FIA Video: Capacity-building for Enhanced Traceability in the Greater Mekong Subregion

The implementation of international supply chain standards strengthens food safety systems through an increase in transparency, efficiencies and consumer trust in the production and consumption of food, says Mr Patrik Jonasson, Director of Public Policy Asia-Pacific at GS1, the FIA member company that is leading a multi-stakeholder traceability capacity-building initiative for local agribusinesses across the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

Mr Jonasson and his colleagues from GS1 Cambodia led the launch of the initiative in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in December last year. Attended by representatives from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program, Phase ll (CASP 2), local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Food Industry Asia (FIA), the event served as a stakeholder consultation, to assess the food safety and product traceability needs of business owners.

Speaking with FIA, Mr Jonasson explained the importance of a strong traceability system and the objectives of these traceability capacity-building efforts in the GMS countries.

Through a partnership that was launched with the GMS Working Group on Agriculture (WGA) in September last year, FIA has facilitated collaboration between its member companies, including GS1, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the agriculture ministries of the six GMS countries under CASP 2, in order to strengthen food safety systems across the GMS region.

Starting in December last year, GS1 and CASP 2 representatives have led two phases of the traceability initiative, namely in-country stakeholder consultations and capacity-building training programmes for local agribusinesses, in Cambodia, China and Laos. The next event, a regional capacity-building workshop, will take place in Guangxi, China, in March.

Mr Patrik Jonasson, Director, Public Policy Asia-Pacific, GS1, provides representatives from Cambodian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an overview of the importance and requirements of a strong traceability system during the launch of the multi-stakeholder traceability initiative for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 13 December 2017.

In addition to the traceability initiative led by GS1, the partnership among FIA, its members and the GMS WGA has also produced a laboratory capacity-building programme for GMS government scientists. Taking place over three phases, the initiative focuses on training scientists in methods of food safety analysis, leading to the equipping of participants with necessary knowledge and skills for the leading of capacity-building work in their own respective countries.

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