In its efforts to promote food safety around the world, the United Nations (UN) has appointed the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to aid countries in the prevention, management and response to risks along the food supply chain, collaborating with food producers, vendors, regulatory authorities and civil society stakeholders in domestic production and imports.
"Food safety is everyone's business." The UN 2019 World Food Safety Day's theme underlines the significance of adopting safe and sustainable practices, good governance and regulations along the supply chain, from farmers to consumers (farm suppliers, food processors, food manufacturers, transporters, distributors, retailers, consumers) from farm to plate. It also emphasizes the importance of ready accessibility to safe, nutritious and sufficient food as a basic human right, without which two of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of zero hunger and good health and well-being will not be achieved and realized.
Food safety has long been a global concern. The increasing globalization of food supply, rising population, growing food demand and consumption are making it a more pressing challenge. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become critically important to a much greater extent.
In previous years, the consequences of consuming unsafe food only went as far as illnesses, disabilities and deaths from diseases from bacteria, viruses and chemical contamination.
At present, on a wider and deeper scale, it significantly impacts socio-economic development, economic growth, agriculture, market access, trade and tourism, sustainable development, and greatly endangers global food security and the environment.
THERE IS NO FOOD SECURITY WITHOUT FOOD SAFETY, WHICH IS THE BASE FOR HEALTHY DIETS AND LIVES.
José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, FAO
Every year around the world, over 420,000 people die and some 600 million fall ill after eating contaminated food.
(The Future of Food Safety, First FAO/WHO/AU International Food Safety Conference)
Safe food production improves sustainability by enabling market access and productivity, which drives economic development and poverty alleviation, especially in rural areas.
(World Health Organization)
Oman's food consumption growth until 2023
Oman's food imports in 2020
Among 113 nations Global Food Security Index
Oman's food self-sufficiency versus food imports