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  • 21 April , 2010: Ministry of education and science of Ukraine , Global Compact in Ukraine and the joint EU - UNDP Consumer Society and Citizen Networks Project congratulated schoolchildren who won the contest on testing “Youth tests quality”.

    Consumer education has been in place in Ukraine for three years already due to the Consumer essentials course developed in the framework of Project’s partnership with the Ministry of education and science of Ukraine. The course appeared in 2008 and was recommended to be studied within secondary schools curriculum. Nowadays, more than 3000 general secondary educational establishments have volunteered to implement the course.

    This has been the second attempt to conduct the contest on consumer testing by youth in Ukraine, while involving youngsters into active and conscious consumption has long been part of educational process in many European countries, experts say. Consumer organizations usually initiate such contests by providing informational, organizational support and inspirational guidance to young people who are willing to actively search information on the present day market economy.

    The contest “Youth tests quality” was conducted from November 2009 till March 2010 and aimed at increasing awareness of school youth about consumer rights protection, orientation on the market of goods and services, fostering consumer culture, civic engagement and acknowledging one’s role in increasing of life quality in the context of European standards.

    Young researchers were asked to choose a topic according to their interests and test the chosen product or service according to their own methodology. The contest jury was composed of leading experts on independent consumer testing and educational specialists, representatives of the Ministry of education and science of Ukraine, Scientific and research centre for independent consumer testing “TEST”, Kyiv Hrinchenko University, and project experts.

    Contestants have won not just a school Olympiad, they have won a different contest, a life exam for their civic position, because they possess useful skills of consumer rights protection and informed choice”, - says head of department of natural and mathematic education of the Ministry Ms. Lidiya VASHCHENKO, who was giving diplomas to the winners.

    Product testing contest conducted last year gathered around 700 participants from all over Ukraine. This year, contestants sent over 150 works which were done by individuals or groups of up to 12 people.

    “This year like the year before we have observed an ever growing quality of students’ works”,- said Ms. Klavdia MAKSIMENKO, consumer society and citizen networks project manager. The most popular research topics this year are: various confectionary products, dairy products, bakery, pizza, safety of environment, quality of mobile operators, Internet, telecommunication services, educational services. Contestants were also interested in cosmetics, school canteens, client service in supermarkets and village shops. Such topics as quality of services in tattoo salons, means of contraception and products children consumer everyday, like crisps, non-alcoholic beverages and chewing gums were also of great demand.

    This year project’s partners were two companies - members of Global Compact in Ukraine: “Foxtrot home appliances” and TM “Shostka”, who congratulated children in two additional nominations “For consumer vigilance”.

    We are really pleased to observe the tendency, showing that business sector reveals genuine interest towards sustainable consumption. In Ukraine there are already 140 member of the UN Global Compact, that are committed to principles of corporate social responsibility”,- says public-private sector cooperation advisor of the Global Compact in Ukraine Yuliya SHCHERBININA. – Consumers should not underestimate the power of their consumer choice and use it with care”.

    “Our company motto is “Comfort leader at best prices”, meaning maintaining high European standards in client service before and after purchase, - comments executive director of “Foxtrot. Home appliances” Yuriy PONOMARENKO. – we would like to thank the young contestants for helping us in such a complicated work as keeping high standards of client service and meeting our clients’ expectations”.

    “For TM “Shostka” quality has always been a top priority, - explains the public relations director of VAT Shostkinsky MMK, Nataliya FESYUN. – The company actively works to invest into increasing quality of raw material, manufacturing processes, personnel, communications and produce”. Partners extended their gratitude to winners in additional nominations “For consumer vigilance” for responsible attitude to the choice of high quality products, ability to analyze and take decisions, as well as for assuming their role in enhancing the quality of life.

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