UNIDO And GFSI Sign MoU To Signal Commitment To Food Safety

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 | 544 Views

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to signal their commitment to a large-scale partnership for food safety at a gathering of the world’s consumer goods industry leaders at the CGF Global Summit in South Africa.

The partnership is to develop food safety capacity building projects in a number of key regions in the global food supply network, starting with China, Southeast Asia and Africa, before continuing in further regions. The programme will be based on the GFSI Global Markets programme, which sets out how small or less developed food companies can meet the challenge of food safety and gain market access. It will also follow the UNIDO model of Sustainable Supplier Development programme (SSDP).

In China, the partnership aims to scale up food safety capacity building for local food enterprises throughout China in line with the SSDP. There are also plans to establish the China Food Safety Initiative (CFSI). In Southeast Asia, the aim is to initiate a regional SSDP programme, scaling up the UNIDO-AEON Malaysia SSDP programme into a multi-country and multi-buyer initiative. In Africa, the project will benefit from a strong UNIDO presence to design and build a joint UNIDO-GFSI multi-country, multi-buyer project for Africa on capacity building.

Commenting on the new partnership, Philippe Scholtès, managing director, programme development and technical cooperation at UNIDO, said: “The World Health Organization estimates that up to 600 million people fall ill every year after eating contaminated food. Our collaboration with GFSI will further strengthen and promote multiple benefits of safe food for social inclusiveness, sustainability and industrial development.”

Mike Robach, chair of the GFSI board of directors said: “We are very enthusiastic about the potential to have a bigger impact in these key regions thanks to this collaboration with UNIDO. Multi-sector collaboration is the way forward in achieving food safety across borders and barriers. Our joint efforts within this partnership will take us further and faster towards our vision of safe food for consumers, everywhere.”