Mekong Institute (MI), with the support of the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP), launches today, June 21, the five-day Regional Training Program on Food Safety Management Tools for Food Manufacturing at the MI Residential Training Center. The program is the first in a series of food safety training programs organized under the PROSAFE Project: Promoting Safe Food for Everyone.
Aimed at building the technical capacity of participants on global food safety standards, the training program targets to enhance participants’ understanding of the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) based on Codex Alimentarius.
The current running course has gathered 28 food safety stakeholders, including government representatives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) who are responsible for developing food safety regulations, as well as researchers, lecturers, and agri-food processing companies interested in adopting GMP.
Participants will be introduced to the basics of food safety, food safety hazards and controls, good manufacturing practices and legal frameworks governing food safety standards. At the end of the training, it is hoped that participants especially government officials will be able effectively implement and monitor food safety control program in the food processing sector, and for agro-food processors to identify their challenges, options and opportunities in the implementation of food safety management systems.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, MI Executive Director Dr. Watcharas Leelawath explained that the training and the PROSAFE Project in general build on the success of the project’s first phase. This time, the intention is to “see the tangible outcome from the training activities.” Reiterating the invaluable role of the training participants as change agents, he further added, “After you finish the course, you can now make the real change in your respective countries. We will follow up with you on your action plan because…we [want to] look at the outcome and impact of the knowledge that you can adopt and adapt in your countries.” He likewise extended his appreciation to the New Zealand Government through NZAP, one of MI’s long-standing partners, for their continued support to the activities of the Institute.
The PROSAFE Project, the second phase of the MI Food Safety Project, seeks to strengthen technical support and scale-up regional and local capacity building initiatives to further promote food safety in CLMV. In the next five years, the project hopes to further engage key actors from both the public and private sectors and put in place an integrated mechanism leading toward significant changes in food safety perception and practices in the region.