Queens University Belfast is set to coordinate a €10m project (known as EU-China-Safe) to boost food safety and fraud prevention in EU and China. The project, scheduled to run from September 2017 until August 2021, will facilitate trade partnerships and, at the same time, improve legislation and food inspections in both regions to improve safety and combat fraud. Funding for the project came from the European Horizon 2020 programme and the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST). EU-China-Safe will involve 33 organisations from the food industry, governments and research companies.
Traceability and Food Safety
“This project will tackle highly connected issues (including traceability and food safety) in a way that will serve to better protect several billion people. There is a pressing need to act internationally in response to emerging threats to food safety and fraud………. Working together as a coalition of 33 partners to share knowledge and maximise our technologies will empower the food industry to provide safer, authentic food and will boost consumer confidence, and ultimately facilitate the expansion of EU-China trade.”
Prof Chris Elliott – Project Coordinator & Queens University Pro-vice Chancellor
Developing a Shared Vision
The overall goal of the EU-China-Safe project is to develop and implement a shared vision of best practice that will enhance food safety, deter food fraud, restore consumer trust, deliver mutual recognition of data and standards and support the flow of agri-food trade to promote economic growth. It will focus on commonly reported foods linked to chemical and microbiological contamination and fraud: dairy products, infant formula, processed meats, vegetables, wine, honey and spices. A virtual laboratory will be built to demonstrate best practice for inspections. Latest technology will be used to increase traceability across the food chain.
“Working together as a coalition of 33 partners to share knowledge and maximise our technologies will empower the food industry to provide safer, authentic food and will boost conusmers’ confidence and ultimately facilitate the expansion of EU-China trade.”
It is envisaged that EU-China-Safe will build the core components needed for a joint EU-China food safety control system comprising food legislation, food inspection, food control laboratories, and food safety and quality information, education and communication.
“The EU-China-Safe partnership between our two trading regions is of immense importance to help deliver safe and genuine food to all citizens……. Working together across China and the EU will enable us to identify where food fraud is happening, address the root cause and thereby enable us to improve food safety standards for all our citizens.”
Yongning Wu – Chief Scientist, China National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment