Welcome to Food Safety Month 2023
Wednesday, June 28, 10-11 a.m. EDT
Welcome to Food Safety Month on Agrilinks! This is the fourth year Feed the Future has celebrated World Food Safety Day, June 7, with a month-long showcase of new evidence, learning and examples of what collective action looks like when stakeholders come together to advance food safety as a development objective. With this year's World Food Safety Day theme, “food standards save lives,” we want to call attention to the noteworthy collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in promoting food standards in support of the U.S. Government’s Global Food Security Strategy, which guides Feed the Future, and the U.S. Government’s Global Nutrition Coordination Plan.
Cutting to the chase, our organizations need each other. Strong relationships, transparency, joint programming and clearly defined roles mean that we are an effective voice for food safety globally, regionally and at the country level. Food standards have been central to our collaboration over the years. The creation in 2016 of the Food Safety Network interagency agreement between USAID and USDA, in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, signaled new emphasis on food safety’s role in food security, while reinforcing strong sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) systems as foundational to resilient food systems, food security, trade and nutrition. USAID and USDA refreshed this interagency agreement when we launched the Food Safety for Food Security Partnership program in 2022.
USAID and USDA worked together to meet demand from partners for analysis, capacity strengthening and technical assistance. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and now the global food security crisis exacerbated by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, we have relied on our collaboration to interpret the changing global food security and nutrition context and not miss opportunities to elevate the need to address food safety risks. For example, we supported the African Union Commission in the development of a new continental food safety strategy, much like updated strategies from FAO and WHO, to better position African countries over the coming decades to respond to crises.
The central role that food systems transformation plays in mitigating and adapting to climate change adds urgency to the U.S. Government’s food safety efforts. Together, our organizations will continue to strengthen SPS systems in Feed the Future countries according to the latest science and risk-based measures from Codex Alimentarius and other international standard-setting bodies to 1) help producers better respond to new pest, disease and food safety risks accelerated by climate change, 2) create new economic opportunities through enhanced agricultural market access and trade and 3) increase access to and affordability of safe, nutritious food.
To commemorate World Food Safety Day 2023, this month on Agrilinks, you will find a series of blog posts and resources. These posts will cover lessons from activities in Feed the Future countries — with a spotlight on gender dimensions — and share new evidence from research partners, private sector engagement, government leadership, new metrics for measuring results and more.
The first step to food safety action is learning. So join us this month on Agrilinks! You can bookmark this post and follow @Agrilinks and @FeedtheFuture on Twitter to see the latest. If you would like to submit a post or resource to Agrilinks or share what you are doing for World Food Safety Day 2023 and beyond, please reach out to [email protected].