Building a deeper understanding of food safety governance and control system to accelerate Mekong Countries’ regional and international trade post-pandemic, Mekong Institute (MI) offered the Regional Training Program on Managing Food Safety along the Supply Chain on August 29 to September 2, 2022 at the MI Residential Training Center in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Organized as part of the New Zealand Aid Programme-funded project Promoting Safe Food for Everyone (PROSAFE), the five-day course was designed to raise participants’ awareness on emerging food safety issues and concerns by providing a platform for mutual exchange of knowledge, experience, and skills.
“Food safety is not only at the production stage, but of paramount importance in every stage of the supply chain,” said Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, MI Executive Director, during his opening remarks. He highlighted the importance of the training program in strengthening the supply chain in the region and explained that PROSAFE is one of MI’s initiatives to contribute in achieving global and regional goals and ensuring food security. Mr. Vichitlekarn also encouraged the participants to take advantage of the action planning to identify existing food safety challenges which they can address by using the knowledge and skills they gained from the training.
Twenty six government officials, agri-food operators and exporters, and academics from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) who are currently involved in food production, processing and trade participated in interactive sessions on basic knowledge of food safety and its impact on SDGs and agri-food trade; food safety management tools for different stages of the food supply chain; and best practices in food safety governance. A structured learning visit was conducted at Makro Khon Kaen where participants learned how functional food safety management systems work in a large-scale business.
On the last day of the course, participants presented and submitted action plans that will raise awareness on proper food preparation and handling, capacitate food businesses on food safety, revise food-related curricula in universities and develop localized Standards Operating Procedures (SOPs) based on international standards.
This is the eighth safe food courses organized this year under the PROSAFE Project, which promotes strengthened collaboration among public, private, and academic sectors leading toward demonstrable changes in food safety practices in the region.