Agrilife24.com:Land O’Lakes International Development jointly with Seishido Communications Limited, India organized a conference on food safety and quality at International Convention City Bashundhara on 11th April 2019. Objective of the conference was to introduce Bangladesh food industry stakeholders with global FSQ standards and set forth their targets to export and domestic market for safe and quality products. Mr. Jeff Balousek, Senior Quality Leader and Ms. Evie Severyn, Senior Quality Manager of Land O’Lakes, Inc., USA were the conference speakers.
The conference has been organized under the USAID Farmer to Farmer Food Safety and Quality (F2F FSQ) Program. Mr. Maksudur Rahman, Country Director of Land O’Lakes International Development, Bangladesh shared the program approach in brief with more than 80 participants present in the conference. He shared that the F2F FSQ program uses the Global markets Program and applicable to every stages of value chain. He also shared that Food Safety and Quality is important for market access and for better, safer food consumption.
In the welcome speech Mr. Mitch, Senior Food Safety Advisor of USAID Bangladesh Mission, said that there is a huge difference between our expectation for safe, quality food and the reality. He emphasized that ensuring food safety is a joint responsibility of public sector, private sector and the consumers.
Mr. Jeff Balousek and Ms. Evie Severyn in their joint presentation described the objectives of Global Food Safety Initiative’s Global Market Program as to reducing food safety risks by effective food safety management system; reducing cost by improving operational efficiency; capacity building in food safety and provide a unique international stakeholder platform for collaboration, knowledge exchange and networking. They shared the common risks in the food sector throughout the supply chain. They also shared the path for certification following GFSI Global Market Program protocols. They emphasized on management responsibilities for commitment towards achieving food safety and quality.
In their second presentation while outlining common gaps seen from SME Companies, they focused on microbiological cross contamination risks, traceability to for risks associated with supplier’s quality, controlling pests and management responsibilities. They also detailed risks controlling strategies in the processing environment.
In the closing remarks Mr. Abu Hena Md. Mostofa Kamal, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Food representing Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, appreciated the program and thanked the organizers welcoming conference speakers to sit for a discussion for suggesting next steps to collaborate with Land O’Lakes F2F FSQ program.
At the eve of the conference Mr. Abu Saleh Muhammad Saifullah, Field Coordinator, F2F FSQ Program, Bangladesh thanked the conference speakers, participants from food industry, government departments, donor agencies/projects, media, co-organizer and the team worked to make the conference a success. He also assured the industry participants to address their interest to learn in-depth for getting volunteer technical assistance.