19 – 20 August, Thimphu: The Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA), MoAF, is hosting an Advocacy Seminar on “Food Safety Culture” for Senior Government Officials, top Management of Food Businesses and relevant Stakeholders at Terma Linca Resort & Spa, Thimphu on 19th August 2019. The opening of this Advocacy Seminar is graced by His Excellency Lyonpo Yeshi Penjor, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. This high Level Seminar is being followed by a Technical Workshop on “Food Safety Culture” for food professionals in Bhutan on 20th August 2019. These programs are being organized through financial and technical assistance from the FAO Regional Office for Asia & Pacific (FAO-RAP), Bangkok through its ongoing Food Safety Indictor Pilot Project in the country.
Around 50 participants consisting mostly of Senior Government Officials of relevant agencies, members of Parliaments, CEOs/MD of the private food businesses, head of the developments and international partners (FAO, WHO, WFP), Senior Officials from the Security Forces and monastic institutions dealing with food supplies are attending the half day Advocacy Seminar. The technical workshop on the following day will be attended by around 60 participants consisting mostly of senior level food professionals from the Government, private food businesses and relevant stakeholders.
Bhutan being an import driven economy relies heavily on imported foods to meet its citizen’s food requirements. As demand for imported food increases, risks and challenges related to food safety increases proportionately, which poses increasing challenges for regulators to implement food safety measures to ensure public health and safety.
Food safety requires a multidimensional effort from all relevant stakeholders along the food supply chain, especially the manufactures and Food Business Operators. It calls for self-imposed discipline amongst all these stakeholders. Ensuring food safety along the whole food supply chain is only possible, if all the sectors in the chain work in tandem and with positive food safety culture forming their core value.
Therefore, to sensitize the relevant stakeholders along the food supply chain, a high Level Advocacy Seminar on 19th August 2019 and a technical workshop on 20th August 2019 are being organized to introduce the concept of food safety culture that emphasizes on Culture Improvement along with technical solutions.
The main objectives of the Seminar and Workshop are to:
- Introduce the concept of Food Safety Culture to improve food safety and quality outcomes.
- Garner support of Senior Government Officials and top management of food Businesses to take forward the concept of Food Safety Culture.
- To encourage the Food Businesses to introduce Food Safety Culture into their organizations and promote self compliance and self-regulations.
- To establish a shared vision and commonality of interest amongst stakeholders (Government and food businesses) on the principles and objectives of Food Safety Culture to ensure improved food safety in Bhutan.
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