NGO pushes for stronger food safety awareness from consumers
A Non-Government organization (NGO) is pushing for more food safety awareness in Negros Occidental in an attempt to raise quality of the local food supply chain.
The Afos Foundation, a German NGO, in collaboration with the Association of Negros Producers-Foundation Enterprise Development (ANP-FEDI) and the Provincial Government, gathered about 60 consumers mostly members of parents and teachers associations for a public forum on food safety at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall last August 30.
Technical Coordinator for Food Safety of Afos Foundation Rendell Barcimo said that the forum is aimed to raise awareness of consumers on the importance of consuming products certified with various food safety standards.
Barcimo said there is a need for local consumers to be informed about food safety because it mainly concerns human health.
However, Afos has recognized that there is still a lack of awareness among consumers.
The Afos Foundation had earlier expressed concerns over the increasing cases of food poisoning and food borne diseases, which are posing health risks to the general public.
That is why food safety initiatives should cover the entire chain, from producers and food handlers up to the consumers.
Barcimo said a positive “response” among producers was already established, and they just have to work more on the consumption aspect. He pointed out that most consumers look for cheaper products yet grown in “conventional” farming system.
They have not yet realized the benefits of consuming products undergoing safety standards, he added.
“That is why we need to inform them,” Barcimo said, adding that teachers and parents as consumers are powerful influencers in the community especially households and schools