Marking the start of PROSAFE initiatives for the World Food Safety Day celebration, Mekong Institute (MI) launched a 10-day Regional Training Program on Preservation and Packaging for Safer Food, which will run from June 5-16, 2023 at the Mekong Institute Residential Training Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
With the aim of improving food safety and quality across the region, the program will feature the latest food preservation technologies and sustainable packaging methods. It will enhance participants' knowledge and comprehension of food preservation technologies and the available options for packaging and labeling, encouraging the use of best practices to boost the safety, quality, and sustainability of agri-food products.
“With the growing demand for safer and more efficient food production and supply chain management, there is a need for proper food preservation and packaging techniques to ensure food safety. This is particularly relevant in the Mekong countries of Southeast Asia, where agriculture is a key economic sector,” stated Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia during her opening remarks. She added that a training program on preservation and packaging is essential to ensure that agri-food businesses in the Mekong region comply with international food safety standards, encourage innovation, and improve product competitiveness and market access.
The training course brings together 29 representatives from the agri-food and academic sectors in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV). It will cover seven modules that encompass various aspects of food safety, including an introduction to food safety concepts, food preservation techniques for safer food, considerations in selecting appropriate food preservation methods, regulatory aspects related to food preservation, different types of food packaging materials, and the trends in sustainable food packaging.
Recognizing the significant impact of packaging waste, particular attention will be given to sustainable packaging methods and materials during the course. Participants will be exposed to innovative approaches that aim to address the environmental challenges posed by food packaging.
With support from the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP), PROSAFE has been building a food safety culture in CLMV through capacity-building programs, knowledge-sharing events, and networking activities over the last five years.