With your enthusiastic participation and support, 2017 has been an amazing year for FIA.

Dear Members, 

On behalf of the Food Industry Asia (FIA) Secretariat, I send you my warmest wishes for a joyous Christmas and prosperous New Year.

As the team gears up to continue building on achievements and progress made in 2017 to enhance the industry's role as a trusted partner in the development of science-based food policy in the region, I would like to highlight some of our key initiatives and outcomes this year, thanks to your active and invaluable participation and support. 



FIA is delighted to welcome four new members into our growing network: The British Standards Institution (BSI), Global Standards One (GS1), Monde Nissin and The Yili Group to our growing network of dynamic businesses operating in the region.


Our largest-scale, most-attended AGM to date focused on innovation across food production, consumption and storage, with a keynote address on "The Future of Food" delivered by Mr David Marx of The Science Kitchen (perhaps link to this website). He was joined by experts in human nutrition and alternative protein consumption in a panel, moderated by Mr Jeff Haas, Thomson Reuters, to discuss the role of innovation in feeding nearly nine billion people worldwide by 2050

Read more about the AGM here



Collaboration with the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP):  FIA engaged with in-country members, representatives from the GFSP, World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Ho Chi Minh City Government in a high-level “Dialogue on Building Trust and Capacity for Safe Food in Vietnam”, held in collaboration with the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) and The World Bank. 



Partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Greater Mekong Subregion Working Group on Agriculture (GMS WGA): FIA launched a partnership with the ADB and the ministries of agriculture of the six GMS countries (part of the WGA) to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue around challenges facing, and opportunities for, increasing safety and sustainability standards across food systems and products in the GMS. 

Read more about the partnership here.  




Launch of ASEAN obesity report: The Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN) launched the “Tackling Obesity in ASEAN: Prevalence, impact, and guidance on interventions” report, in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) across the six ASEAN countries studied.

Media launches and follow-up workshops were conducted in four key markets - Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Fruitful discussions took place among participants representing industry, academia, local governments and civil society.

ARoFIIN is in the midst of developing an outcome document, from which recommendations will be formulated and made to regional policymakers, as interventions for tackling the double burden of malnutrition in the region.  

See key findings from the report here



NGO engagement: As part of our partnership with the inaugural EAT Asia-Pacific Food Forum, and convening of the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN), FIA organised a multi-stakeholder dialogue to discuss “Innovating Food Systems for Better Health and Nutrition in Asia”. Leading the discussion were Mr Doddy Izwardy, Ministry of Health, Republic of Indonesia; Ms Debora Rukmawati Tjandrakusuma, Nestlé; Mr Matthew Kovac, FIA; Assoc. Professor Dr Visith Chavasit, Mahidol University; and Dr Pungkas Bahjuri Ali, Ministry of National Development Planning, Republic of Indonesia (BAPPENAS). 

Read more about the dialogue here, or view the full report summarising the key takeaways from the forum here.


FIA represented the food industry at a panel discussion on proper nutrition intake for children, moderated by Dr Roland Kupka, Senior Advisor for Micronutrients with UNICEF, during the EAT Asia-Pacific Food Forum. UNICEF has partnered with the EAT Foundation for the Children Eating Well (CHEW) initiative.

Read more about the EAT Asia-Pacific Food Forum here


FAO/WHO Engagement: FIA represented the private sector at the “Asia and the Pacific Symposium on Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition”, organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Bangkok, Thailand. The symposium sought to enhance agriculture and food systems’ visibility, create policy and programme options, promote sustainable diets, and build partnerships. Participants discussed methods of taking stock of evidence on transformational change in food systems toward sustainability, and their link to positive health and nutrition outcomes. 

Read more about the symposium here.  


ARoFIIN convened a multi-sectorial dialogue on “Partnerships to Promote Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle in Asia” on the sidelines of the Responsible Business Forum in Singapore. The session, which featured experts from Singapore's Health Promotion Board and A*STAR - Agency for Science, Technology and Research - both ARoFIIN conveners; FrieslandCampina Asia; the Faculty of Human Ecology (FEMA) at Bogor Agricultural University; and Save the Children International, provided a platform to discuss the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with particular reference to Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals. 

Read more about the dialogue here.  


Front-of-Pack (FOP) labelling advocacy: FIA, in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Food Trade and Industry (CIFTI), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has completed a total of four in-country workshops designed to raise awareness of Front-of-Pack (FOP) Guidelines Daily Amount (GDA).

Read more about this advocacy here

 Codex Alimentarius involvement: Throughout the year, FIA was actively engaged in several Codex meetings, such as the Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) which took place 20-24 March in Macao SAR, China, and the Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) that took place in Asuncion, Paraguay. As an official Codex Observer, FIA provided inputs concerning the shaping of international standards that impact the food industry in Asia.

 APEC engagement: FIA was invited to provide industry perspective at the “Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) Workshop on the Modernization of Food Safety Control Systems” in Vietnam, on a panel discussing the challenges in achieving an effective food safety system. Delegates explored ways to underpin collaborations to enhance food safety, facilitate trade and protect consumers in the region.     

 White paper on halal certification: A joint industry mission (FIA, AFBA (spell out acronym) and GAPMMI (spell out acronym)) met with the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. The meeting served as a continuation from the last engagement with the ASEAN Working Group for Halal Food (AWG-HF) that was held in Singapore earlier this year, in which FIA and AFBA first shared an industry initiated-proposal on Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for Halal Certification in ASEAN to the AWG-HF. 

Following the meeting, the Industry White Paper on Halal Certification and Proposed Mutual Recognition Agreement on Foreign Halal Certification Bodies in ASEAN was finalised and will be shared with the ASEAN Working Group for Halal Food (AWG-HF). 


Earlier this year, FIA launched our bi-monthly FIA Bulletin on Sustainability Around the World: Food For the Future, which aims to highlight the food industry’s sustainability efforts, for healthy people and a healthy planet.

Read the bulletin here.  


The Secretariat worked hard in 2017 to ensure we deliver on our strategy and objectives set at the start of the year. Delivering successful outcomes, however, requires your engagement and input as well – on behalf of the team, I would like to thank you for your vital participation and support that made 2017 such a terrific year for FIA. 

We look forward to continued engagement and collaborations in 2018, as FIA makes strides toward achieving even greater success.

Best Regards,
Matt Kovac
Executive Director, Food Industry Asia