GMA Plays Key Role in Announcing Partnership to Create the World’s First Global Food Safety Fund

Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), joined U.S. government and World Bank officials in announcing an innovative public private partnership that has pledged $1 million for the creation of the world’s first Global Food Safety Fund for capacity building.  To be managed by the World Bank, the proposed fund will leverage the tripartite approach pioneered in APEC that enlists a wide range of stakeholders in training programs designed to enhance food safety and to facilitate trade.

The announcement was made at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii, where Bailey was joined by: World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati; Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs; Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development; Frank Mars, President, Mars Symbioscience; and Dr. Rohit Khanna, Vice President, Worldwide Business, Waters Corporation.

“GMA was honored to be a founding member of a unique partnership in APEC that inspired the concept of the fund’s creation.  In APEC we brought together food safety regulators, multi-lateral institutions like the World Bank, academia and industry -stakeholders all focused on a common mission of improving food safety,”said Ms. Bailey.  “Building on the landmark MOU between the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum and the World Bank signed in May 2011, the proposed fund will leverage APEC’s unique food safety training programs together with World Bank international reach to help improve the safety of the global food supply -in APEC economies and beyond.”

Public and private sector stakeholders have pledged $1 million to create the trust fund.  In the next decade, the fund is expected to grow to $15-$20 million.  The fund has three main food safety goals:

  • Developing, testing and validating pilot programs in APEC that will result in reproducible training modules which can be customized for roll out to developing countries all around the world. These programs would focus on critical needs– supply chain management, food safety incident management, laboratory competency, risk analysis and strengthening food safety regulatory systems.
  • Addressing high priority food hazards, such as aflatoxins in grain, Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, and viral and bacterial pathogens in seafood.
  • Strengthening Analytics and Metrics – much needed for consistent, reliable and scaleable testing, designing, and evaluation of the performance of food safety systems.

Food and beverage companies have a vast amount of experience, knowledge and understanding when it comes to developing and manufacturing safe products.  We know what works, what doesn’t work and how to apply best practices along the entire global supply chain to ensure our products are safe.  This fund will allow us to share our skills and technical expertise in food safety on a much broader scale,”noted Bailey.

On behalf of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the consumers we serve, I would like to especially recognize the generous contributions of USAID, Mars Incorporated and Waters Corporation for providing the necessary seed funding to create the fund.  Their generosity and leadership are an example to us all -from both the private and public sector -to re-double our efforts and to work even more closely together to improve food safety systems, safeguard public health, and facilitate food trade,”concluded Bailey.

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