The CGF Global Summit in South Africa, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), New York, and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to signal their commitment to a large-scale partnership for food safety.

The partnership sets out to harness the vast experience and knowledge of both global organizations to implement “a roadmap for scaling up” by developing large-scale food safety capability building projects in a number of key regions in the global food supply network.

This development program will be based on the GFSI Global Markets Program, which sets out how small or less developed food companies can meet the challenge of food safety and gain market access. It will be enabled by UNIDO, benefiting from their specialized experience in industrial development capability building.

A roadmap for a far-reaching implementation plan
According to a roadmap that is currently being crafted, this far-reaching food safety capability program will be implemented in a number of key geographies, starting with China, Southeast Asia and Africa before being continued in further regions.

  • In China, the partnership aims to scale up food safety capacity building for local food enterprises in line with the Sustainable Supplier Development Program (SSDP) and establish the China Food Safety Initiative (CFSI).
  • In South East Asia, the aim is to initiate a regional SSDP program, scaling up the UNIDO-AEON Malaysia SSDP program into a multi-country and multi-buyer initiative.
  • In Africa, the project will benefit from a strong UNIDO presence to design and build a joint UNIDO-GFSI multi-country, multi-buyer project for Africa on capacity building.

“The World Health Organization estimates that up to 600 million people fall ill every year after eating contaminated food,” says Philippe Scholtès, managing director, program development and technical cooperation for UNIDO. “Our collaboration with GFSI will further strengthen and promote multiple benefits of safe food for social inclusiveness, sustainability and industrial development.”

“We are very enthusiastic about the potential to have a bigger impact in these key regions thanks to this collaboration with UNIDO,” adds Mike Robach, chair of the GFSI board of directors. “Multi-sector collaboration is the way forward in achieving food safety across borders and barriers. Our joint efforts within this partnership will take us further and faster toward our vision of safe food for consumers, everywhere.”