Public-Private Partnership to Tackle Food Safety in Asia

 


Front, L-R: Bev Postma, FIA and Samuel Godefroy, World Bank Group
Back, L-R: Marcos Jank, BRF; Jacky Cai, Nestlé; Ramachandran Rajamanickam, DSM; Matt Kovac, FIA; Leon Bruner, GMA; Xu Jie, Danone; Jean Reidemeister, Mars; and Suchart Chaven, PepsiCo


Food Industry Asia (FIA) has announced a commitment to scale-up food safety capacity building in China and the ASEAN region, by signing an agreement with the World Bank for the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) and making an initial contribution of US$150,000 in Asia.

The Partnership, which was launched and convened by the World Bank in 2012, seeks to improve capacity-building and training programmes for food safety practitioners in both the public and private sectors. The GFSP Secretariat is hosted by the World Bank.

Representatives from FIA, the World Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) were present at the announcement on 11 September during a high-level meeting at the Vienna Food Safety Forum where the agreement was signed.

As UNIDO Director General, Li Yong stated during the Forum, “To overcome global food safety challenges, we need to bring together the public and private sector, academia, and international organizations and jointly deliver global solutions.”

Jiang Deyuan, President of CFDA Institute of Executive Development, who was present for the announcement, said, “CFDA welcomes and appreciates the leadership role of UNIDO in facilitating public-private partnerships for scaling up food safety capacity building initiatives and confirms its support to UNIDO and its partners in ensuring effective and well-coordinated approach for implementing food safety capacity building projects in Asia and China.”

Bev Postma, Executive Director of FIA, explained that the signing of this new agreement at such an important forum signals an important milestone in FIA’s mission to address one of Asia’s most complex challenges, namely to reduce the hazards in global food supply chains and to enhance the levels of trust between food companies and their consumers.

“By signing this agreement for the GFSP in the presence of the World Bank, UNIDO, CFDA and global industry leaders, we are reaffirming FIA’s role as a trusted partner to businesses and governments in Asia as we seek to scale up our collaborative capacity-building efforts in risk management, risk assessment and risk communications. We are delighted to be part of this unique global partnership that aims to drive a joined-up food safety agenda especially in China where there is a real opportunity to build a strong food safety culture between the government and the food industry,” said Ms Postma.

Nathan Belete, Manager, World Bank Agriculture Global Practice, based in Hanoi, said, “As the convener of the Global Food Safety Partnership, we reaffirm its critical role in promoting food safety capacity building at a time when our global food supply chain is more interlinked than ever. The agreement signed with FIA represents a strong commitment on behalf of the private sector in a region that is at the forefront of our global food economy and will accelerate progress in strengthening food safety policies, standards and training programs.”

Thanks to the investment of its Member Companies, FIA has supported a number of food safety capacity-building initiatives in ASEAN and China and is highlighting the urgent need to scale up these investments by working with partners like UNIDO, the GFSP, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) to accelerate training.

During the forum, Cenk Gurol, Chairman of GFSI, said, “There has been long-standing private-public cooperation between UNIDO and GFSI since 2009, specifically in the design and implementation of the Global Market Program, which was jointly implemented in a number of countries. GFSI and The Consumer Goods Forum are hoping to continue and enhance the collaboration with UNIDO, based on success of the UNIDO-GFSI-AEON flagship project in Malaysia, and we are pleased to partner with UNIDO and its regional partners to scale it upon the ASEAN region and in China through GFSI China Local Group.”

The Vienna Food Safety Forum took place within the context of the newly-signed cooperation between UNIDO and CFDA on food safety capacity building in China. The thematic focus of the Forum was to emphasise the multiple benefits of safe food for social inclusiveness, sustainability and industrial development.

In this regard, Director General Li also indicated that food safety has a strong impact on inclusive and sustainable industrial development, and has a particular contribution to make to the Sustainable Development Goals that the UN and the International Community will officially endorse this month during the 70th General Assembly Proceedings.

For more information please visit www.foodindustry.asia or contact info@foodindustry.asia. Please also visit the GFSP site at www.gfsp.org or contact gfsp@worldbank.org.

About the World Bank Group (WBG)

The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. It is not a bank in the ordinary sense but a unique partnership to reduce poverty and support development. The World Bank Group comprises five institutions managed by their member countries. The World Bank Group has set two goals for the world to achieve by 2030: 1) End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day to no more than 3%; 2) Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country. Established in 1944, the World Bank Group is headquartered in Washington, DC.

About the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

UNIDO is the specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalisation and environmental sustainability. The Organization’s programmatic focus is structured in three thematic priorities, each of which represents different aspects of inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) – creating shared prosperity, advancing economic competitiveness and safeguarding the environment. Each of these programmatic fields of activity contains a number of individual programmes, which are implemented in a holistic manner to achieve effective outcomes and impacts through UNIDO’s four enabling functions: (i) technical cooperation; (ii) analytical and research functions and policy advisory services; (iii) normative functions and standards and quality-related activities; and (iv) convening and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation.

In June 2015, CFDA and UNIDO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the International Food Safety Forum, organised as part of the Food Safety Publicity Week, in Beijing. They agreed that UNIDO, in cooperation with the CFDA would organise a similar event, which was named the Vienna Food Safety Forum.

About Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a non-for-profit industry-driven initiative providing thought leadership and guidance on food safety management systems necessary for safety along the supply chain. This work is accomplished through public-private collaboration between the world's leading food safety experts from retail, manufacturing and food service companies, as well as international organisations, governments, academia and service providers to the global food industry. GFSI is facilitated by The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global, parity-based industry network, driven by its members. For more information please visit: www.mygfsi.com.

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