Capacity building in food safety regulatory standards as well as the importance of international cooperation in managing common food safety challenges will be the focus of a series of workshops organised by APEC from 10-13 April 2013.

To be held in Surabaya, Indonesia, these workshops also seek to encourage regional economic integration, the facilitation of free trade and the development of training modules on key food safety issues.

Participants are drawn through nominations from APEC member economies and will represent government and regulatory agencies responsible in the development and implementation of food safety systems and incident management initiatives.

Part of an APEC Multi-Year Project (MYP) “Building Convergence in Food Safety Standards and Regulations Systems”, the workshops will look to achieve strengthened alignment with science-based international standards and best practice, stronger information sharing networks and greater regional capacity to respond to food safety incidents.

The two sessions will include an Indonesia-led workshop educating small medium enterprise (SMEs) on food safety standards, and one led by Australia which will focus on food safety incident management. These workshops support ongoing efforts by regulators and academic and industry experts to encourage robust food safety systems at the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) meetings and the FSCF Partnership Training Institute Network capacity-building trainings.

FIA Executive Director, Bev Postma, said these workshops highlight the critical role capacity-building and regional cooperation have to play in enabling higher food safety standards across the region.

“With an increasingly global food supply chain, the need for international and regional collaboration on food safety standards and best practice is becoming increasingly urgent. These workshops, which will be conducted by experienced food safety policy makers from regulatory authorities and international organisations, reflect how the private sector is using its collective resources and expertise to help APEC countries maximise their food safety standards and systems.

“Through such workshops, participants will have the opportunity to better understand global and regional food safety systems, which can then be applied in their respective countries,” she said.

Participants and speakers can register at the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SOM2FoodSafety

Click for more information on the draft agendas of the Workshop on Educating SMEs on Food Safety Standards , Workshop on Food Safety Incident Network and background of the events held as part of the “Building Convergence in Food Safety Standards and Regulations Systems” MYP.