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Fiji, along with the rest of the world, will celebrate the inaugural World Food Safety Day on June 7 2019. This day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018.
As part of the celebration, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is highlighting its work in Fiji with partners in promoting food safety.
FAO Nutrition and Food Systems Officer, Joseph Nyemah Nyemah said. “Food safety has a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.”
In collaboration with the Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS) of the University of the South Pacific (USP), FAO ran a three-day (20 - 22 May) Pacific Islands Food Composition Tables (PIFCTs) Workshop at the AIS’ conference room on the lower campus of USP in Laucala Bay, Suva. Twenty-five participants representing Pacific governments (Fiji, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu), USP, SPC, FAO, New Zealand Plant and Food Research and the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program attended. The workshop contributed to a collaborative effort to update the PIFCTs, which was last published in 2004.
As key results of the three-day workshop, a draft options paper on updating the PIFCTs was reviewed, new foods, compositional components and test methods, scoping Pacific Islands regional and biodiverse food composition data, analytic capability for data generation in the Pacific region, capacity for data compilation and access to samples were discussed. Additionally, three new areas of capacity development in the Pacific region were identified: (i) increasing capacity for new nutritional test methods at IAS; (ii) establishing more accredited testing at the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS); and (iii) in-country capacity for sampling and dispatch of food samples for analytic testing at overseas laboratories.
World Food Safety Day this year will help maintain the momentum of the International Conference on Food Safety, which opened in February 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and concluded in April 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. It will also draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
FAO is also collaborating with the Koronivia Research Station (KRS) of the Ministry of Agriculture to transfer KRS’ food products from the laboratory to the communities of Verata, Nabulini and Homes of Hope all in the suburbs of Suva. As a result of this project, three kitchens in these communities have been renovated and equipped with the relevant appliances and utensils. The project will also extend the shelf-life of food crops that often perish during peak harvest seasons. The National Centre for Small and Micro Enterprises Development (NCSMED), Fiji, is working with FAO to build the communities’ capacities in business development and management.
For further information, please contact: Kevin Hadfield, Communications Officer, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org\, Telephone: (+685) 221 27 Ext.33
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