Grocery Manufacturers Association Applauds APEC Leaders for Launching the Partnership Training Institute Network for Food Safety


Last update: 11:24 a.m. EST Nov. 24, 2008

LIMA, Peru, Nov 24, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today applauded the Leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum for launching the APEC Partnership Training Institute Network for food safety (PTIN). The APEC PTIN represents a new and innovative initiative, designed to unite public and private sector representatives, as well as scientific experts, around a common purpose: improving food safety in the Asia Pacific region by increasing regulatory capacity.

"Food safety is a key concern for GMA and its member companies, and we are pleased to see that APEC has taken such a constructive and practical approach to the issue," said GMA Senior Vice President and Chief Science and Regulatory Affairs Officer Robert E. Brackett, Ph.D. "The APEC PTIN is particularly welcome in light of the recent food safety incidents that have occurred in the region. This initiative, in helping build regulatory capacity in food safety, will help government, industry and other key stakeholders work together to better assure the safety of the food supply chain in the Asia Pacific."

The APEC PTIN is critically important as concerns about food safety in the Asia Pacific region have risen sharply in recent months and years, a fact reinforced by the initiative's high-level endorsement by APEC heads of government. This multi-year initiative will provide assistance to APEC Member Economies to improve regulator and manufacturer technical competence and understanding of food safety management, and thus will substantially improve food safety in the APEC community and beyond. In addition, the APEC PTIN aligns with GMA's "Four Pillars" plan to improve the safety of food imports, an integrated approach with prevention as its centerpiece. Specifically, the new APEC project helps to fulfill Pillar Three, "Building the Capacity of Foreign Governments."

The APEC PTIN is not intended to be an actual "bricks and mortar" facility, but instead will serve as a focal point for coordinating the many food safety training institutes across the Asia Pacific region. In this context, the APEC PTIN will design and implement various training programs every year, develop a core curriculum for food safety training for use across APEC, and assist APEC Member Economies in developing food safety strategies. The APEC PTIN will foster a unified and consistent approach to food safety capacity building and management, one that aligns with international best practices. In this way the initiative will directly address the recognized need to improve regulator and manufacturer technical competence and understanding of food safety management.

APEC is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The forum is comprised of 21 member economies, which account for a large percentage of global food exports, making the APEC PTIN a major success for global food safety. The 21 members of APEC are: Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; United States; and Vietnam.

Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) represents the world's leading food, beverage and consumer products companies. The association promotes sound public policy, champions initiatives that increase productivity and growth and helps to protect the safety and security of the food supply through scientific excellence. The GMA Board of Directors is comprised of chief executive officers from the association's member companies. The $2.1 trillion food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry employs 14 million workers, and contributes over $1 trillion in added value to the nation's economy.

SOURCE Grocery Manufacturers Association



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