The Post Graduate Diploma Course (PGDC) in Food Safety and Control at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore has received accreditation by the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS). These are the first courses accredited by REHIS outside the Scotland. In recognition of this achievement, the European Union (EU) funded Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA II) Programme organized a ceremony in which the REHIS Accreditation Certificate was awarded to UVAS, Lahore by Mr. Riccardo Rossi, and Ms. Roshan Ara, Development Advisors at the Delegation of the European Union to Pakistan.
The TRTA II Programme, implemented by UNIDO in association with ITC and WIPO, took the initiative last year by working together with three premier universities of Pakistan (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF), UVAS Lahore & University of Karachi) to establish the Post Graduate Diploma Course (PGDC) in Food Safety and Control at their respective institutions. The graduates from these courses are expected to be the future backbone of the Federal and Provincial Food, Animal and Plant Authorities. Mr. Riccardo Rossi appreciated the UVAS’s efforts for food safety and congratulated them on achieving an unconditional accreditation from Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland.
The TRTA II Programme is also assisting the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) to strengthen its Food Inspection System. At this ceremony, Food Inspection Kits were also handed over to the PFA (9 kits), UAF (2 kits), and UVAS, Lahore (2 kits). These kits each contain instruments that will facilitate the food inspectors to carry out their duties more effectively.
Earlier this month the TRTA II programme also conducted 3-day training courses for the PFA food inspectors and PGDC relevant instructors of UVAS and UAF on the use of these food Inspection Kits and methods to perform inspection procedures at the field. These courses were carried out by Dr. Andrew Mathieson (TRTA II international expert in Food Safety). In addition Dr. Mathieson also conducted a 5-day Pedagogical training course for the PGDC instructors of UVAS and UAF. This training was held at UVAS, Lahore. Certificates of participations also distributed to the participants of these trainings at this occasion.
This initiative has been taken to strengthen the Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary and food safety measures in Pakistan through capacity building of food safety officers in order to improve the food safety standards both at domestic and international markets. Through these measures, health of the people of Pakistan can be improved over the time and exports could be increased by getting access to new markets for Pakistani products.