The Food Protection and Defense Institute hosted ten representatives from Saudi Arabian government, academia, law enforcement, and food industry at the 2016 Food Defense Collaborative Exchange from December 5-9, 2016. The Collaborative Exchange provided food defense training, expertise, and technical assistance to the Saudi Arabian stakeholders as they worked to improve their national food defense program in Saudi Arabia to support global public health and promote trade and technical exchange with the United States.
Dr. Trevor Ames, Dean of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, welcomed the delegation and offered opening remarks at the Collaborative Exchange. He emphasized the importance of international collaboration at the University of Minnesota, and thanked FPDI for its effort in organizing the course. FPDI experts developing and delivering the exchange program and food defense content included: Amy Kircher, Jennifer van de Ligt, Deb Freedman, John Larkin, John Hoffman, Neal Fredrickson, Erin Mann, Penny Norquist, Lisa Trimble, and Ned Mitenius.
This type of food defense collaboration builds vital relationships to enhance food supply chain security, protects consumers and businesses against intentional contamination, and facilitates opening and strengthening international dialogue on food defense.
The continuation and expansion of global food defense outreach directly supports national security pillars for Threat Awareness, Prevention, and Protection by engaging appropriate government officials and private sector stakeholders in informational briefings, seminars, and practical training in risk assessment and food defense planning.
This activity provided advanced-level training for participants who attended the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) – Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) Food Defense Workshop held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 17–18, 2016.