Bangladesh has sufficient potential in food export due to the abundance of agricultural products.
There is also a huge demand for Bangladeshi food abroad. But due to not being able to ensure ‘Safe Food’ the country is lagging behind in the export sector.
Cabinet Secretary Md. Mahbub Hossain said these things at a workshop titled ‘Coordination of food safety standards and regulations in Bangladesh’ organized by Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BSFA) at a city hotel on Saturday.
He said, “If we can ensure quality and pure food, we can enter the international food market. We are taking concerted steps to ensure safe food. I believe that when the rules are implemented, safe food will also enter the food chain of the people of the country. I believe food safety is not the sole responsibility of anyone. The government is
committed to ensure food for all and in this continuation Safe Food act has been made.”
Food Ministry Secretary Md. Ismail Hossain and Agriculture Ministry Secretary Wahida Akhter were present as special guests in the workshop.
Md. Ismail Hossain said that the Prime Minister has expressed great interest in ensuring safe food for the people of Bangladesh. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, we are working to ensure safe food for the people of Bangladesh. But it is very difficult for one organization to ensure safe food for 170 million people. So everyone should come forward to ensure safe food.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Bangladesh Representative Robert D. Simpson said, “Bangladesh’s food is becoming more international, not only is Bangladesh producing more food, but it is also exporting and importing more food. This is why harmonization with international standards is so important. With support from FAO, Bangladesh is now well on its way to harmonizing with Codex standards and in doing so, the country is laying the foundations to establish itself a trusted supplier of quality, safe food.”
BFSA supported by the FAO marked a major step towards harmonisation with the international ‘food code’. The Codex Alimentarius, or ‘Food Code’ is a collection of standards, guidelines, and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt congratulating stakeholders in a video message said, “More than 11200 food standards were drafted by 27 technical working groups with more than 200 experts in the relevant areas.
Out of these, 36 experts from India worked with Bangladeshi experts to get this job done, which is an amazing reflection of international cooperation. Alignment with Codex standards is a dynamic process and Bangladesh needs to participate actively in the Codex meetings.”
BSFA Chairman Md. Abdul Qayyum Sarkar, European Union spokesperson Maurizio Cian, FAO International Food Security Specialist Sanjay Dev and others were also present at the workshop.
According to FAO, over the last century, the amount of food traded internationally has grown exponentially, and a quantity and variety of food never before possible travels the globe daily. In fact, international food trade is a USD 2000 billion a year industry.
Food safety is not only important for Bangladesh’s food and nutrition security but also critical for the country’s ambition to increase food exports. It was recognised some time ago that it was necessary to upgrade Bangladesh’s food standards and bring them at par with international standards. Food safety is now an established priority for Bangladesh.