In an effort to establish a network of skilled and capable safe food trainers in the region, Mekong Institute (MI) brings together key government, university, and private sector representatives for the Regional Training of Trainers on Food Safety Promotion. The one-week training program, which opened today, July 9, is part of the recently launched Food Safety Project implemented by MI with assistance from the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP).
A total of 20 delegates from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam—most of whom joined the MI safe food courses last year—are participating in the training program. The course seeks to train the participants in planning and designing effective food safety training programs in their respective countries.
In the opening ceremony today, Ms. Maria Theresa Medialdia, Director of MI’s Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department, welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of strengthening regional and local expertise in addressing the most pressing food safety issues in the region. “The main goal of the Food Safety Project is to develop a safe food culture along the various stages of the value chain. But MI cannot do this alone. It is important to create and support a network of CLMV trainers who can design and deliver effective training programs on food safety and in the future become independent and capable of rolling out food safety courses in [their] respective countries,” she explained.
She further remarked that the training is only the beginning of what MI envisions to be a “regular knowledge sharing” among experts and that hopefully, it can lead to more fruitful engagements wherein participants can share their expertise in future localized trainings in their countries.
This one-week training program is among the first courses to be organized under the second phase of MI’s Food Safety Project. Re-branded as PROSAFE: Promoting Safe Food for Everyone, 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.