Mekong Institute (MI), with support from the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP), is organizing a 10-day regional training program on “Preservation and Packaging for Safer Food” from November 28 - December 9, 2022.
The regional training, organized as part of the PROSAFE - Promoting Safe Food for Everyone project, is targeted largely at the agri-food sector in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam. Attended by 30 participants from these countries, the training program aims to strengthen the knowledge and understanding of various food preservation and packaging technologies and labeling systems. At the same time, the training program will promote the application of best practices in enhancing the safety, quality, and sustainability of agri-food products to increase their competitive advantage and expand market access.
“As the CLMV Framework for Development aims to ensure high safety standards in producing and exporting food and agricultural products, value addition in agri-food products becomes indispensable. Value addition in agri-food calls for the application of various food preservation techniques and technologies to enable the culinary extravaganza of CLMV countries to be shared with global consumers minus the food safety hazards. The right packaging further strengthens the role of food preservation in keeping food safe, presentable and edible when it reaches the consumers,” said Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, the Executive Director of Mekong Institute, in his opening remarks.
The ten-day training covered eight modules: the basics of preservation and packaging, important preservation techniques and technologies, types of packaging and food contact materials, and food labeling. As food packaging has become a key contributor to the increase in packaging waste and plastic debris, participants were introduced to sustainable packaging solutions and materials. The training is designed to ensure participants internalize the fact that food preservation and packaging will only be effective if such safety standards as good manufacturing practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point or HACCP are complied with.
Participants are expected to share their product profiles and seek ideas from resource persons invited from Massey University (New Zealand), Kasetsart University (Thailand), and Universiti Putra Malaysia to effectively address shelf-life and quality challenges.
The regional training on ‘Preservation and Packaging for Safer Food’ is one of the activities organized under the PROSAFE project to enhance the food safety capabilities of agri-food stakeholders from the public and private sectors in CLMV.