THE BLOG

24
Apr

Global Food Safety Partnership meeting at Aarhus, Denmark

Today I am e-attending the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) meeting in Aarhus, Denmark as one of  a few voices from the global “South”. The GFSP is a unique public-private initiative dedicated to improving the safety of food in middle-income and developing countries initiated by the World Bank. Food safety is a complex problem. In today’s world, food’s journey from meadow to meal or hook to cook can include multiple steps, many vehicles, and several transformations. As demand for food increases, food is increasingly making longer and more complicated journeys with more companies participating in its production and delivery. As a result, the opportunities for the introduction and spread of contamination increase. Tackling this takes an organised, coordinated approach—across borders, governments, and industry—to ensure the safety of the world’s food.

The GFSP brings together fishers and farmers, business and industry, governments, regulatory bodies, international development organisations, and civil society to drive a globally-coordinated and locally-driven food safety approach.

The GFSP combines food safety training and technical support so developing countries can improve their food safety systems and benefit from better compliance with food safety standards. This training is tailored to the specific needs of individual countries and segmented to reach all the way up, down and across the food value chain, the Partnership benefits small farmers, food processors, retailers, supervisory and regulatory agencies, and policy-makers, among others.

For more info please visit the GFSP website where you can sign up to become a partner if you feel you can add your expertise to the mix: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/agriculture/brief/global-food-safety-partnership

20
Apr

World Without Fences

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Will Allen CEO of Growing Power, Milwaukee, “I have worked with community gardening projects that don’t do a good enough job of involving the garden’s neighbours.”We’ve got to put up a fence to protect our garden,” people will say.  I tell them no, you don’t. You have to do the harder work of engaging the community. You’ve got to make sure the neighbours know that the garden is their own, not yours. Kids in the neighborhood threw rocks at my greenhouses when I first opening in 1993, but they stopped several months after my arrival.  I had not retaliated or chased them away. Instead, I invited the young people to come and see what we were doing. I gave them summer jobs. Neighbours started respecting the fact that I was bringing food into the community. They started being eyes and ears for me. The community felt ownership in our shared success. In order to build a new food system, we’re going to need a world without fences. We all have a responsibility to work together. We need everyone at the table. We’re going to need black and white, young and old, rich and poor. We’re going to need university folks who can study and foster new organic techniques. We’re going to need politicians who can help create an easier political environment and public space for a local food system. We need entrepreneurs who can create niche food products and graphic designers who can create packaging. We’re going to need planners who design inner-city neighborhoods with the idea of food security in mind. We’re going to need educators and nutritionists who teach people the benefits of healthy food. We’re going to need architects who can retrofit old warehouses and greenhouses to the new purpose of growing food. We need contractors. Composers. Plumbers. Not least, we’re going to need a new generation of farmers.” Allen, W & Wilson, C. 2012. The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities. Reprint, New York: Gotham Books, 2013: p. 236. www.growingpower.org