23 January 2013

East Africa: EAC Seeks Harmonized Food Safety Measures

The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sector Jesca Eriyo has underscored the need for comprehensive harmonized food safety measures to ensure a high level of consumer protection and to restore and maintain confidence in the safety and quality of both food and feed.

Opening the four-day Regional Workshop on Harmonization of Food Safety Measures in Africa in Nairobi, Eriyo told delegates it was sad to note that Africa generally prefers to trade with countries outside the continent rather than with itself where the market actually exists.

The 22-25 January workshop aims at strengthening harmonization of the food hygiene management through "Better Training for Safer Food (BTSF) in Africa".

The objective is to facilitate the harmonization of food safety measures in Africa, through the application, region-by-region, of Reference Framework and Guidelines for Harmonization of the Management of the Food Hygiene, enhancing intra and inter-regional trade and integration in Africa.

The EAC official informed the workshop that the bloc is currently implementing its Food Security Action Plan (2011-2015) and preparing to implement the regional Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Protocol recently approved by the Summit of Heads of State.

The Partner States in Articles 108 and 118 of the EAC Treaty have committed to co-operate in the health, social and cultural fields and, in particular, in the fields of human and animal medicines, as well as food and feed safety.

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