Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, February 15, 2019

First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference

12-13 February 2019Addis Ababa, EthiopiaFirst FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference

In this pivotal moment, this conference, co-organised by FAO, WHO, WTO and AU, brought together Ministers and representatives of national governments, senior policy makers as well as representatives of non-state actor groups from all regions of the world to engage in an urgent reflection on food safety challenges to:
  • Identify key actions and strategies to address current and future challenges to food safety globally.
  • Strengthen commitment at the highest political level to scale up food safety in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  • Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) – Conference Chairperson 
  • Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture 
  • José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General 
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General 
  • Roberto Azevêdo, WTO Director-General 
  • Moussa Faki Mahamat, African Union Commission Chairperson 
  • Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia

  • The public health burden of unsafe foods: a need for global commitment Arie Hendrik Havelaar, Professor, University of Florida, USA 
  • Economic case for investments in food safety Steven Jaffee, Lead Agricultural Economist, World Bank Group 
  • Leveraging private sector investment for safe value chains Ed Mabaya, Manager, African Development Bank 
  • People-focussed food safety investment in low- and middle-income countries John McDermott, Director of CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI
  • The need for integrated approaches to address food safety risk – the case of mycotoxins Chibundu Ezekiel, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, Babcock University, Nigeria 
  • MODERATOR : Nathan Belete, Agriculture Global Practice Manager, World Bank Group
  • Whole genome sequencing – paving the way forward globally to better understand food systems Juno Thomas, Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa 
  • Novel food production Aideen McKevitt, Professor, University College Dublin, Ireland 
  • Novel analytical methods and models for enhanced food safety Steven Musser, Deputy Center Director of Scientific Operations, Food and Drug Administration, USA 
  • Policy considerations for the development and adoption of technologies for local food value chains Kennedy Bomfeh, Food Scientist, University of Ghana 
  • Digital transformation of the food system Mark Booth, Chief Executive Officer, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand 
  • MODERATOR : Robert van Gorcom, Director of the Food Safety Research Institute (RIKILT), Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands
Video interviews:
Anne Wetlesen from Norad at the First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference

Leon Gorris, Chair of the Food Safety Committee of the International Union of Food Science and Technology, explains how the large network of academics he works for strives to strengthen food


Hussein Mansour Chairperson, National Food Safety Authority of Egypt at the First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference

Nathan Belete from the World Bank explains from his perspective why countries should invest in food safety


Wondwossen Gebreyes / Ohio State University


Barbara Gallani. Head of Communication, Engagement and Cooperation, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) at the First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference

Background papers
23-24 April 2019. Geneva, Switzerland. The FAO/WHO/WTO International Forum on Food Safety and Trade

Continuing the discussions from the Addis Conference, the Geneva Forum will address the trade-related aspects and challenges of food safety. The food safety priorities set by this Conference will facilitate global collaboration and help ensure that no one is left behind. Its will provide an opportunity for participants to explore the challenges and opportunities arising from rapid technological change and digitalization, namely:
  • the use of new technologies in the realm of food safety and trade;
  • how trade in safe food can be facilitated at the borders;
  • multi-stakeholder coordination and the role of partnerships;
  • harmonizing food safety regulation in a period of change and innovation.
The conference will result in a document summarizing key issues and recommendations from both, the Addis Conference and the Geneva Forum, to better align and coordinate efforts to strengthen food safety systems across sectors and borders.

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