Mutorwa launches food safety policy

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) today launched the Namibia Food Safety Policy that aims to guarantee safety of all food products traded nationally or exported to other countries.

The policy proposes the establishment of the National Food Safety Council as the main and official coordinator of food safety matters.

If and when the Act comes into force, it will replace a 96-year-old law dating back from 1919 and 1920 of the Public Health Proclamation of South Africa. This Act makes provision for the prevention and control of infectious diseases, venereal diseases and epidemics, and also regulates sanitation, food and public water supplies.

Speaking at the ceremony, MAWF Minister John Mutorwa said the drafting of the policy has been preceded by exhaustive consultations from all five line ministries, including several stakeholders’ consultations from as far back as 2007.

In an official document on the policy, Acting Permanent Secretary in the MAWF, Abraham Nehemia said Namibia adopts a ‘farm-to-fork’ principle in managing food safety throughout the value chain and even though effective official control systems are critical to the establishment of a national food safety system, food safety happens at producer, processor, trader, handler and consumer levels.