Regional food safety transformation: Reflections from Africa, Asia and Latin America 

Experts and leaders in food safety from global regions reflected on the progress of food safety efforts and current actions underway during a recent webinar.

This webinar -  Accelerating Action for Food Safety Transformation in Africa, Asia and Latin America - was hosted by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and moderated by Steve Wearne, Director of Global Affairs at the UK Food Standards Agency and Vice Chair of Codex Alimentarius Commission. The panel was comprised of experts from around the world with experience across government, business and civil society, including: Dr. Amare Ayalew, Program Manager of the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) at the African Union Commission (AUC), Ana Marisa Cordera, Agricultural Health and Food Safety Acting Manager at the Inter American Institute of Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and Dr. Phuc Pham-Duc, Coordinator for Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN).  



Five food safety priority areas were presented and reflected upon, with consideration of the realities of politics, financing, scalability, inclusivity and gaps in capacity and infrastructure: 

  1. Measurement and food safety data 

  1. Regulatory structures and capabilities 

  1. National food safety and investment for domestic consumption and public health 

  1. Capacity for analysis and laboratory infrastructure 

  1. Consumer and vendor knowledge 

Human capacity development, effective coordination mechanisms, and solid evidence and data for food safety were identified as factors that increased action for food safety. Some of the challenges identified included weak implementation due to fragmented coordination, as well as the need for active participation and sustainable commitments across sectors and levels of actors in order to foster a culture of food safety.  

“No one sector can solve a global problem. We need multi-sector collaboration to solve the issues that arise around food safety” said Dr. Phuc Pham-Duc. 

As for what’s next, panelists highlighted the need to increase focus on efforts beyond export and trade, which includes special attention to domestic food safety both in policy and practice. Addressing gaps, such as workforce capacity and training, is necessary to improve food safety data and implementation of these efforts. 

To watch the recording, visit Regional Food Safety Transformation: Reflections from Africa, Asia and Latin America . For more information on GAIN’s food safety work, check out EatSafe: Evidence and Action for Safe, Nutritious Food