High Level Advocacy Meeting on Codex & INFOSAN Networking

The Inaugural Remarks were given by the Hon'ble Secretary of Agriculture and Forests
The Inaugural Remarks were given by the Hon’ble Secretary of Agriculture and Forests

20 September 2016, Thimphu: The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), MoAF, is hosting a high level advocacy meeting on Codex & INFOSAN (International Network of Food Safety Authorities) Networking at Tashi Namgay Resort, Paro from 19-20 September 2016, with technical & financial support from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Around 40 participants (senior level officials) from various governmental departments, agencies, private sector representatives (BCCI), Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) & World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Office are attending the two days meeting.   The resource persons at this meeting are from WHO, South East Asia Regional Office (SEARO), New Delhi, India, FAO Regional Office for Asia & Pacific (FAORAP), Bangkok, Thailand, and from other relevant departments within the MOAF.

Welcome address was by the WHO Country Representative Dr. Ornella Lincetto
Welcome address was by the WHO Country Representative Dr. Ornella Lincetto

BAFRA has been functioning as the National Codex Contact Point since 2004 and the INFOSAN Emergency Contact Point since 2014.  Since then BAFRA has been implementing the national policy objectives to achieve food safety by setting priorities for food safety standards development, through promotion of WTO Sanitary & Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreements, participation in codex activities at the national, regional & International levels such as CCAsia (Codex Committee Asian Region) and CAC (Codex Alimentarius Commission) and then linking the work to improve the national food control systems.

BAFRA’s endeavour to ensure food safety and adopt best international practices, is faced with challenges like lack of coordination and adequate awareness on importance of food safety and standards amongst high-level policy and decision makers and inadequate government resources (technical and financial) for implementation of national programmes to achieve its stated aims & objectives in food safety & standards.

Participants with the Chief Guest
Workshop participants were: WHO, FAO, Ministry of Health, BAFRA Officials, MoEA, International food Safety Experts from WHO & FAO and Specialists & Senior Government Officials and representatives from various Departments and Agencies.

Hence, to sensitise the relevant stakeholder on the work of Codex & INFOSAN and to build networking (for effective communication) in the area of food safety & standards at the national level, BAFRA has sought to convene a high level advocacy meeting aimed at promoting understanding on the works of Codex and INFOSAN in ensuring food safety.

The Primary objectives of this meeting are to create awareness on the importance of Codex & INFOSAN activities in the area of food safety,  trade & public health, and to garner support of the high level officials and stakeholders including policy makers who are responsible for planning, policy and budget for national food safety programmes in the country.

 

– Press Release from BAFRA

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