Food Safety Cooperation Forum Partnership Training Institute Network
Concerns about food safety in the Asia Pacific region have risen sharply, and spurred a high level, collective mandate from APEC Leaders to improve food safety standards and practices. In 2007, after the establishment of the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF), APEC Leaders agreed on the need to develop a more robust approach to strengthening food safety standards and practices in the region, using scientific risk based approaches and without creating unnecessary impediments to trade. To this end, they called for increased capacity building to improve technical competence and understanding of food safety management among stakeholders in the supply chain, which include regulators, growers, packers, handlers, storage providers, processors, manufacturers, retailers and food service providers.
The Food Safety Cooperation Forum's Partnership Training Institute Network (FSCF PTIN) was created specifically to address the need to engage the food industry and academic food safety experts with the regulators, to strengthen capacity building in food safety.
FSCF and FSCF PTIN Steering Group meet for biannual meeting in Valpraiso, Chile in May 2019
The FSCF PTIN Steering Group held its biannual meeting in Valpraiso, Chile in May 2019 followed by the biannual meeting of the Food Safety Cooperation Forum. FSCF members endorsed the 2019 FSCF Statement on meeting outcomes.
APEC Food Safety Modernization Framework to Facilitate Trade
The APEC FSCF and FSCF PTIN have had a year's long work stream focused on modernization of food safety systems, starting with a High Level industry regulator dialogue led by China in 2015. Initial roundtables and workshops focused on industry-regulator cooperation, transparency in rulemaking, and a shift to a preventive focus. Subsequently, Australia led a series of expert meetings from 2017 to 2019 to create a Framework to assist economies to modernize their food safety systems in a manner that facilitates trade. In 2019, Australia hosted a one-day workshop to highlight their self-funded work, including the presentation of a completed framework document with an aim toward using it to inform future FSCF work. Key points expressed at this event were: the need for modernization work to be guided by international standards from Codex, employing a whole of food chain approach, including all relevant stakeholders; the importance of using a risk-based approach to ensure that border management is coordinated across competent authorities; and recognizing the need for continuous improvement.
Article Link: APEC Food Safety Modernization Framework to Facilitate Trade, June 2019, Standard Version
Article Link: APEC Food Safety Modernization Framework to Facilitate Trade, June 2019, Interactive Version
Independent Review of APEC FSCF PTIN Food Safety Capacity Building Report
The FSCF PTIN Steering Group commissioned two evaluations to examine the impact of capacity building efforts, and solicit recommendations on possible metrics to more rigorously monitor and evaluate future work. The evaluations were conducted by US- APEC Technical Assistance to Advance Regional Integration (US-ATAARI). The evaluation's conclusions recognized the FSCF PTIN's ability to provide unique benefits to its members through the bringing together of a large range of economies and stakeholders. The report also identifies that trainings are being applied by the large majority of participants, resulting in improved practices and concrete policy changes by APEC economies. Relevancy, effectiveness, and value in terms of training, curricula development and networking are distinguished within this report. The areas where programs have had the greatest impact include the introduction of science-based methods, improved cooperation in food safety incident management, harmonization of food safety regulations and the development of replicable training materials.
2018 Update to the Mid-Term Review
2016 Independent Review of APEC FSCF PTIN Food Safety Capacity Building Initiative