should speak out about it: the Church, the political community, the media, the NGOs,” Ebralidze said.