As part of today’s World Health Day celebration, which this year is dedicated to food safety, there is a clear acknowledgement of the public health implications and the burden of disease associated with food safety incidents.
Lower food safety standards and repeated food safety incidents
have a negative impact on countries’ gross domestic products (GDP) and
contribute to weakening the competitive position of producers, particularly in
countries where the agriculture and the agri-food sectors plays a significant
role in the economy, which is the case of most developing nations.
Unreliable food safety systems deepen the gap between so-called
developed and developing nations.
In a global food supply chain, where sourcing of ingredients
covers the entire world, disparities in food safety management measures
increase costs to operators because of trust issues, which translate into additional prevention control mechanisms and remediation measures. This in turn, contributes to potential trade disruptions and barriers. Furthermore, when
remediation measures are taken hastily as a result of a food safety crisis, even with the intent to upgrade capacity, they may be made too restrictive, not being risk-based and not necessarily in line with international standards.
It is therefore easy to see how investing in food safety capacity building results in real savings, both to public health and to the economy.
Investing proactively in food safety capacity building makes good business sense.
Hopefully, with this year’s momentum thanks to the World Health Day being dedicated to Food Safety, we will witness increased interest in our collective ability to invest in global initiatives such as the World Bank’ Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP), as a key convener and catalyst for
greater capacity building in food safety worldwide.
One thought on “Celebrating World Health Day dedicated to # FoodSafety : Investing in Capacity Building is a Smart Decision”
Thank you for your incisive article. The dedication of this year’s World Health Day to Food Safety emphasizes it’s global importance and is a step in the right direction. The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) had encouraged members to share their experiences and also mark the day with activities to create awareness on food safety nationally which I think was a very good idea. I believe that many counties organized activities to create awareness and educate their people. Creation of awareness on the economic impact and health implications of food safety hazards coupled with capacity building efforts would, in my mind, begin to address the gap between food safety management systems of the developed and developing countries. Farmers in developing countries , for example, definitely desire increased earnings and better living standards therefore making the connection between good agricultural practices and economic and health benefits that would accrue to them will make a lot of sense to them and encourage good practices.