As the food industry continues to expand its global footprint and capacities, numerous initiatives are being driven by public and private stakeholders and partnerships. Following are a few of the most recent from sources around the world:
Africa, Asia and Latin America. Syngenta and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support agriculture and food security activities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
This renewed collaboration, which started in 2013, aims to promote food security among smallholder farmers by cooperating on improving research and development, technology adoption and farmer know-how to boost farm productivity, while also tackling new challenges like the recent invasion of the fall armyworm pest in Africa.
A key focus will be to improve the capacity of smallholder farmers to trial, adopt and safely use inputs to boost their yields as well as identifying and equipping young men and women interested in farming as a business. Selected projects will incorporate the use of advanced digital and satellite technology to enhance pest prediction and surveillance, support decision making and improve project evaluation. Programs on environmental sustainability and smallholder capacity training will further underpin Syngenta’s Good Growth Plan.
“We place great value on our continued partnership with USAID, which has helped us reach and train more smallholder farmers across the world than we would have been able to achieve alone,” said Syngenta CEO Erik Fyrwald. “USAID’s work in supporting partnerships like this helps deliver real change for farmers in terms of sustainability and profitability.”
South Asia. The current food regulations in South Asia were developed four to five decades ago. They are based on inspection of the end product and laboratory analysis which are simply unable to cope with the latest WTO requirements. However, all member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) except Nepal have modernized and harmonized their national food legislations with Codex Alimentarius (Food Code) guidelines. A proactive or preventive aspect of food safety management is neither covered by the regulatory mechanism nor practiced by manufacturers and agribusiness enterprises. Such aspects of preventive mechanism and quality assurance measures are indispensable for the sustenance and survival of agro-food trade in the international market. Therefore, an SPS Agreement compatible regulatory framework plus massive education and awareness programs for all the stakeholders in production, processing and marketing operations is needed. Read more - Kathmandu Post.
Ghana. Nestlé Ghana in collaboration with the Ghana Nutrition Society has held a nutrition workshop to foster stronger collaboration to address micronutrient deficiencies in Ghana.
The workshop which was organized on the theme, “Building Nutritionally sound Partnerships through Food Fortification Agenda”, created a platform for stakeholders to dialogue on nutrition issues, raising awareness, and finding solutions to undernutrition in Ghana. The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) were present to speak on “Observing Regulations and Standards: means to contributing to Healthier Lifestyle” and “Food Quality and Safety Measures – FDA’s Perspective” respectively. Read more - GhanaWeb.
Punjab. The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) sealed a confectionery unit for failing to meet food standards laid down by the authority by PFA during an operation against substandard food suppliers and manufactures in the provincial metropolis. The PFA also issued notices to 42 food points and imposed a fine of Rs 31,000 to many other eateries. Read more - Daily Times.