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Report from the Department of Health; Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Strengthening Food Control and Food Labelling in South.

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Presentation on theme: "Report from the Department of Health; Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Strengthening Food Control and Food Labelling in South."— Presentation transcript:

1 Report from the Department of Health; Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Strengthening Food Control and Food Labelling in South Africa

2 Outline 1.Background 2.Overview of the process followed by the Departments since the 26 th of March Joint consultative seminar on the challenges and solutions of food controls in South Africa Summary results 4.Aspects considered in the proposal by the government departments to address identified challenges 5.Proposal to address identified challenges 6.Conclusion and Acknowledgements 2

3 Background  Presentation is based on the three departments’ response to the request by the Joint Sitting of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees held on the 26 th of March 2013 on food control gaps in South Africa identified pursuant to the horse meat scandal  At the Joint Sitting, the Portfolio Committees instructed the 3 departments to develop a clear action plan on how food control collaboration would work going forward. 3

4 Overview of the events between the Department’s since the 26 th of March 2013 with regard to finding solution to strengthen food controls in the country  Meetings where held by the management official representatives from the 3 departments  A one day brain storming joint consultative seminar on the challenges and solutions of food controls in South Africa was conceived and held on the 30 th of May 2013 to identify the challenges in the whole food value chain for the South African food industry and draft an action plan to address the challenges.  118 delegates attended the brain storming seminar  The delegates were subdivided into 5 focus groups and after some discussions presented the identified food control challenges in South Africa and suggested various options for possible solution. 4

5 Joint consultative seminar on the challenges and solutions of food controls in South Africa Highlights of the Seminar summary results:  The value chains in the agrifood sector in South Africa and her international trading partners have became increasingly complex.  South Africa’s multiple departmental food control system with fragmentation of legislation, structure and functions has not been able to respond strategically to the increased scope and complexity with new structures and initiatives resulting in current food control operational challenges. 5

6 Aspects considered in the proposal by the government departments to address identified challenges  Elements of a national food control system: Food law and regulations; Food control management; Official control services (inspection services); Laboratory services: Food monitoring and epidemiological data; Information, education, communication and training. 6

7 Aspects considered in the proposal by the government departments to address identified challenges  The investigation conducted by the National Consumer Commission,  Multidisciplinary nature of actions required for optimal food safety and control;  Previous attempts aimed at addressing the disparate system of food control in South Africa;  Critical role to be played by the private sector;  Need to restore consumer confidence in the food supply chain locally and beyond our borders;  The need to act in the short, medium and long term;  The need for an effective penalty system to dissuade ‘cowboys’ in the food industry. Proposal by the government departments with inputs from the Industry to address identified challenges are provided below with brief suggestions on attempts to integrate the food control system 7

8 Proposal by the government departments to address identified challenges CHALLENGEINTERVENTIONSSTRATEGIES AND ACTIONS A need for a high level decision to ensure the strengthening of Food Safety Controls Cabinet level approval to strengthen Food safety controls oversight in South Africa through reconfiguration of a Ministerial Cluster Foster an integrated approach to governance that is aimed at improving government planning, decision making and service delivery in food safety matters at national, provincial and local levels. Fragmentation of food control authorities Establishment of Inter- departmental Food safety coordinating committee (IDFSCC) - Systematic review of regulatory frameworks for food safety and food control -Draft the National Food Safety and Food Control Policy document and a Road Map of Food safety and Food Control in South Africa -Carry out a feasibility evaluation of an integrated model of governance for food safety and food control -Oversee development of norms and standards for Food Safety and Food Control 8

9 Proposal by the government departments to address identified challenges CHALLENGEINTERVENTIONSSTRATEGIES AND ACTIONS Limited capacity for appropriate scientific inputs in decision- making processes Appoint a Scientific Advisory group under the IDFSCC -To advise the IDFSCC and coordinate or carry out interdepartmental food safety risk assessments. -Research and risk assessments on emerging food safety and control issues. -Harmonization of food imports risk assessment - To advice on food safety and food control Lack of an integrated strategy and capacity on food laboratories. Appoint a Laboratory Advisory group under the IDFSCC -Develop and advise the IDFSCC on the strategy for an integrated food laboratory network -Develop Memorandum of Understanding on laboratory services between Departments, SOE’s and Academic Institutions Lack of capacity to conduct animal species quantitative analysis Identify laboratories and institution responsible for leading on quantification of species DNA traces Design and carry out studies on the levels of species contamination that is achievable, detectable, and acceptable in RSA through partnerships with research institutions. 9

10 Proposal by the government departments to address identified challenges CHALLENGEINTERVENTIONSSTRATEGIES AND ACTIONS A requisite for the approval of an official traceability and recall policy and system Establish a committee on Inspections under IDFSCC -Establish a national policy on food traceability and recall System to enable quick and effective recall communication and automatic reporting to the IDFSCC -Establish legal basis for Industry to report their recalls to the IDFSCC Fragmentation and poor coordination of intra- departmental structures Realignment and more streamlining of related activities/ Strengthening of internal coordination within departments for efficient services delivery -DAFF, DoH and the dti to consolidate units dealing with all aspects of Food Safety and Food control Strengthen the various food control sub-committees throughout the country -Create and provide oversight to the various food control committees and sub-committees operating throughout the country 10

11 Proposal by the government departments to address identified challenges CHALLENGEINTERVENTIONSSTRATEGIES AND ACTIONS Fragmented Food inspections compromising enforcement and compliance Review food inspection system within DAFF, DTI and DoH -Conduct audits of existing inspection services -Address capacity issues and identified gaps identified from audits -Create linked databases for inspectors and registered food facilities. -Create data base for reporting of third party verification audits. -Explore the use of a Memorandum of Understanding between Departments -Finalize independent meat inspection proposal Inadequate information, Education and Communication to consumers on food safety and food control matters IDFSCC to develop a communication strategy and training on food safety and food control matters -Implementation of the approved communication strategy -Establish a dedicated(single) site/link for food safety and food control communication purposes -Implement an effective consumer education program on food safety matters -Establish a single point of communication on Food Safety and Food Control. 11

12 Proposal by the government departments to address identified challenges CHALLENGE INTERVENTIONSSTRATEGIES AND ACTIONS A need to broaden access and participation between the Public and Private sector on SPS issues Develop an electronic/ physical coordination mechanism between national SPS committee and all interested stakeholders Improving SPS coordination in terms of broader consultations and reporting to include private Sector A need to improve border controls Development of a mechanism for the Exchange of information amongst regulators Increase capacity at ports of entry -Develop an electronic filing system of import inspection to facilitate the exchange of import information with agencies involved with border control -Development of training material for inspections and implementation of joint training platforms -Develop Memorandum of Understanding with other law enforcement agencies -Amend import permits for the declaration of final destination and usage of imported material Insufficient specialized legal expertise on food safety and food control matters Establishment of a specialized support legal team on food laws -Appointment of a food law expert/s may be seconded from State attorneys in the interim. -Engagement with Academic Institutions to develop legal capacity for food law -Capacitate officials regarding instant legal enforcement for food safety 12

13 What are the benefits of this approach?  Uniform and consistent application of protection measures;  Ability to act decisively to protect consumers;  Single source of information in the event of an incident;  Improved cost efficiency and more effective use of resources and expertise; Harmonization of food standards; Capacity to quickly respond to emerging challenges and the demands of the domestic and international marketplace; and The provision of more streamlined and efficient services, benefiting industry and promoting trade; Partnership with industry. 13

14 Our expectations from Industry  Industry has a critical role to play in a proactive rather than reactive manner  Know and understand laws, regulations and standards applicable to them;  Foster consumer awareness and education/information;  Ensure supply chain processes integrity;  Screen and monitor from ingredients to end product;  Act responsibly including reporting to Government to enable Government to prioritise resources for those who require guidance;  Keep abreast with innovation around the world - sharing experiences with different industries;  Report cases of fraudulent practices by industry members to law enforcement agencies. 14

15 Conclusion and Acknowledgements  Strengthening food controls is of utmost importance to meet current and future realities of public health challenges of our country in its quest for economic development  The proposed action plan is work in progress  More consultations are planned for specific intervention areas mentioned in the currently proposed action plan We would like to acknowledge the Consumers, Food consultants and multi-sectoral food industry groups who contributed to the Seminar on Food control challenges and solutions that led to the current draft action plan, THANK YOU!! 15


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