The US Agency for International Development, Mars Incorporated and Waters Corporation pledged a joint $1m to the fund, which is to be managed by the World Bank, with a goal of raising $15m-$20m over the next decade.
The partnership is intended to build on a memorandum of understanding signed by APEC’s Food Safety Cooperation Forum and the World Bank in May, to strengthen food safety collaboration in the Asia Pacific region.
Managing director of the World Bank Sri Mulyani Indrawati said: "Food safety issues increasingly bear a major impact upon economies, public health and food security around the world. Each impact has its own issues and consequences, and as the global economy becomes more interdependent, the impacts become heightened. The Fund will raise awareness of the importance of food safety capacity building, develop policy and economic analysis, identify best practices and mobilize and target funding for activities worldwide."
The fund will involve governments, industry and academia, and has three main priorities, based on a model developed by APEC’s Food Safety Cooperation Forum: Developing, testing and validating programs in APEC to create customizable training modules; addressing high priority food hazards, contaminants and pathogens; and strengthening analytics and metrics, for consistent, scaleable design and evaluation of food safety systems.
President and CEO of the GMA Pamela Bailey said in a statement: “Food and beverage companies have a vast amount of experience, knowledge and understanding when it comes to developing and manufacturing safe products. We know what works, what doesn’t work and how to apply best practices along the entire global supply chain to ensure our products are safe. This fund will allow us to share our skills and technical expertise in food safety on a much broader scale.”
APEC is, a forum of 21 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, which seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the region. Member economies account for nearly half the world’s food production, and over 40% of its population.