To further build the capacity of food safety trainers in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV) in planning and designing effective food safety training programs, Mekong Institute (MI) organized the Regional Training of Trainers for Safer Food under its project Promoting Safe Food for Everyone (PROSAFE), from March 27 to 31, 2023 at the MI Training Centre in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
“The food sector is evolving. Food production and distribution are advancing as cross-border trade transforms into a multifunction system. Agricultural produce from one place can be as available as ready-to-eat food in another in a matter of hours,” stated the Mekong Institute Executive Director, Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, in his opening remarks. Imparting food technologies is not enough to contribute to agriculture sector development and become an advanced global business hub by 2030, he pointed out, adding, “MI is keen to capacitate more food stakeholders to ensure that there are champions who will work together as one strong network of food safety advocates beyond the project.”
The five-day course delivered five modules that provided participants from CLMV with food safety risks and standards, as well as strategies for participatory planning, design, monitoring and evaluating training programs for safer food.
Included in the modules were structured learning visits to familiarize the participants with complex food safety concepts and issues and to learn best practices they can incorporate in developing food safety courses. At the end of the course, trainees presented their proposed action plans which are expected to promote more localized training programs in CLMV.
PROSAFE is a five-year project supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP) to build regional and local competence and provide support services to local government, private sector, and academic institutes to address the food safety issues in CLMV. The project hopes to strengthen the collaboration among key food safety actors and put in place integrated mechanisms leading toward significant changes in food safety perception and practices in the region.