UNIDO organized a coaching session on 29 September that facilitated dialogue and experience sharing among food regulators from three continents on the implementation of a new draft Codex guidance. The session brought together countries from three different continents to support South-South cooperation in Food Safety. In the framework of the activities of the UNIDO technical cooperation projects titled “Piloting of the use of voluntary third-party assurance programmes (vTPA)” in Central America and West Africa, financed by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), Mike O'Neill and Steve Wearne from the United Kingdom (UK) Food Standards Agency (FSA) gave an overview of the importance of recognizing voluntary third-party assurance programmes and presented their lessons learned from a regulatory perspective. Regulators from Belize, Honduras, Mali and Senegal had the chance to ask questions about how implementing the vTPA guidelines can better target inspections and help them direct the resources of their national food control systems more effectively.
At the end of the session, Delilah Cabb Ayala, Coordinator of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Enquiry Point from the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, thanked UNIDO for organizing the webinar and the UK FSA for the information and guidance shared during the session and showed interest in holding additional sessions to continue learning and sharing experiences. Mahmoud Abdoul Camara - Codex Contact Point for Mali, also added, “…we are ready and willing to move forward in line with these programmes”.
This coaching session was the first under the vTPA pilots, and in the upcoming months, regulators will engage with other European countries and vTPA scheme owners through UNIDO’s support. These types of engagement will assist countries to form their approach and build partnerships for this ongoing initiative and beyond.
For further information contact Ali Badarneh (A.Badarneh [at] unido.org)