The Global Food Safety Capacity Building fund, which will be managed by the World Bank, was announced at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings where Waters Corporation, Mars Incorporated and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) pledged their support.
Using APEC’s current food safety training programmes and the World Bank’s global reach, the fund will develop training programmes, address high priority food hazards and strengthen the overall competency of food testing methods.
Food supply chains are growing more global, meaning that “a food safety crisis that originates in one region or country can so rapidly become a crisis in others,” said World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
Global economic impact
“Food safety issues increasingly bear a major impact upon economies, public health and food security around the world. Each impact has its own issues and consequences, and as the global economy becomes more interdependent, the impacts become heightened.”
“The fund will raise awareness of the importance of food safety capacity building, develop policy and economic analysis, identify best practices and mobilise and target funding for activities worldwide.”
The fund, which is hoping for further contributions from government and industry, will seek to improve understanding in food safety throughout the global supply chain.
The proposed fund, which aims to raise $15-20m over the next 10 years, will build on the Memorandum of Understanding between the APEC Food Safety Cooperation and the World Bank, which was agreed earlier this year.
The APEC-World Bank collaboration was agreed in May 2011 with the aim of improving food safety competencies, lab proficiency, and risk-based management systems in APEC economies before being globally implemented.
Understand food standards
“To really improve food safety and improve food supplies for everyone, we must work cooperatively on a global basis in the most efficient way possible,” said Dr. Rohit Khanna, vice president of worldwide marketing for Waters Corporation, a food safety analytical company.
“In order to have confidence that the food on our plate is safe to eat, we need to trust the results from food testing.”
“Teaching the science behind food safety, teaching the best and latest methods, teaching how to read results and understand whether food meets standards, this is core to who Waters is and a key component to a comprehensive food safety programme.”