The United States has launched a $1 million Global Food Safety Fund,  a partnership of public and private organizations,  to provide training to enhance international trade and security.  The creation of the fund was announced at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Honolulu, Hawaii.  The fund was established in collaboration with the World Bank, which will manage the fund’s assets.  Three organizations–the Waters Corporation, Mars Incorporated, and the U.S. Agency for International Development together pledged $1 million as seed money for the fund, which will provide food safety resources to governments and companies with the goal of increasing the security of the global food supply and facilitating trade.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, praised the announcement calling it a “ground-breaking approach to strengthening global food supply chains.”  “The creation of a Global Food Safety Fund will help prevent food safety incidents, protect public health, and lead to greater confidence in trade, thereby creating a more prosperous region,” Kirk said.  “I expect that this powerful collaboration among food safety officials, industry exports, academics, and other stakeholders can have an enduring impact on food trade, as well as on public health and food security, and I encourage continued efforts by these stakeholders to mobilize additional resources towards these goals.”

The fund will offer training programs designed to help growers and food producers understand and utilize food safety controls and will move forward an early agreement in May by APEC countries to improve food safety competencies, laboratory proficiency, and risk-based management systems.

 The fund aims to expand its work worldwide by raising at least $15 million during the next 10 years.