This is because food safety cannot be overemphasized in the discussion of food security; we are producing the right quantity and quality but must also be safe for consumption in order for us to be able to refer to our produce as food. Not at a time as this is when more consumers and markets are becoming more aware of the importance of safe food in the food supply chain. We need to build the confidence of our markets and consumers that our produce has the highest standard of safety!

In essence, food safety can be a marketing tool when expanding our markets especially when the target is in the international market. In order to prove this commitment, many markets are embracing food safety standards for production and processing such as GlobalG.A.P, ISO 22000, FSSC 22000 amongst other conformity assessments as evidence of commitment to food safety. In the next few years, I strongly believe that more markets and consumers will demand more of these certificates as trusts have been built (As more confidence is built in the process). But where are our farmers in this loop? We need to diffuse this information to our farmers so that they can align with the global trend to gain more value from our produce and products and access better markets. There is no better day than now to discuss how to empower our farmers to produce to specific standards, especially food safety standards.

We don't have to wait till tomorrow to be shown the value we can create from producing safe and healthy produce and embracing practices that improve food safety in our agricultural operations. We have been told today, let us put structures to help build the capacity of relevant stakeholders to seize this opportunity as there is more to gain for the people, producers and the environment. Don't forget, there is a business of food that leads to prosperity for few people and there is a business of food that builds a generational shared prosperity. I strongly believe in the latter and we need to work to achieve it in our lifetime. So, as we produce food, our label or landmark is consistent safe and healthy food, and we need the World to see as well but can better believe it through our label of commitment - a badge of honour and confidence. The future of food is here!