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    UNIS/OUS/342
    16 June 2016

    Re-issued as received

    Strategic partnership between UNIDO and Global Food Safety Initiative announced

    VIENNA/CAPETOWN, 15 June (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) - A new partnership aimed at advancing food safety in several regions, including in Africa, China, Middle East and Southeast Asia, was today sealed on the sidelines of a gathering of the world's consumer goods industry leaders at the Consumer Goods Forum Summit taking place in South Africa.

    The United Nations Industrial Development Organization ( UNIDO) and the Global Food Safety Initiative ( GFSI) signed a memorandum of understanding on jointly developing food safety capacity building projects.

    In Africa, UNIDO's strong field presence will help develop a UNIDO-GFSI multi-country, multi-buyer project on capacity building.

    In China, the new partnership will build on UNIDO's ongoing strategic cooperation with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). It will help scale up food safety capacity building for local food enterprises in line with the Sustainable Supplier Development Programme (SSDP). The initiative will be designed in partnership with CFDA, Food Industry Asia (FIA) and the World Bank-led Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP).

    In South East Asia, the initiation of a regional SSDP programme is foreseen. It will scale up the existing UNIDO-AEON Malaysia SSDP programme into a multi-country, and multi-buyer initiative in cooperation with Food Industry Asia (FIA).

    In the Middle East, UNIDO and GFSI will coordinate their efforts for enhancing the role of the private sector in the regional food safety harmonization platform established with the support of UNIDO under a regional project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

    The partnership will also benefit from the GFSI Global Markets Programme, which sets out how small or less developed food companies can meet the challenge of food safety and gain market access. The programme was furthered developed by UNIDO and was integrated into its  full-fledged SSDP.

    Commenting on the new partnership, Philippe Scholtes, Managing Director at UNIDO, said: "The World Health Organization estimates that up to 600 million people fall ill every year after eating contaminated food. Our collaboration with GFSI will further strengthen and promote multiple benefits of safe food for social inclusiveness, sustainability and industrial development." 

    Mike Robach, Chair of the GFSI Board of Directors, added: "We are very enthusiastic about the potential to have a bigger impact in these key regions, thanks to this collaboration with UNIDO. Multi-sector collaboration is the way forward in achieving food safety across borders and barriers. Our joint efforts within this partnership will take us further and faster towards our vision of safe food for consumers, everywhere."

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    For more information, please contact:

    Gerardo Patacconi
    Officer-in-Charge
    UNIDO Department of Agri-business Development
    Email: G.Patacconi[at]unido.org

    Ali Badarneh
    Project Manager
    UNIDO Department of Agri-business Development
    Email: A.Badarneh[at]unido.org