Vientiane – With support from the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP), MI and the Food and Drug Department (FDD) of Lao PDR’s Ministry of Health (MOH) hosted a PROSAFE workshop on “Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) Standard for Food SMEs in Lao PDR” from July 17 to 18, 2023. Attended by 35 representatives from food SMEs and relevant government officials from MOH, the workshop sought to deepen participants’ understanding of food safety hazards and effective control measures as well as strengthen compliance with food safety standards. It aims to foster consumer trust and bolster the market competitiveness of food businesses through enhanced stakeholder knowledge of GHP standard, processes, and requirements.
“Ensuring food safety is a collaborative effort. It demands a shared responsibility among various stakeholders, including governments, food producers, and consumers. Each party plays a crucial role in safeguarding the safety of the food supply chain, ensuring that the products available for consumption are of the highest standard,” stated FDD Director-General, Dr. Bounxou Keohavong, in his opening remarks. “This workshop provides a timely opportunity for SMEs in Lao PDR to elevate the quality and safety of their products, which should help improve market access and protect consumer health” he added.
The workshop was an offshoot of Lao PDR’s World Food Safety Day (WFSD) celebration on June 7, 2023 and was organized to address stakeholders’ specific needs in obtaining GHP certification.
MI’s PROSAFE project aims to strengthen food safety capabilities of agri-food supply chain stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV). Specifically, PROSAFE promotes food safety through a coordinated approach towards knowledge and skills development. Apart from addressing country-identified training needs, the project builds strong partnerships and collaboration between the public and the private sectors.