A recent knowledge sharing workshop on food safety management hosted by the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam identified capacity development needs in food safety management and investible options that will inform the work of the Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC) and the government.
Held 7 May 2019 at the MARD office, the workshop brought together 50 participants from the ministries of agriculture and rural development, health, and industry and trade; the Danish embassy; the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); research organizations; academia and Vietnamese alumni of DFC’s food safety training courses.
The participants discussed critical food safety issues in the country. The meeting identified the main needs for capacity development related to food safety management in Vietnam including:
• improving the traceability system along agri-food value chains by developing the capacity of stakeholders;
• developing and improving food safety risk assessment capacity of/among stakeholders; and
• strengthening risk communication capacity of state staff and communications agencies.
Participants also reviewed how alumni of DFC food safety training courses can contribute to the implementation, management and enforcement of food safety standards. The workshop also considered how to help connect alumni from different courses for policy influencing and allowed the participants to discuss effective methods to share and apply the knowledge gained in Denmark.
To make full use of existing investment in food safety management capacity participants agreed on the following priority actions:
• To establish and sustain an international DFC alumni network for food safety.
• To establish a social platform on Facebook or Zalo, a domestic social platform, that students can use to share the knowledge they have gained.
• To create innovative mobilization mechanisms for sharing information by alumni. These include organizing knowledge sharing seminars and translating training materials into Vietnamese for wider dissemination.
The workshop was an important step in identifying national capacity needs in food safety management. In particular, it established a foundation for further collaboration and partnership between the Danish and Vietnamese governments.