Mekong Institute (MI) opens today, August 10, the regional training program on Raising Public Awareness on Safe Food Consumption at the MI Residential Training Center in Khon Kaen, Thailand. Twenty-eight participants from key national agencies and academic institutions from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) are attending the five-day safe food course.
Organized for the second time, the training program is expected to introduce consumer engagement strategies that can be employed to promote food safety awareness in CLMV. The course also targets to strengthen the capacity of local governments to develop and implement practical strategies for developing effective consumer messages and communication strategies for food safety risks and hazards.
During the training’s opening, Mr. Sudam Pawar, Director of the Innovation and Technological Connectivity Department, speaking on behalf of the MI Executive Director, explained that the government plays a central role in ensuring safe food for the public and ultimately, good nutrition. Part of the government’s tasks is making sure that consumers have the right information and knowledge. Addressing the group, he called on them to be agents of change in their respective countries. “We hope you can implement what you learn in this training to make sure that the community is being empowered,” he said.
Sessions will feature discussions on topics like strategies in raising food safety awareness, consumer protection,and food safety incident response to be delivered by regional and international experts: Mr. Michael Smith (AsureQuality, Ltd., New Zealand), Ms. Masami Takeuchi (FAO-Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific), Dr. Jongkolnee Vithayarungruangsri (Ministry of Public Health, Thailand), and Mr. Patiwat Chalermchat (Association for Consumer Protection Khon Kaen). The training is part of MI’s PROSAFE Project: Promoting Safe Food for Everyone, supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP).