The Council of Agriculture (COA), Asian Productivity Organization (APO) and Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) jointly organized the Training Course on Food Safety Management System from October 3rd to 7th, 2016, which saw the participation of 33 industrial, governmental and academic sector experts from 16 countries, namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan. The event aimed to establish international exchange and networking among food industry professionals in the Asia-Pacific region.
The COA explained that with the vigorous development of modern food technology and under the driving force of global food trade, food safety issues have become more complicated and frequent, thus seriously threatening the public health system. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even set food safety as the theme of World Health Day this year, proving to be an important issue around the world. Taiwan has also listed food safety management as a major administrative policy. Therefore, in order to expedite the implementation of food safety management system (FSMS) by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the COA held course on FSMS with APO, focusing on topics such as "An overview of modern FSMS, and recent advances in food standards, legislation and regulation", "Approaches and project plans associated with the application and implementation of FSMS in food businesses", "Requirements of a modern FSMS", and "Mechanisms required for an effective assessment of FSMS". During the conference, international and domestic experts delivered speeches and discussed relevant issues. The COA shared Taiwan’s FSMS current situation and the experiences in implementing FSMS with guests. It had also arranged field visits to local food companies so that the participants could better understand the actual operation of FSMS in Taiwan. Furthermore, in order to extend the overall effectiveness of the event, members from APAARI were invited to join the program as well.
The COA reiterated the urgent need for establishing effective and complete FSMS. Hopefully an effective action plan can be set up to promote FSMS as participants and experts from different countries share their management experience on food safety. By hosting the event, Taiwan hopes to enhance its participation in international affairs while achieving sustainable development for food safety management in Taiwan.