Expanding food access, improving product quality, and giving greater transparency to information on all stages of production are the challenges facing the 1st World Congress on Food Security, which began yesterday, July 11, in downtown São Paulo.
Government and private sector representatives from every continent are gathering for the first time to discuss the chief links involved in the food chain, from the use of rations and additives to the information needed by consumers.
The event represents the first step in an attempt to implement on a global scale the Code of Good Manufacturing Practices, approved last year in Denmark.
The encounter is sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF) and the National Feed Industry Syndicate (Sindirações).
According to the president of the Syndicate, Mário Sérgio Cutait, one of the norms established in the code is to guarantee consumer access to information on the origin of butchered animals, the quality of the meat, and the means used to conserve it.
In this regard, Cutait points out, the requirement to include this information on product labels becomes “essential.” As for the prospects of universal adoption of the code, he observes that Brazil acted early and formulated a similar set of rules in 2000.
The secretary of Agricultural Policy of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, Ivan Wedekin, participated in the opening of the Congress.
He stressed the federal government’s intention to encourage the expansion of meat exports, as well as to promote a greater number of coordinated efforts by the sector to further this goal.
With respect to agricultural and livestock subsidies granted by governments of other countries, Wedekin said “that the country hopes the rich nations are well-disposed to open their markets.”
He mentioned the percentage levels of subsidies in the chief production areas, such as the United States (17%), Europe (36%), and Japan (50%), in comparison with Brazil’s (3%).
The 1st World Congress on Food Security ends tomorrow, July 13. The largest delegation is from the United States, followed by the ones from China, India, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom.
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