FIA has this week declared its support for the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP), joining forces with the World Bank, the Consumer Goods Forum and other private and public sector stakeholders in the world’s very first global public-private partnership on food safety.

Established in December 2012, the GFSP is a unique platform developed by the World Bank to improve the safety of the global food supply chain. The aim is to stimulate collaboration by all relevant actors– governments, UN bodies, financial institutions, private companies, consumer groups and academia - with a simple and compelling message that “food safety is a global public good, and addressing it requires global and local solutions”.

The main objective of the GFSP is to support improved food safety systems through enhanced agri-food value chains and improved public health outcomes. These outcomes will be achieved through delivery of a 5-year program for training and capacity development, supported by a public-private-partnership and funded by a multi-donor trust fund. The GFSP will contribute to food security, accelerated economic growth, facilitated trade and reduced rural poverty.

The World Bank has established a multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) that will accept contributions from the public and private sectors. The initiative has already received pledges and in-kind contributions from the private sector and from Governments in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. This has enabled work to begin on an initial series of training and capacity building programs. In addition to this funding, the World Bank has agreed to provide $400,000 this year from its Development Grant Facility, with the potential of similar funding amounts for the following two years.

The partnership brings together a broad range of stakeholders to address critical capacity building gaps and prioritise the countries and beneficiaries where training is most urgently required. In the first instance, the project will support and scale-up the work of the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF), which is an excellent project backed by public and private actors in the larger APEC Economies.

Ultimately the GFSP will support a wide array of beneficiaries. Governments in developing countries will be able to access food safety training programs and other capacity building support for both private and public sector stakeholders. Food and agribusiness companies will be able to access a world class knowledge platform and community of practice, providing information and training materials on all aspects of food safety capacity building. And ultimately, consumers will have access to safer food.

Progress so far:

  • The GFSP was formally launched in Paris, Dec 2012. 
  • A draft framing document has been prepared to guide the process for establishing membership criteria, ToRs, operational options, and coordination across working groups. 
  • Organisations that wish to become Partners in the GFSP may do so by becoming Donors to the Multi-donor Trust Fund (MDTF) with a minimum contribution of $250K, or by providing the Secretariat a completed Declaration of Support describing in-kind contributions. Implementing organizations (grantees, consultants) and beneficiary countries are also considered GFSP Partners.
  • Current GFSP Partners include:
  1. Financial donors: Waters Corp., Mars Inc., USAID, Netherlands, World Bank Group, Canada
  2. In-kind contributors: US FDA, USDA, Massey University, FAO, FIA, GFSI, Orange House
  3. Implementation partners: MSU, Massey, UNIDO, IFC, NACA, FAO, WHO
  4. Beneficiary country partners: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Vietnam, Zambia.

What role can the industry play?

The food industry has already played a valuable role in raising the profile of the partnership with key actors in the US, EU and Asia. Last year, the Board of Directors of the Consumer Goods Forum agreed to throw its weight behind a coordinated global food safety effort by setting up a Global Food Safety Taskforce. This yielded a closer working relationship between the leading industry associations and a commitment has been made by the CGF’s Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) to support the partnership. Thanks to key leaders from GFSI, this technical engagement is now well aligned across EU, US and Asia with all parties working together within the science/regulatory/quality space.

FIA Executive Director Bev Postma says, “Food safety is integral to ensuring that people have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food at all times to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. Having safe food standards is also key to the agri-food trade, especially with today’s highly globalised food supply chain.

“FIA recognises the importance of food safety, and is proud to be part of this collaborative and integrated effort to develop better food safety and quality standards.

“We believe this Partnership is a great initiative aimed at filling critical capacity building gaps, and we look forward to working with our global and regional stakeholders to improve food safety standards for the benefits of food producers, regulators and consumers,” she said.

GFSP contact points

The GFSP is supported by a Secretariat hosted at the World Bank, regional focal points in each of the six World Bank geographic regions, and Massey University as the implementing organization for a World Bank grant. For further information, please contact