The Bangladesh Food Safety Conference 2017 will begin in the capital city Dhaka Wednesday (tomorrow) with the slogan "Protecting Consumers: A Shared Responsibility".
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu will inaugurate the two-day conference, the first of its kind in the country, at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the morning. Food minister Advocate M Qamrul Islam will attend it as the special guest.
Foreign Investors' Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), in collaboration with Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA), Ministry of Food and Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) are jointly organizing the event.
Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed will attend the closing session as chief guest on Thursday.
On the eve of the conference, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in separate messages, urged all to work together for creating awareness among the people about safe and nutritious food.
In his message, the president urged the people to abstain from taking unsafe food as it can create critical problems and negative impacts on the public health. He said safe and nutritious food is essential to ensure public health.
"There is no alternative to safe and nutritious food for ensuring good health for the future generation. We will have to change our mentality to ensure environment-friendly safe food," he added.
He called upon all concerned to play responsible roles in every step of food, including use of seed, fertilizer and insecticide, manufacturing and preservation.
In her massage, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said ensuring safe food is a priority issue to the present government which has ensured the use of modern technology in every step of crop production.
She hoped that the conference would play a vital role in taking proper steps for overcoming different problems in food production, import, processing, preserving, supplying and marketing.
Separate sessions will be held during the conference which will deal with topics relevant to the Bangladeshi food industry.
The first session of the conference will discuss Global Food Safety Challenges. Carmen Savelli of World Health Organization and Himangshu Gupta of Nestle, South Asia will take part in the discussion.
NG Kim Keat, Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Coca-Cola Far East Limited, Atlanta, will discuss coordination of food control across the food chain, risk-based food inspection, regulatory framework of food safety management.
There will be a session on sharing experiences with Food Control from Countries in the Region, which will introduce the cases of food control in Indonesia by Dr. Halim Nababan, National Agency for Drug and Food Control, Jakarta and India by Suneeti Toteja, Director, Food Safety Authority of India (FSSAI).
It will also discuss the strengthening of National Food Control Systems with experiences from the World Health Organization.
The conference will conclude with its last session, Ensuring Food Safety - A Farm-to-Fork Approach chaired by Dr. KAS Murshid, DG, BIDS, which will also host a panel discussion followed by a closing ceremony.
A.K.M. Nurul Afsar, national team leader, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, will present a summary and action points from the entire conference at the closing session.
Nestle, Coca-Cola, GSK and Pepsico as Diamond Sponsors, and Frooto, Unilever, Square, Akij Group, Perfetti van Melle, Meghna Group of Industries, Aarong Dairy, Globe and IFAD are the gold sponsors of the event. Polar, New Zealand Dairy, Lalmai Group, Marks, Shwapno and PUSTI are the silver sponsors.