Aiming for a permanent platform to promote partnership in food safety, security and sustainability – #WorldFoodForum

logo-worldfooforum  Aiming for a permanent platform to promote partnership and cooperation in food safety, security and sustainability

By Samuel Godefroy, Ph.D. – Professor, Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Systems, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University Laval, Québec, QC. Canada

Published earlier on: World Food Forum Website on August 19th, 2015

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 and availability of food products is therefore a condition for and a demonstration of economic development and prosperity. Innovation in the food and agri-food sector, the development of trends aiming to enhance the sustainability of food production, to decrease its environmental impacts and its energy consumption requirements are also interrelated with food safety, food security, food quality and consumer concerns.

Having the 2015 Universal Exhibition currently hosted by the city of Milan, Italy, fully dedicated to the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life offers the unique opportunity for a platform of dialogue, exchange, and stronger leadership in identifying and analyzing trends and emerging issues, in sharing best practices and in promoting collaboration and partnership to address challenges in food safety, food security and sustainability and to support research and innovation in the food and agri-food sector.

The opportunity to hold a World Food Forum scheduled for September 22-23, part of Milan Expo 2015 is visionary in many respects. This platform offers to convene national and international food policy makers, food regulators, international and development organizations, food business leaders, the Finance, Science, Research and Innovation community, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It offers to become a permanent platform for dialogue amongst leaders of the food sector to promote partnerships and collaboration. For a number of actions that address food safety, food security and sustainability, the mobilization of all sectors (public, private, academia, NGOs) and the creation of partnership are key to success. In following the principle that dialogue is a prerequisite to multi-sectorial action in response to multi-faceted challenges, I am hopeful that this new Forum will:

  • enable and stimulate strategic engagement, policy discussions and dialogue on challenges and opportunities of the food sector, with a particular focus on sharing best practices and lessons learnt from partnership initiatives in food safety, food security and sustainability, as well as food research and innovation
  • promote leadership in the development of robust partnerships, concerted action and more investments to address challenges in food safety, security, sustainability and innovation.

Food is such an important determinant of human health and human prosperity that we owe it to ourselves to make this Forum a successful platform for such cooperation.

Looking forward to meet the Forum participants in Milan, at the World Food Forum inaugural meeting held in September 22-23, 2014.

#WorldFoodForum: An opportunity to develop momentum for #foodsafety initiatives globally

The World Food (Research and Innovation) Forum is an initiative of the Emilia-Romagna Region, in Italy, aimed to create a permanent platform available to national and international policy makers, the science, research, business and investment communities to gather, share and develop strategies and initiatives to support food security and food safety globally.

logo-worldfooforum

The forum is intended to be launched as a biennial event dedicated to food-related issues as part of the legacy of EXPO Milano 2015 : “Feeding the Planet, Energy for life”, with a first edition to be held on 22-23 September 2015 at the Italian Pavilion of the Expo.

As part of the preparation for this event, I am honoured to chair a meeting of experts held in Brussels on March 26th to discuss trends, areas of priority, emerging food safety issues and opportunities where this forum can serve as an international platform to bring together food safety partners and stakeholders to promote food safety globally.

A few areas of discussions have already been identified including How food safety promotion can be an engine for innovation and how food safety capacity building efforts can be developed and promoted at the global scale.

I look forward to engaging with colleagues and peers at tomorrow’s discussions.

Samuel Godefroy, Ph.D. – Personal opinion / input

Global Food Safety Capacity Building addresses both public health and economic development imperatives.

Published earlier on: Striking Poverty – Development Dialogue for Global Food Safety

Please feel free to join the conversation at the above mentioned link.

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.

GFSP-logo

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.