The theme of World Accreditation Day 2020 will be ‘Accreditation: Delivering Food Safety’. The production of food and water involves complex supply chains. Food safety policies have a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain – from production to harvest, processing, storage and distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.
With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to health and economies. An estimated three million people around the world — in developed and developing countries — die every year from food and waterborne disease. Individuals often take for granted that food is safe, but in an increasingly complex and interconnected world where food value chains are growing longer, standards and accredited conformity assessment have become increasingly important in ensuring that consumers, suppliers, purchasers and specifiers have confidence in the quality and safety of food.
Accreditation plays a key role in ensuring that food is safe, confirming it is free of toxins, contaminants, pollutants and pathogens, and that labelling can be trusted in terms of ingredients contained, food provenance, and authenticity. Accreditation can also deliver confidence as consumer expectations change in terms of environmental impact, and sustainable and ethical production.
World Accreditation Day will focus on the role that accreditation plays in supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly goals 2, 3, 12, and 17, which relate to the safety of food in the face of globalized supply chains with annual food exports currently in excess of USD 1.6 trillion. Safe food contributes to economic prosperity by boosting agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
To celebrate WAD 2020, a joint statement from the IAF and ILAC Chairs, a brochure and a poster have been published on the IAF website, and a video is available on the IAF/ILAC Youtube channel. Additional case studies and research are available on the Public Sector Assurance and Business Benefits websites. All parties with an interest in the testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) sector are encouraged to promote the day.
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