Bangkok workshop examines modern food safety strategies2018/05/29
As agriculture readies for Industry 4.0, food safety and quality remain paramount for a competitive edge.
Developed countries are applying more stringent regulations to food imports, and the competitiveness of exporters depends on reliable quality and safety measures and acceptable production procedures. However, food quality and safety assurance systems in many developing Asian countries could be improved through more modern approaches, giving their agrifood businesses greater access to world markets.
Despite efforts by regulatory authorities and food-industry stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific, many challenges remain. Food systems are complex, relatively fragmented, and dominated by small producers. As food passes through extended supply quality and safety assurance becomes complex, with greater risk of contamination. Lack of resources and poor infrastructure for postharvest handling, processing, and storage are areas for improvement to ensure a consistent supply of high-quality, safe food.
With its thriving agrifood sector, Thailand is an appropriate host for the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) workshop on Food Quality and Safety Assurance in Modern Food Production Systems. Held in cooperation with the Thailand Productivity Institute (FTPI), the workshop opened on 28 May and will continue through 1 June.
APO Alternate Director for Thailand and FTPI Executive Director Dr. Phanit Laosirirat was the chief guest at the inaugural session. He spoke on the importance of food, food quality and safety from the Thai perspective, and how producers contribute to better lives and health. The food industry was very much within the scope of Industry 4.0, he noted, announcing that the FTPI was planning to propose the establishment in Thailand of an APO Center of Excellence on the Food Sector.
APO Liaison Officer for Thailand Ratchada Asisonthisakul APO Liaison Officer for Thailand and Program Officer Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain of the APO Secretariat Agriculture Department also gave remarks at the inaugural session. The workshop, with 23 participants and seven observers from 13 APO member countries, is facilitated by four overseas resource persons from PR China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the USA along with three Thai experts.
After the technical workshop sessions, participants will visit noncarbonated beverage producer Green Spot Co. Ltd. and the 15th THAIFEX-World Food of Asia 2018 Exhibition. Under the theme “Savor Asia,” THAIFEX is billed as “11 trade shows under 1 roof,” covering topics relevant to participants’ professional and national contexts.