Published earlier on: Striking Poverty – Development Dialogue for Global Food Safety
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Authored by: Samuel Godefroy, Global Food Safety Partnership, World Bank – Adj. Professor, Food Risk Analysis and Food Systems, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University Laval, Québec, QC.
Access to clean water and clean air is a fundamental human right. Similarly, access to safe food is another necessity. Food safety is a condition for food availability and therefore for food security.
Beyond the clear public health benefits expected as a result of compliance with food safety requirements, enhanced food safety is a prerequisite to consumer confidence and therefore to market access. Consumers around the world demand access to safe food and are increasingly aware of and sensitive to existing and emerging food safety risks. Food and food products are also amongst the most traded commodities domestically and internationally. Safety of food products is therefore a condition for economic development and prosperity.
The case for upgrading food safety practices globally and across the entire supply chain, from farm to fork, is self-evident and does not require further demonstration. As the World Health Organisation is dedicating the focus of World Health Day on April 7th, 2015 to food safety, it is important to highlight the need for more efforts and resources to food safety capacity building initiatives globally, if we are to achieve public health and human development goals across the world.
The Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP), initiated in 2012 with the endorsement of a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders (governments, industry and international organisations) is a unique opportunity to help achieve these goals. The unique public-private nature of this partnership model aims to enhance coordination and alignment, to act across the entire food supply chain, to ensure consistency of dissemination of food safety practices, and to magnify impacts of existing efforts in food safety capacity building. The objective is to lead to sustainable access to capacity building resources for all stakeholders and partners in middle and low-income countries that help convergence with international food standards and therefore contribute to protect consumers’ health and prevent impediments in the food trade globally.