ITALY – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has developed a nine-year set of strategic priorities with the vision to provide “Safe food for all people at all times”, taking into account the global context, the emerging drivers, and trends with implications for food safety.

The mission, specified in the newly released FAO strategic priorities for food safety 2022-2031, is: “To support Members in continuing to improve food safety at all levels by providing scientific advice and strengthening their food safety capacities for efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems.”

FAO’s strategic priorities will guide the Organization’s work on food safety work, which is instrumental to three priority programme areas of the FAO Strategic Framework, namely Better Nutrition 3: “Safe food for everyone”, Better Nutrition 5: “Transparent markets and trade”, Better Production 3: “One Health” and have relevance to many others.  

They will also provide a guiding framework for collaborative efforts within the FAO technical divisions, with FAO Members and partners.   

“Our aspiration is that this document help spur investments and secure adequate human and financial resources for FAO to successfully implement its food safety programme,” said Corinna Hawkes, FAO Director of the Food Systems and Food Safety Division.  

In order to aid in the implementation of the FAO’s Strategic Framework 2022–2031 and the 2030 Agenda, FAO Strategic Priorities for Food Safety were created at the request of the 27th Session of the FAO Committee on Agriculture (COAG) and adopted by the 171st session of the FAO Council.

They were developed through a consultative process with FAO Members, international partner organizations (IAEA, WOAH, WTO/STDF, UNIDO, WHO), and several FAO technical divisions and centres.  

Food safety is an essential precondition of food security, nutrition, and healthy diets, and a requirement for market access and food trade.

Food safety has a key role in the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind.

The FAO Strategic Priorities paper is organized around four interconnected strategic outcomes with a focus on governance, expert guidance, bolstering national food control systems, and encouraging public-private partnerships throughout the food chain.

All four of these results support a more cogent integration of food safety into the creation of inclusive and sustainable agrifood systems, food security and nutrition regulations, and agricultural development plans.

The actions outlined in the FAO strategic priorities for food safety will directly support SDGs 6 (Availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all), 8 (Employment and decent work for all), 12 (Sustainable consumption and production), 13 (Climate action), and 17 (Global partnership for sustainable development), as well as SDG 1 (No poverty), SDG 2 (Zero hunger), and SDG 3(Good health and well-being).

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