Draft Concept Note from the Food and Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations
On 7 June 2019, the world will celebrate the first ever World Food Safety Day, an international observance proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2018. The celebration is a unique opportunity to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity and sustainable development.
The theme of this year’s inaugural World Food Safety Day invites us to recognize, food safety is everyone’s business. The way in which food is produced, stored, handled and consumed affect the safety of our food. Complying with Global food standards, establishing effective regulatory food control systems including emergency preparedness and response, providing access to clean water, applying good agriculture practices (terrestrial, aquatic, livestock, horticulture), strengthening the use of food safety management systems by food business operators, and building capacities of consumers, to make healthy food choices are some ways in which governments, international organizations, scientists, private sector and civil society work to ensure food safety.
The complexity of ensuring food safety, the rapid changes that the world is undergoing in terms of science, technology, innovation, trade and climate-related aspects has led the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to co-organize, together with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the African Union (AU), two global events on the future of food safety in the lead up to World Food Safety Day: the first FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference (12-13 February 2019, Addis Ababa) and the WTO International Forum on Food Safety and Trade (23-24 April 2019, Geneva).
The inaugural World Food Safety Day in New York will present an opportunity to (i) share the outcomes of the two food safety conferences; (ii) discuss ways in which food safety can incentivize healthy diets; and, (iii) discuss how the United Nations in New York can further support the efforts to improve food safety.
Why Food Safety
Food safety is everyone’s business.
Everyone has the right to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. Still today, almost one in ten people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food. Food-borne illnesses are estimated to be responsible for 420 000 deaths annually– 125 000 of them in children under five – every year, with people in Africa and Southeast Asia suffering the most.
Safe food is critical to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. When food is not safe, it negatively impacts our food security and nutrition, health, the development of children and the ability of adults to lead productive lives. Food safety has a significant impact on trade and the economy. Food trade represents approximately 10% of total international trade. Recent estimates indicate that unsafe food costs low- and middle-income economies around US$ 95 billion in lost productivity each year.
To learn more about the first inaugural World Food Safety day, visit the United Nations website