Global food safety standards like the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA) are designed to ensure safe food for all; it is the responsibility of all parties, including regulators and food and beverage industry players, to work in partnership to meet such standards. This was one of the key themes at the “Food Safety Training Summit: Growing Markets for High Quality Vietnamese Products” held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on 28 August 2017.
The one-day conference, organised by the Global Food Safety Forum (GFSF), brought together experts from the industry, as well as Vietnamese, global, and regional regulatory bodies, to discuss how Vietnamese food exports could meet global standards.
Dr Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Vietnam's Minister of Health, addresses participants at the Food Safety Training Summit: Growing Markets for High Quality Vietnamese Products, on 28 August.
Delivering her keynote address at the event, Vietnam’s Minister of Health, Dr Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, said that global standards such as the Foreign Supplier Verification Progammes of the FSMA have an impact on local exports to the United States. Dr Nguyen said while Vietnamese companies should study the impact of these standards in order that they can meet them, regulators and the different associations operating in Vietnam, such as the Vietnam High Quality Products Business Association, should support the industry to meet these requirements.
Mr Vu Van Tam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for Vietnam, said that it was important to improve communication flows on food safety, as well as the new standards between regulators and industry.
Ms Ratih Puspitasari, Director, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Southeast Asia and India, Cargill, speaks at the training summit.
Speaking on behalf of the industry, Mr Steven Bartholomeusz, Director of Advocacy and Communications, Food Industry Asia, spoke on the role of the private sector in the development of regulatory standards. Mr Bartholomeusz emphasised the importance of partnerships and highlighted examples from the ASEAN region, where FIA has supported workshops on setting and reconciling standards.
“Capacity-building and information exchange through public-private partnerships are essential for effective implementation and better convergence of regulations,” he said.
Mr Rick Gilmore, Chairman of the Global Food Safety Forum (GFSF) moderates a panel at the training summit.
Mr Rick Gilmore, Chairman of the GFSF, said that he was very pleased with the outcomes from the meeting.
“We are delighted that we could bring together Vietnam’s public and private sector to discuss how, by working in partnership, we might support local industry not only access markets in the USA, but also other global and regional markets.
The GFSF looks at developing of public-private partnerships and collaborative opportunities for risk minimisation in the food industry, and supports food safety strategies in Asian markets. In Vietnam, the GFSF works to assist food companies develop safety and quality in all food, seafood and feed products.
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