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    UNIS/OUS/306
    11 September 2015

    Re-issued as received

    Food safety for social inclusiveness, sustainability and industrial development on agenda of Vienna Forum

    VIENNA, 11 September (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - Coordinated efforts to prevent, detect and respond to foodborne diseases, and the benefits of safe food for social inclusiveness, sustainability and industrial development were on the agenda of the first Vienna Food Safety Forum that took place in the Austrian capital today.

    The event, organized as part of a partnership between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), was attended by over 160 participants from some 50 countries, representing a wide spectrum of stakeholders engaged in food safety governance and the food industry.

    Participants highlighted the importance of the global governance of food regulatory systems, the industry-wide cooperation in capacity building, and showcased global best practices in the field. Representatives of the CFDA presented their most recent food safety policy and regulations. The latest changes in the dairy industry and new possibilities for further improvements were also discussed.

    "To overcome global food safety challenges, we need to bring together the public and private sector, academia and international organizations and jointly deliver global solutions. An adequate response will require the different strengths and expertise of each partner: from applying various instruments in regulation and research to better education and the use of improved technology," said UNIDO Director General, LI Yong.

    He added that UNIDO had a long track record in food safety-related capacity-building along the entire food processing value chain. The Organization assists agro-processors in upgrading their food safety standards, and supports the strengthening of the national quality infrastructure, such as standards bodies, regulatory authorities and conformity assessment services. Testing, inspection or certification services are needed to verify that products are safe for human consumption.

    Commending the partnerships with UNIDO which helped organize the Vienna Food Safety Forum, Bi Jingquan, Minister, China Food and Drug Administration, added: "In times when China is undertaking very significant efforts to modernize its food safety governance, the cooperation with UNIDO is a very precious asset, both for the local food safety capacity-building and for sharing China's experiences with the international community".

    At the country and regional level, UNIDO has supported countries such as Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan to overcome export bans for their food products in the European Union, the United States and other regulated markets.

    At global level, UNIDO has been actively involved as a member and key partner of the Global Food Safety Initiative's (GFSI) food safety capacity-building programme. Over the past six years, projects have been implemented in Egypt, India, Malaysia and Ukraine, in partnership with a number of GFSI private sector company members such as Metro, AEON and Pick N Pay.

    UNIDO has been an active partner of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) since its inception, and has worked closely with the World Bank Group and GFSP partners such as Mars Incorporated, Waters, Food Industry Asia, and the US Food and Drug Administration to advance food safety collaboration.

    UNIDO and the China Food and Drug Administration are expected to launch a joint technical cooperation project to further strengthen the CFDA's technical capacities.

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    For more information, please contact:

    UNIDO Trade Capacity-Building Branch
    Email: tcb[at]unido.org