Nestlé Pakistan organized a seminar on Food Safety in collaboration with the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) at PCSIR LAHORE on April 22, 2015. The seminar was held to mark World Health Day. The theme for 2015 was ‘food safety’.
Magdi Batato, the Managing Director of Nestlé Pakistan, said, “Food safety is the backbone of consumer trust; it requires everybody’s commitment and engagement. For Nestlé, food safety is its license to operate”. Mr. Batato said that being the world leader in Nutrition, Health and Wellness, the company deemed it important to share its knowledge about food safety with all its partners along the value chain, from farm to fork – a sentiment shared by the Chief Minister’s Advisor on Health, Khawaja Salman Rafique. “We look forward to seeing the private sector share its knowledge with the rest of the stakeholders. Indeed, with their expertise and guidance, food safety could lead to improved lives for all Pakistanis,” said Mr. Rafique.
Mr. Bruno Valanzuolo, Chief Technical Advisor, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation highlighted the role of the private sector in ensuring the safety of food. “Food safety is intrinsically linked with both food security and nutrition. Food safety is essential to address malnutrition,” he said. PCSIR Director General (Lahore) Dr. Shahzad Alam appreciated Nestlé Pakistan’s help in highlighting the importance of Food Safety.
Dr. Zahid Pervaiz, the Director General for Health, Government of Punjab, stressed the importance of food safety as a pre-requisite for food security. “The people of this country deserve foods which are not only safe and hygienic, but that provide positive health and nutrition benefits,” he said.
The seminar followed a visit on Tuesday by more than 40 Key Opinion Leaders, including government officials, regulators and other stakeholders, to Nestlé Pakistan’s Sheikhupura Factory. The company shared with the visitors how it ensures global food safety and quality standards from its raw materials to the finished product.
During the technical sessions, presentations from DG PCSIR – Dr. Shahzad Alam, who talked about the role of nanotechnology in food safety. Dr. Nasir from UVS gave a presentation on the role of Academia in Food Safety and highlighted the achievements of UVS in launching the REHIS accredited M.Phil. programme in Food Safety & Controls, as a result of the PGDC in the same subject. This PGDC in Food Safety & Controls was possible through TRTA II support.
The TRTA II programme officer, M. Aurangzaib Khan, gave a detailed presentation on the TRTA II activities to strengthen the SPS management and control systems in Pakistan. He highlighted the achievements of drafting a coherent and comprehensive Bill to establish a National Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health Regulatory Authority under the current NAPHIS project. Mr. Khan also presented the impact of the TRTA II programme in terms of facilitating the OIE mission to Pakistan to carry out its PVS analysis as well as the work TRTA II has done in helping Pakistan set limiting levels of Arsenic in Rice a the recent Codex Alimentarius meeting The Hague.