The Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) has made good progress across the three pillars of engagement outlined in the Partnership’s five-year Roadmap , according to the World Bank’s second quarterly update on the GFSP’s activities.

The Partnership, launched in Paris in December 2012, is a unique platform facilitated by the World Bank to improve the safety of the global food supply chain, by seeking collaboration between public and private sectors to address global gaps in food safety capacity. Since its soft launch in December, the GFSP has been focused on implementing training programs; ‘scaling up’ capacity building efforts at a global and regional level and facilitating new capacity building programmes.

With a scope of work that “seeks to engage multiple stakeholders through engaging them in meaningful discussions and training programs on the safety of food in the supply chain”, activity across a range of areas including capacity building, communication and stakeholder engagement have been recently completed, are currently underway or planned for implementation.

Recently completed training and capacity building initiatives have focused on upskilling small-hold farmers and small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) in two important areas of supply chain management – Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP).

The HACCP module was delivered in three of the six GFSP’s beneficiary country partners – Vietnam, Malaysia and China – in May and June this year. The HACCP is a preventive system for the control of health threatening biological, chemical, and physical food hazards during food processing and aims to help SMEs and small hold farmers mitigate food safety risks before they occur. This module has also been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese, and will be further piloted in other countries including Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil and Zambia, in the coming year.

Good aquaculture practices (GAqPs) are a series of considerations, procedures, and protocols designed to foster efficient and responsible aquaculture production. The GAqP training module has been translated into Bahasa Indonesia and will be further refined and rolled-out globally, to improve the final product quality, safety, and environmental sustainability.

Building on these initiatives, the Partnership is now developing workshops and training modules for areas such as Food Safety Incident Management, Risk Analysis and Food Safety Regulatory Systems. It is also in discussions with a number of organisations and key stakeholders to determine best approaches to help build capacity in on-farm quality assurance and good agricultural practices and plans to roll out a number of modules in late 2014.

Recognising the critical work that the GFSP has been established to achieve, since March 2013, ten new partners have joined the GFSP. This includes the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Global GAP; Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) in UK. The addition of these partners builds on an already strong network of global partners, including FIA.

FIA Chief Scientific Officer, Kim Leighton said it is encouraging to see the significant progress the GFSP has made since its launch in December 2012.

“The GFSP is now regarded as the go-to place for discussing global issues concerning food safety. It is very encouraging to see that much progress has taken place over the last few months to identify capacity building gaps in food safety and to promote good food safety practices across the world.

“The progress that has been made also represents the significance of public-private collaboration in addressing and supporting an important global issue such as food safety. FIA is currently working with the GFSP Secretariat on preparations for its second annual conference in Singapore and we will be liaising with the team at Massey University in New Zealand on engagement with the working groups.

“We are proud to be part of the GFSP and look forward to continuing to work with our global and regional stakeholders to help the GFSP achieve its objectives in strengthening food safety capacity,” he said.

FIA will co-host a dinner debate on 23 October in Singapore, where senior leaders from the food and beverage sector will have an opportunity to meet Mr Juergen Voegele, Director for Agriculture and Environmental Services at the World Bank, who will describe the role of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) and how governments, companies and civil society can work together to address today’s food safety challenges. To register for this event please visit this link.

The 2nd Annual GFSP Conference will also be taking place from 9-13 December in Singapore. For more information, please visit the GFSP website.

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