Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Importance of training in food safety standards



Papua New Guinea needs to strengthen its efforts in promoting food safety standards and improving its level of compliance to sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

Like other developing countries, PNG is facing increased challenges due to globalisation and a competitive international environment and must work with relevant international bodies that govern international safety standards.

This was the message given to participants attending a training program on the quality management system auditors and basic tools for food safety.

The training is the first of its kind and has attracted participants from various organisations from the private and government sectors.

In a speech delivered on behalf of Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), the director for science and technology branch, Ian Onaga, said as PNG geared up for trade liberalisation, it needed to adjust to cope and respond proactively to challenges of globalisation and follow suitable trade protocols.

Onaga said PNG must work together with relevant organisations to strengthen the multicultural trading system that must ensure fairness and equity.

The setting up of internationally recognised food safety systems is a sure way of ensuring fairness and equity in trade, in addition to securing better recognition.

PNG is a member of various international agencies and has an obligation to undertake the necessary steps for monitoring and ensuring compliance for the safety of its people.

"It is very important to strengthen PNG's capacity to be more competent in the field of quality and safety. For safeguarding on the long term environment and health of consumers, government must develop a participatory approach to compliance."

Onaga said the training would help to ensure that PNG could benefit within the importing and exporting channels, and boost the capability to access and control the possible risks to the environment and human health situations.

Participants will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide safety food and ascertain quality of food.

The training, which will run from May 2-13, has been made possible under the K11 million EU-funded project "Trade Related Assistance" (EU-TRAP) to PNG, supervised by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring and implemented by the Trade Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Under component 2, the two-week training is being facilitated and managed by the newly set- up Agrofood Safety and Codex PNG Unit within DAL.

This unit, located in the science and technology branch, has been one of the main beneficiaries of the EU-TRAP assistance since 2009.

Ian Erskine, an international certified trainer and facilitator from ACI Global company, based in Australia who has vast knowledge, skills and experience in the field of quality management systems auditing and food safety aspects of the entire food chain, has been engaged to conduct the training in PNG.

Most of the participants are in one way or another responsible for addressing the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) compliance issues in the country in an attempt to promote trade facilitation and protect the health of consumers.

EU-TRAP management and DAL hope that after this intensive training, PNG will benefit tremendously once the trainees apply their new knowledge and skills to promote SPS compliance issues.


  1. Proper training for people in the food production is important as they represent the industry and the business as a whole. If there’s no enough information disseminated or knowledge about proper ways on food hygiene, consumers may suffer as well as the business itself.

  2. Do we need to engage consulting services in this area?