Announced at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Hawaii, Waters Corporation, along with Mars Incorporated and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), jointly pledged $1 million to create the first ever Global Food Safety Capacity Building fund.
To be managed by the World Bank, the proposed fund will support global food safety improvements through expanded understanding of food safety standards and best practices throughout the food safety system, from farm to fork.
Supported by an innovative public-private partnership, the proposed fund builds on the Memorandum of Understanding between the APEC Food Safety Cooperation forum and the World Bank.
The fund will leverage APEC's unique food safety training programs while utilizing the World Bank's global reach and contributions from governments and private industry to positively impact global public health. Overall, the goal is to raise $15-20 million over the next 10 years.
Waters' participation in this public-private partnership complements the company's initiative to improve the availability, quality, and consistency of food safety testing capacity around the world.
On September 15, 2011, Waters, along with U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the University of Maryland, and their Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, opened the International Food Safety Training Laboratory (IFSTL), the first permanent food safety training lab that provides hand-on training with instruction on regulatory requirements.
"To really improve food safety and improve food supplies for everyone, we must work cooperatively on a global basis in the most efficient way possible. In order to have confidence that the food on our plate is safe to eat, we need to trust the results from food testing," says Dr. Rohit Khanna, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Waters.
"Teaching the science behind food safety, teaching the best and latest methods, teaching how to read results, and understand whether food meets standards, this is core to who Waters is and a key component to a comprehensive food safety program."
"We believe that the proposed Global Food Safety trust fund has enormous potential to advance collaboration on this important global issue, and we are looking forward to this shared endeavor," says World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati.
"We are pleased that the World Bank can provide support through knowledge sharing because – as we well know – a food safety crisis that originates in one region or country can so rapidly become a crisis in others."
"The objectives of this innovative new fund are directly aligned with Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger, and food security initiative," says Tjada McKenna, the Feed the Future Deputy Coordinator for Development at USAID.
"The fund will complement investments made through the transformative Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, also administered by the World Bank, to further advance the collective efforts we are making with our partners to make a significant impact in reducing hunger and undernutrition."
Recognizing that food supplies are growing more global and that food and waterborne diseases are the leading causes of illness and death in developing countries, the fund will develop pilot training programs; address high priority food hazards; and strengthen the overall competency of food testing methods.
Programs will encourage local stakeholders to invest in food safety capacity building to lift the world's farmers out of poverty while simultaneously decreasing food safety incidents.
For more than 50 years, Waters Corporation has created business advantages for laboratory-dependent organizations by delivering practical and sustainable innovation to enable significant advancements in such areas as healthcare delivery, environmental management, food safety, and water quality worldwide.