The Singapore Government announced it will be joining the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) at the Partnership’s second annual conference, emphasizing the need for a collaborative and holistic approach to tackling food safety challenges in Asia, and around the world.

The GFSP is a unique public-private partnership led by World Bank that is focused on improving the safety of food worldwide, with a particular focus on middle income and developing countries. Bringing together farmers; businesses; governments; international development organisations; and academics from around the world, the GFSP drives a globally-coordinated and locally-driven approach to strengthening food safety capacity building efforts at global and regional levels.

During his opening address at the meeting, Singapore Minister of State for the Ministry of National Development Mr Desmond Lee said: “All of us here today share a common goal – to address global issues on food safety holistically, and to reaffirm our commitment to building capabilities to address food safety challenges, both domestically and internationally.

“Considering the risks and challenges facing food safety, relying only on Government regulation is clearly not sufficient. There is a need for more. This is why Singapore is joining the Global Food Safety Partnership to co-operate and collaborate with overseas regulators, the private sector and the academia to boost food safety in Singapore and around the world,” he said.

Today’s increasingly globalised supply chain, and advances in food processing and manufacturing, has meant that the distribution of food from farm to fork has become more complex. This presents new challenges in ensuring food safety, particularly for countries like Singapore which imports nearly 90 per cent of the food consumed.

Juergen Voegele, Director for Agriculture and Environmental Services at the World Bank, welcomed Singapore’s participation in the GFSP.

“Safe food should not be a luxury for so many at our global table. Everyone involved in the global food chain has an obligation to ensure food safety.

“Working together, we can do a lot to build a healthier future through better food safety,” he said.

Minister Lee joined a number of international leaders from Government, Academia and Industry at the opening plenary of the GFSP conference on Thursday 12 December, including Lou Valdez, Associate Commissioner of the US FDA; Mr Teng Jiacai, Vice Minister of China FDA; Mr Ren Wang, Assistant Director General of FAO; Dr Leon Bruner, Senior Vice President for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Science Officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA); and Ms Bev Postma, Executive Director of Food Industry Asia (FIA).

More information on the GFSP is available here.

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