December 2013 saw the Second Annual Conference of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) in Singapore. The conference brought together leaders from various governments, companies, international organisations and academics with the aim of improving food safety in middle-income and developing countries. It was a perfect example of how successful partnerships begin, and the potential that partnerships can have when individual leaders share a common vision.

Melanie Vilarasau Slade, Policy Director of FIA, said: “Successful partnerships should be a win-win for all involved. By sharing a common vision, the work can be more efficient and targeted, and the impact can be sustainable and long-lasting. The GFSP strives to bridge the communications gap between the public and private sectors and provides a platform that promotes solid dialogue between businesses, intergovernmental organisations, civil society and centres of learning. With these essential ingredients, this partnership has the immense potential to achieve its goals in the area of food safety but it will require sustained commitment and input from all actors.

In addition to the direct benefits of uniting multiple stakeholders around a common cause, successful global partnerships provide a seed bed for important bilateral and multilateral discussions that would otherwise be difficult to achieve. One such example of a valuable platform was the Food Safety Regional Leadership Dialogue held on 12 December 2013 in the margins of the GFSP Conference. Co-hosted by Waters Corporation, the World Bank and FIA, this high level dialogue session yielded an opportunity for the World Bank, GFSP partners and prominent business leaders to listen to first-hand accounts of successes and challenges of addressing food safety in Asia. This event, while offering a valuable stimulus for meaningful collaboration, had the added bonus of connecting regional actors to the global debate and brought together a diverse set of stakeholders, who together can achieve an outcome for the region that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

 For further details about the Global Food Safety Partnership, please visit the GFSP Website.

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