ASEAN 2015: Strengthening the Regional Food Safety System


asea-2015-strengthening-the-regional-food-safety-system-2Background and Rationale

Food security in ASEAN cannot be achieved if the safety of food supply cannot be assured at the regional level.   The ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) framework has adopted the 1996 World Food Summit’s definition of food security, which considers food safety as an integral component of the regional food security initiatives (ASEAN Secretariat, 2012; FAO, 1998). The ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint highlights food safety as a paramount concern in the agriculture and fisheries sector (ASEAN Secretariat, 2008). Health risks associated with food-born hazards present a critical obstacle to the free movement of food and food security in the region as envisioned in the implementation of the ASEAN Community by 2015.

The action plan recommended by a regional seminar-workshop on Risk-based Food Control Programs in Southeast Asia organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in 2011 highlighted the promotion of food safety among primary producers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a key element in addressing common regional needs. This recommendation is consistent with the view that enhanced capacity of smallholder agriculture in food safety can play a pivotal role in reducing poverty, which is largely rooted in rural poverty in ASEAN (SOMRDPE. 2010). Thus, effective regional cooperation and mutual assistance in food safety will help promote equitable and inclusive development as ASEAN moves towards economic integration (ASEAN Secretariat, 2009).

Although ASEAN has made significant headway in moving towards a science-based region-wide food safety system (SOM-AMAF, 2013), the region still faces a number of constraints, notably the need for a regional food safety regulatory framework in the face of divergent capacity among member states in promoting and controlling compliance with food safety standards and regulations (Benigno, 2013).

Among the strategies identified by ASEAN to address the above constraints are the formulation of regional policies on food safety; ensuring coordination among various regional sectoral bodies and national agencies/competent authorities; and investment on human resources to build institutional and organisational capacity. This strategy and the emphasis on inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development figure prominently in SEARCA’s 10th Five-Year Plan. Hence, this seminar-workshop is proposed by SEARCA for senior and mid-level officials in government and private organizations involved in food safety. For this seminar-workshop, SEARCA partners with two sister SEAMEO centers – SEAMEO Regional Center for Tropical Biology (BIOTROP) and SEAMEO Regional Center for Food and Nutrition (RECFON).



At the end of this regional seminar- workshop, the participants should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an enhanced appreciation of the underlying principles in the liberalization of and specific arrangements/agreements in food trade;
  2. Formulate urgently needed capacity- and institution-building programs essential to managing and controlling farm-to-fork compliance to voluntary and mandatory food safety standards and regulations; and
  3. Identify regional, national and sectoral bodies and agencies engaged in food safety programs and propose mechanisms for effective networking with and among these organizations at the national and regional levels.


    concepcion-lozadaTechnical Coordinator of the forum is Dr. Ma. Concepcion C. Lizada. She is a Professor Emeritus of Food Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman and Senior Fellow at SEARCA. She holds a PhD degree in Biochemistry from the University of California Davis (1979). Her research work covered postharvest physiology and safety of horticultural produce as part of an ASEAN network and in partnership with researchers from Australia, Japan and Israel. As ASEAN Horticulture Working Group Coordinator, she was part of the team that conceptualized the ASEAN-Australia Project on Quality Assurance Systems for ASEAN Fruits, Fresh and Minimally Processed, which included food safety as a key component. As the first Acting Director of the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards of the Department of Agriculture (DA), she served as the National Codex Contact Point and became a member of the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius. She has served as resource person on risk-based food safety systems for the Philippines Departments of Trade and Industry and Science and Technology, the International Life Sciences Institute (SEA) and Japan Science and Technology Corporation. She served as consultant to the EU-supported project on risk analysis of the food and feed safety of the coconut industry for the Philippine Coconut Authority and has undertaken food safety risk assessment covering products of biotechnology for the DA. She has organized regional food safety workshops with SEARCA.



      Module 1: Principles Underlying Food Trade Liberalization

      • Food safety-related Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Measures
      • Streamlining Regional Food Safety Standards: Possible Role of Codex Procedures Core Issues
      • Pre-requisites and Operational Procedures in Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) and other Regional and Bilateral Agreements
      • Food Defense in ASEAN: Safeguarding the Regional Food Supply

      Module 2: Risk-based Food Safety Systems

      • Overview of Risk Analysis: Role in Food Control Systems and Sectoral Participation
      • Overview of Quantitative/Qualitative Assessment and Competence Required
      • Requisites and Prospects for the Conduct of Risk Assessments at the Regional Level
      • Risk Assessment vis-à-vis Risk Management
      • Risk Management Options: Voluntary vs. Mandatory Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Pre-requisites
      • Risk Management Options for Small and Less Developed Businesses (SLDBs)
      • Applying HACCP Principles to Primary Production and Produce Handling
      • Other Food Safety Management Systems
      • Post-market Surveillance for Food Safety and Traceability
      • Risk Communication Strategies
      • The Role of Non-conventional Information Networks in Managing Food-Borne Zoonotic Diseases in Southeast Asia
      • ASEAN 2015: Assuring Regional Food Safety and Nutrition

      Module 3: ASEAN Food Safety Initiatives: Status/Updates

      • Halal Certification and Food Safety Management Systems
      • Other Certification and Accreditation Systems for Agricultural and Food Products with Significant Trade/Trade Potential in ASEAN
      • Harmonised Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Products Derived from Modern Biotechnology
      • The ASEAN Food Safety Network and Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed
      • Regional Strategic Framework for Laboratory Capacity Building and Networking in Southeast Asia
      • ASEAN Harmonised Safety and Quality Standards for Horticultural Produce and Agricultural Products of Economic Importance; Intra-ASEAN Phytosanitary Guidelines for Importation of Citrus-fruit
      • ASEAN Harmonised Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs)

      Workshop: Introduction and Mechanics -- “SWOT Analysis of Food Safety Systems in ASEAN”


      Intended Participants

      Participants from the government sector will come from ministries/agencies covering agriculture and fisheries, particularly those involved in formulating food safety policies, standards and regulatory procedures. As food safety risk assessment lies within the competency of health experts and as ASEAN Food Safety Improvement Plan II (AFSIP II) is within the purview of the ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting, it is preferred that at least one participant represent the health ministry/agency from each ASEAN country. It is anticipated that at least one representative come from each of the three other pillars for food safety, i.e., food industry (production/manufacturing), consumer groups and academe.


      Seminar-Workshop Duration and Venue
      2-6 June 2014 | SEAMEO BIOTROP, Bogor, Indonesia


      Seminar-Workshop Fee

      • The seminar-workshop fee is US$635 per participant, which covers training materials, meals during the duration of the forum, accommodation (twin-sharing), and airport transfers. Live-out rate is US$311.00. Subsidized rates are available upon request.
      • All other expenses associated with the seminar-workshop (international air travel, visa, airport terminal fees, travel/health insurance, and other personal expenses) are at the participants’ own expense.

      NOTE: Limited training support is open only to qualified nationals of SEAMEO member countries (i.e., Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam).



      The deadline for filing of application with limited training support is 10 May 2014. Once awarded, grantees will have until 20 May 2014 to officially register for the seminar-workshop. Deadline for filing of application for fee-paying participants is 21 May 2014. Deadline for registration of fee-paying participants is 27 May 2014.

      For the application form for fee-paying participants, please click here.

      For training grant applicants, please click on the application form and nomination form.


      Additional Information