Mekong Institute and the New Zealand Aid Programme are jointly implementing the Food Safety Project (FSP), an 18-month initiative which aims to train government officials in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam on the essentials of food safety and regulatory standards throughout various value chains, with particular emphasis on fresh produce.
Within the project, important aspects that need to be considered include the connection of CLMV regulations to select agri-food value chains to capture higher value market opportunities, the engagement of private sector to strengthen market access, and the role of CLMV officials in applying and sharing knowledge and skills in market-focused food safety regulation development and implementation.
While regional in scope, the project also acknowledges the countryspecific concerns of each CLMV country. As such, outreach activities will be initiated under the FSP, allowing more freedom for the project to explore ways to work with each country in a more localized manner. While the training programs are set in a regional context, the outreach activities, on the other hand, extend these programs in a local setting tailor-fit to the needs of each CLMV country.
Finally, a key feature of the project design is the use of New Zealand food safety expertise to train and advise CLMV officials on improving food regulations in select value chains. New Zealand’s safe food expertise was considered to be the most appropriate in up-scaling existing regulations to facilitate trade to more profitable markets.