In celebration of the World Food Safety Day (WFSD) 2023, Mekong Institute (MI) and the Institute of Biotechnology and Food Technology of the Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City (IUH) organized a PROSAFE Forum on “Ensuring Trust and Safety: Regulatory Framework and Food Safety Standards in Packaging and Labeling” on June 9, 2023 in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
“Food packaging and labeling in Viet Nam face several concerns that need to be addressed in order to improve industry practices and ensure consumer safety. This forum focuses on the regulatory framework and food safety standards, and explores the significance of effective packaging and labeling management and practices in protecting consumer health and building trust in the food supply chain,” Ms. Maria Theresa Medialdia, Director of MI’s Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department, emphasized in her opening remarks. She encouraged the participants to use the forum as an opportunity to take stock of the current trends as well as the challenges in terms of regulatory compliance, food safety standards, and labeling requirements.
Consistent with this year’s WFSD theme, “Food Standards Save Lives”, the forum delved into the critical aspects of packaging and labeling within the agri-food industry and their role in protecting consumer health.
“The importance of this forum in Vietnam cannot be overstated given the dramatic growth in our food industry. Concerns over food safety, labeling accuracy, and consumer trust have also come to the forefront, making today’s event essential to explore and find viable solutions to these issues,” Dr. Nguyen Ba Thanh, Director of the IUH Institute of Biotechnology and Food Technology, stated during his welcome remarks.
The forum likewise explored partnerships and collaborations among stakeholders in policy recommendations,the monitoring of practices , and research and technology application to support the development of safer and more transparent food systems.
Joining the event as speakers were representatives from regulatory bodies, food industry experts, packaging professionals, and consumer advocacy groups. Participants were treated to a suite of informative presentations, interactive panel discussions, and networking opportunities to foster meaningful collaborations.
PROSAFE, or Promoting Safe Food for Everyone, is a five-year food safety project implemented by Mekong Institute with the support of the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP). The project seeks to strengthen the food safety capabilities of agri-food supply chain stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV).