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UNIDO talks food safety for Kingdom at panel

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A woman serves food at Phsar Kandal Market in Phnom Penh in February. Heng Chivoan

UNIDO talks food safety for Kingdom at panel

The UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) set up an online panel of the scientific community, food safety regulators and the private sector under the theme “Fostering Food Safety through Partnership” to mark the 3rd World Food Safety Day on June 7.

The discussion is part of a three-week-long campaign designed to raise awareness of food safety issues in Cambodia and seek areas for future intervention by various partners and the government, according to a UNIDO press release.

The panel would explore possible future roles and partnerships between academia, government and the private sector to address the challenges of food safety in a holistic manner for solutions in Cambodia.

The press statement said food safety was a shared responsibility and that building strong partnerships with a robust mechanism across academia and the public and private sectors is essential. The partnership will go a long way in ensuring the health and wellbeing of all people.

“The panel agreed that sharing experiences, understanding the problems and identifying solutions, and building partnerships are the best options to promote innovation in the food sector and support the private sector.

“Equally important, the panel agreed that mobilising necessary resources to sustain such partnership is key to a long-term solution,” it said.

Shetty Seetharama Thombathu – chief technical adviser to the UNIDO component of the Cambodia programme for sustainable and inclusive growth in the fisheries sector (CAPFISH) – said UNIDO is establishing food technology, research and an innovation platform with the intent to strengthen the competitiveness of post-harvest agribusinesses, especially fisheries.

“With a strong commitment and sustainability plan, such a platform could be an excellent mechanism for addressing food safety issues in the country,” said Shetty.

Thavarith Chunhieng, deputy director-general of the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), affirmed that ITC was ready and keen to collaborate by bringing its expertise and knowledge to solve challenges in food safety.

Camilla Lombard, deputy head of cooperation for the EU Delegation to Cambodia, said the EU was committed to supporting Cambodia’s efforts to improving food safety and production.

“Further support to food safety in particular, and sustainable food systems in general, is envisaged under the next development cooperation programme between the EU and Cambodia for the period 2021-2027 which is currently being designed,” she said.

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