Pakistan is the 2nd largest food industry and has vital role in economic growth. Establishing harmonized food standard practices protect consumers and facilitate international trade. It is unfortunate that Pakistan does not have National Food Standards Council. Provincial food authorities should play their part in adoption of international best practices. The national conference organized stretch new direction to scientists, regulators, and other investors for harmonization of food standard and safety said Minister at National Conference titled “Food Safety and Harmonization: shaping a Healthier Nation” organized by Ministry of Science and Technology with Nestlé Pakistan.

The conference highlighted the need for harmonization of food law to ensure food quality and standards in Pakistan to facilitate trade at the domestic and international level.

Ms. Awilo Ochieng Pernet, Chairperson of Codex Alimentarius Commission in her keynote address commented, “The effective implementation of food safety and standards empower national products to access international markets. The first step towards economic growth for Pakistan Putting food safety and national food rules on political agenda.”

Mr. Bruno Olierhoek Managing Director and CEO Nestlé Pakistan Ltd & Vice President Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) said that Pakistan ought to have National Food Council on federal level, for making one National Food Standard for country while all Provincial Food for implementing these standards. One Pakistan, One Food Rules!”

The conference covered brief technical sessions on food harmonization and food safety chaired by Mr. Malik Zahoor Ahmad, Senior Advisor, Federal Ministry of National Food Security and Research and Prof. Dr. Tahir Zahoor, Director General, National Institute of Food Science, and Technology. The two sessions saw participation from Mr. Khalid Siddiq, Director General Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Chairman Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) and Mr. Noor-ul-Amin Mengal, Director General Punjab Food Authority (PFA). The two sessions concluded that harmonization of safe food rules important across Pakistan. CEO Unilever Pakistan was also present at the conference.

Muhammad Pervez Malik, Federal Minister for Commerce commented that 200 million plus deaths across the globe occur due to unsafe food. Food safety is acerbic issue and entails participation from all including consumers, private sector, governing bodies, and regulators. Harmonized standards based on global standards like Codex, let us make our food safe and let us harmonize us”.

Secretary Board of Investment (BOI), Azhar Ali Chaudhry said that harmonization is an integral part of BOI’s objectives to create an investment-friendly environment. Implementing internationally accepted standards are reassuring to trade and to reduce costs to specific standards of developing nation. Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Agriculture should step out to harmonize food standards to encourage investment.”

Globally, 27 countries of European Union have one food standard that is approved by EU Commission. All the food industries of Europe follow same standards while each country is responsible for implementing those standards.