Food safety is a growing global health concern. However, in developing countries, it usually receives minimal policy attention and investment and only tends to capture national attention during foodborne disease outbreaks and other crises. Furthermore, the lack of economic and technical resources make it challenging for developing countries to adopt a sound food safety system.
The economic costs of unsafe food are high – especially in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, which have the highest incidence of foodborne diseases. Unsafe food also undermines food security, human development and international trade.
What measures can developing countries then take to upgrade their food safety system? What approaches should stakeholders in the food value chain focus on to avoid the burden of unsafe food?
Join us at the FIA Lunch Series session, held in collaboration with World Bank Group, as we discuss some of the food safety issues in the Low and Middle-Income Countries and how multi-sectoral collaborations can address these issues.
Lead Agricultural Economist
Agriculture Global Practice
The World Bank
Steven Jaffee is a Lead Agricultural Economist with the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice. His research, policy and investment project work over 27 years at the World Bank has spanned many themes including food security, food safety, agricultural risk management, agricultural policy, value chain development, and trade and standards compliance.
He has had extensive field experience in Africa and Southeast Asia. He led the team which recently produced The Safe Food Imperative: Accelerating Progress in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. In the past few years, he co-led major (Asian) regional research projects on rice and food security, agricultural pollution, agri-food system transformation, urban food systems, and agri-environmental measures in export industries. He has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a DPhil in agricultural economics from Oxford University.
International Food Safety Advisor
Shashi Sareen has more than 30 years extensive experience in food safety, quality and nutrition with the government, private sector and international organizations. She is currently working as an international food safety, quality and nutrition expert and supporting a number of initiatives with various organizations including STDF, World Bank, FAO, UNESCWA, UNESCAP, WHO, IFC, etc. She is also an associated with the National Accreditation body in India as their auditor for accrediting inspection and certification bodies. She has extensive experience in the area of SPS.
She has worked for around 7 years (from 2010-2016) with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in its Asia Pacific Regional Office at Bangkok as Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer. In this capacity, she was responsible for capacity development and advice to governments with responsiblity for 24 countries in developing and implementing food safety and quality policies, legislation, food control coordination mechanisms, establishment of inspection and certification infrastructures and programmes. She has conducted numerous training programmes in a range of food control subjects for the countries.
Nanyang Technological University
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering & Food Technology Centre
From 2015 Jørgen Schlundt is Professor in Food Science and Technology at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, one of the fastest rising young Universities in the world.
Internationally, Jørgen Schlundt has participated in the development of food safety Risk Analysis principles and the initiation of studies to estimate the global burden of foodborne diseases, related to both chemical, microbiological and nutritional issues.
Jørgen Schlundt continues an active, international involvement in his work at NTU focusing on major new initiatives based on the generic principle that sound scientific decision support provides the best background for innovative improvements and sensible solutions. GMI is seen as a potential cornerstone for future decision support at global, national and local level.
Bruce Blakeman is the Vice President for Corporate Affairs in the Asia-Pacific region for Cargill stationed in Singapore. His responsibilities include managing government relations, stakeholder management, M&A, internal & external communications, issues management, and corporate social responsibility activities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Prior to joining Cargill in October 2005, Bruce served four years as a Presidential Appointee in the Bush Administration. He was first appointed as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Commerce where he ran the domestic operations of the U.S. Commercial Service (2001-2003). He was then asked to serve as the Secretary of Commerce Donald Evan’s special envoy to China stationed in the Beijing Embassy where he served for two years (2003-2005).
Food and Nutrition
Biomedical Research Council
Dr. Ralph is currently Director, Food and Nutrition, Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. In his current position with A*STAR, Ralph is working with strategic partners to administer and develop new initiatives and programmes in the research areas of food and nutrition. He has a co-appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor with Nanyang Technological University, School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering. He also sits on the advisory panel of the Food Innovation & Resource Centre, Singapore Polytechnic as well as multiple grant review committees.
Ralph has over 12 years of experience in the local and global biomedical and nutrition industry. He was previously Research Operations Manager for Abbott Nutrition in Asia, establishing the R&D infrastructure and managing the research portfolio for Asia.
Prior to joining Abbott Nutrition, Ralph was Research Director for ES Cell International, the first organization to provide clinical grade embryonic stem cell lines to the world’s research community (now a subsidiary of Bio Time Inc). Preceding ES Cell Ralph was part of the regional business development team at Roche Diagnostics Asia Pacific.
Head of Science and Regulatory Affairs
Food Industry Asia (FIA)
YiFan joined the FIA team in January 2016 following a stint of three and a half years with EAS Strategies where she was a Regulatory Affairs Advisor.
YiFan has valuable regulatory experience that has helped clients entering Asian markets, particularly Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. She was previously Regulatory Affairs Advisor of the International Alliance of Dietary / Food Supplement Associations (IADSA), where she played a key role in pushing for harmonisation of standards, both regionally and globally.
She also represented IADSA in discussions with the Codex Alimentarius Commission by providing global industry data and advocating for industry’s position. A Chinese national, YiFan holds a degree in Applied Science majoring in Food Science and Technology from the National University of Singapore.