VIENNA, 11 October 2013 – The first Technical Working Group meetings of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) successfully drew to a close at UNIDO’s headquarter today.
The meeting achieved its objectives to build the Road Map for scaling up the Global Markets Capacity Building Programme, to identify the future interventions of the GFSP, as well as to reinforce UNIDO’s role as an implementing partner of GFSP in securing global food safety. The meetings were attended by more than 30 experts representing international organizations, private multinational companies, industry associations and Universities.
“Food safety is a global public good that requires local solutions in close collaboration between the public and private sectors, based on globally applicable principles. Improving food safety globally would contribute significantly to economic development, facilitating trade, improving public health, and mitigating global food and nutrition security risks,’’ said Philippe Sholtes, Officer-in-Charge of UNIDO's Programme and Technical Cooperation Division.
A preparatory meeting, organized by UNIDO on the 9 October, brought together 15 experts from organizations and companies, including the World Bank, IFC, the Global Food Safety Initiative, Coca-Cola, Cargill and the Michigan State University. They exchanged experiences in implementing the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Food Safety Protocol. UNIDO experts presented an overview of the experience the Organization gained and lessons learnt in implementing the Protocol as part of its capacity-building programme in Egypt, Malaysia and Zambia.
The multi-stakeholder GFSP is a major food safety initiative, established in 2012 with seed funding from the World Bank, the Netherlands, the United States, Waters Corporation and Mars Incorporated. It is a unique public-private partnership dedicated to reducing food safety risks and facilitating trade of agri-food products. It brings together relevant stakeholders to collectively address critical capacity-building gaps through the establishment of an innovative open-source-knowledge-sharing community. It also recognizes that all stakeholders play an important roles in improving global food safety systems and in supporting better access to domestic and global food markets, and represents a new paradigm for collaboration across the public, private and service provider sectors.
Since the inception of the GFSP, UNIDO has been actively involved in establishing the partnership, and has been identified as one of the key implementing partners due to its effective contribution to global food safety.
UNIDO programme officer, Ali Badarneh, said that "as an implementing partner in the GFSP, UNIDO is in an excellent position to support the formulation of a series of technical assistance projects in food safety-related areas and in cooperation with other partners such as FAO, IFC and GFSI.’’
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UNIDO Programme Officer