More media professionals and communication officers in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Vietnam were capacitated on transforming food safety contents into newsworthy publication during the Regional Media Training on Communicating Food Safety, a training program under the Promoting Safe Food for Everyone (PROSAFE) project, which took place from June 27 to July 1 at the Mekong Institute Training Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
“With the challenge of communication practitioners on making food safety-related issues more accessible to the public, this regional media training program is designed to address the challenge of limited mass media coverage on food safety stories in the region,” Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Director of Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department of Mekong Institute, shared in her opening remarks. Aside from providing a brief on the salient features of the course, she encouraged the participants to contribute in building a food safety culture in their respective countries.
Contributing in the efforts of the Mekong Region to promote food safety, the training program provided a mutual platform for media and development communication practitioners to enhance their skills in popularizing food safety stories, studies and scientific development, and to exchange knowledge and best practices in covering, writing and pitching food safety contents. A few government agencies that are in-charge of food safety also participated in the course.
Supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP), the five-day training program consisted four modules which provided knowledge on the science of food safety, the importance of providing relevant information about this topic to the public and strategies and tools in developing stories for publication. A total of 23 participants submitted one content plan each which are scheduled to be published from August to October of this year. Most of the topics are about the importance of food safety in schools, dynamics of organic agriculture and food safety, cost of rising foodborne illnesses in CLV, roles of women in the food safety landscape, and access to safe food in the region.
This regional media training program is one of the two PROSAFE training courses on communication that are set for 2022. The PROSAFE project will continue to strengthen food safety capabilities of agri-food supply chain stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam up to mid-2023.