Towards a Myanmar Food Safety & Responsible Sourcing Initiative based on recognised International Standards
MCRB, together with PRIME Agri, co-hosted a roundtable in Naypyidaw on 8/9 November to discuss how Myanmar could enhance food safety and responsible sourcing in primary agricultural production, post-harvest, and food processing.
An increased focus on responsible sourcing will enable Myanmar to access new markets and increase agriculture and food exports from Myanmar.
The multistakeholder roundtable was co-sponsored by the governments of Switzerland and New Zealand. It was attended by around  Myanmar stakeholders and international experts from leading food safety and standards organisations such as GLOBALG.A.P., Fairtrade, FSSC22000 and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
Myanmar stakeholders included officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MOALI) and the Food and Drug Administration, Parliamentarians, Myanmar agriculture and food businesses and international investors, consumer groups, workers organisations and development partners.
The workshop was addressed by Dr Tin Htut, Permanent Secretary of MOALI, on behalf of Minister U Aung Thu who told participants: ‘Myanmar is committed to adopting widely accepted international standards, in order to unlock market access for higher value agriculture and food products’.
In a message to the conference, Dr Kristian Moeller, the CEO of GLOBALG.A.P., the most recognised food safety standard for primary agricultural production in the world said ‘GLOBALG.A.P. will look into establishing the GLOBALG.A.P. Academy in Myanmar to assist implementation of a food safety and sustainability culture that positions Myanmar as a reliable food supply country to local and international markets’. Participants also heard presentations from other experts including Fons Schmid, Chair of FSSC22000, and former Chair of the GFSI, and from a variety of Myanmar and foreign companies who are taking steps to improve food standards in a variety of commodities including coffee, rice and fruit and vegetables.