IFT and FAOWith mutual efforts toward achieving a safe, sufficient and accessible food supply, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The objective of the MOU is to facilitate cooperation between FAO and IFT in preventing and redressing the increasing risks associated with food safety and quality, and their impact on public health and consumer protection.

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts—that is, to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO’s mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. Food safety is central to global food security, and FAO’s work includes building legal and institutional frameworks at the country level, supporting the use of science and risk-based approaches in food control activities and enhancing the capacities of operators along the food chain.

“We are proud and honored to be able to offer IFT’s collective scientific and technical expertise as a resource to FAO,” says IFT Executive Vice President Barbara Byrd Keenan. “This partnership brings us closer to achieving our common goal of achieving a safe and more abundant global food supply.”

Cooperative activities covered by the MOU include the following:

• Identifying individuals for consideration in food safety, quality and security-related expert rosters

• Collaborating within the organization and implementation of conferences, seminars and workshops related to food safety, emerging technologies, food science and nutrition

• Assisting with education curriculum development and reviewing university food science and nutrition programs in developing countries

• Facilitating development and providing scientific input on background papers, scientific perspectives and documents

• Providing timely responses on public policy and regulatory issues relating to and affecting the global food supply.

Additional information about FAO’s food safety and food quality activities can be found at http://www.fao.org/food/food-safety-quality/home-page/en/.

IFT members interested in participating should contact William Fisher at 202-330-4977 or wfisher@ift.org.