Mekong Institute (MI) has vowed to create awareness and build the technical capacity of key actors in the food processing industry in implementing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point or HACCP, an internationally recognized food safety management system for identifying and controlling foodborne hazards along the food value chain.
The Agricultural Development and Commercialization (ADC) Department of MI designed the Regional Training Program on HACCP Essentials for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Food Sector, a 5-day course that ran from November 7-11, 2022 at the MI Residential Training Center in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
“Despite the known benefits of compliance with the HACCP system, some businesses, especially food SMEs, encounter difficulties in applying and using the tool due to additional implementation costs and a lack of technical expertise,” said ADC Director Maria Theresa Medialdia as she explained the rationale behind the course at the opening ceremony of the training program on Nov. 7, 2022.
The course provided stakeholders from food processing organizations, faculties of universities teaching food safety standards, and government officials providing support to food SMEs with comprehensive modules and practical exercises to enhance their professional capability in establishing and implementing the HACCP system. MI aims to provide the participants with the essentials and technical know-how to incorporate the HACCP principles into their businesses' food safety management systems.
Ms. Medialdia emphasized the need for a strong commitment from all prime movers in the entire food value chain – from production to consumption – to address issues on food safety. “It is imperative to have a whole-of-society approach in promoting a food safety culture where farmers produce, the food business industry serves, and consumers demand safe food,” she added.
A total of 26 participants from CLMV completed the training program and are expected to implement their respective action plans related to the HACCP system application, which they developed as part of the course.
Mr. Shane Hopgood, Managing Director of Assured Food Safety Ltd., and Ms. Ratna Devi Nadarajan, MI’s Food Safety Specialist, served as resource persons for the course.
The training program is one of the food safety courses offered by MI under the PROSAFE Project (Promoting Safe Food for Everyone) supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme since 2016.