Marking another stride towards better market surveillance in Cambodia, Mekong Institute (MI) and the Consumer Protection, Competition, and Fraud Repression (CCF) Directorate-General delivered the third training under their joint initiative ‘Capacity Building Program on Food Safety Legal Framework and Better Market Surveillance for Food Inspectors’ on November 22, 2023 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Tailored to support the new Food Safety Law in terms of food inspection and surveillance, the training capacitated 48 food inspectors and laboratory officials from nine provincial branches of CCF. The inclusion of the Department of Laboratory is expected to ensure a more systematic approach in the food surveillance management system from site to laboratory.
“Providing food inspectors with the tools to identify and address food safety hazards is essential for the health and safety of consumers,” said Ms. Maria Theresa S. Medialdia, Director of the MI’s Agricultural Development and Commercialization Department, during the opening remarks. She underscored the importance of the training in bolstering the technical know-how of the CCF’s provincial staff, specifically in the application of the new Food Safety Legal Framework from a market surveillance vantage point.
H. E. Mr. Dim Theng, Deputy Director General of CCF, echoed the same perspective and acknowledged MI and the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAP) for their pivotal role in improving the country’s food safety management through PROSAFE. Highlighting the two previous trainings, he expressed his confidence in the contribution of the project to enhance provincial officials’ inspection capacities, thus advancing the enactment of Cambodia’s Food Safety Law and safeguarding consumer markets.
The one-day training provided an intensive curriculum of four modules, including practical simulation exercises and the analysis of case studies tailored to the integral components of food safety and market surveillance. Scaling the outcomes of PROSAFE capacity-building efforts, the training was conducted by the project’s alumni from CCF, proving its ripple effects locally.
At the conclusion of the event, H. E. Pha Oun, Director-General of CCF, extended heartfelt gratitude to MI and the New Zealand government for their investment in strengthening food safety expertise among stakeholders in the region. He highlighted how PROSAFE helped raise food safety awareness, particularly in Cambodia, via educational programs, knowledge exchange, and the active promotion of food safety standards. He ended his closing remarks with the hope of another phase of the project in the next few years.
This joint initiative of MI and CCF was one of the in-country activities under PROSAFE, a five-year project that built the regional and local competence of the government, private sector, and academic institutions to address the food safety issues in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam.