This April GMA participated in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) food safety meetings alongside representatives from regulatory authorities from the 21 APEC governments, helping to drive two priority issues for the CPG industry: capacity building for foreign food safety authorities and regulatory cooperation/alignment.
Capacity Building for Foreign Food Safety Authorities
GMA worked with several governments, including Australia and China (co-chairs of the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum -- FSCF), to establish the FSCF’s Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN) in 2008. Designed to provide capacity building using a tripartite model (industry, government, and academia), the PTIN has delivered over 40 food safety capacity building workshops to date – many with GMA and member company trainers and other forms of in-kind support.
The U.S. Government is currently leading laboratory competency training, with pilots in China and Chile. GMA and member companies Abbott, Cargill, Waters, and 3M are serving as expert trainers. At the April meetings Indonesian food safety authorities hosted a workshop focused on educating SMEs on food safety standards, where industry was represented by a locally based Coca-Cola representative. Food safety officials from the 21 APEC member economies also discussed how to enhance food safety incident management and communication, an activity led by the Australian Government. Dr. Leon Bruner, GMA’s Senior Vice President for Scientific and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Science Officer – and representatives from Mondelez, Fontera and Waters – participated and explained the importance of industry’s role in food safety incident management.
As a founding member of the PTIN Steering Committee, GMA helps to drive the agenda of the PTIN’s activities in directions that the CPG industry sees value. For more information visit http://fscf-ptin.apec.org or contact Carmen Stacy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GMA also worked alongside the 21 governments, in particular the U.S., Australian, and Chinese governments, to gain support for a regulatory cooperation action plan. The action plan will first focus on two areas: export certification and pesticide maximum reside limits (MRLs). The action plan calls for key dates and milestone to reduce duplicative, redundant or unnecessary requirements. Now that the action plan has been successfully endorsed by the FSCF, GMA and its member companies are working hand-in-hand with government officials from the 21 APEC member economies to implement it. For more information contact Carmen Stacy at email@example.com.
In 2014 China will host APEC. GMA is working with the Chinese and U.S. governments and Australia to identify opportunities where we can advance additional efforts in APEC to collectively enhance food safety and facilitate trade.