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The OIE Director General receives the SSAFE Leadership Award

16 March 2011 90 years of expertise

©Y. Farhi

16 March 2011: The NGO SSAFE* (“Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere”) presented its very first Leadership Award to Dr Bernard Vallat, for his contribution to promote sustainable and safe food globally.

The Award highlights the importance of the OIE’s efforts to prevent the spread of infectious diseases of animal origin, thereby limiting their potentially devastating global consequences. The diseases affecting health status of the animal kingdom can in fact have a serious global impact on rural economy, food safety and food security worldwide.
For a reminder

Creating alliances between the private sector and the public sector

The OIE and the SSAFE initiative share the belief that compliance with the clauses of the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement) and the standards issued by the OIE and the Codex Alimentarius Commission is crucial to improving public health, animal health and food safety at a global level. This approach does, however, mean creating alliances between the public sector and the private sector. The involvement on the one hand of representatives of the food industry, the animal feed sector and consumer groups, and on the other hand representatives of public bodies, academia and NGOs, is therefore crucial.

Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement)

The SPS Agreement entered into force with the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 1 January 1995. It concerns the application of food safety and animal and plant health regulations. Since 1998, the Agreement recognises the OIE as the competent organisation for the development of standards, guidelines and recommendations on animal health and zoonoses, thereby conferring the utmost importance on the standards issued by the OIE.

In view of its provisions in areas relevant to the OIE, this Agreement is fundamentally important for the safety of international trade in animals and animal products and for the harmonisation of sanitary measures worldwide.
Fact Sheet on Food Safety

The SSAFE initiative

SSAFE is a global NGO that was established in 2006 with the support of the OIE. It includes representatives of the main private firms in the global and regional food and animal feed sectors (production, processing and distribution), other NGOs, academia, and intergovernmental and national bodies from all over the world.

Its mission is to foster the continuous improvement and global acceptance of OIE and Codex Alimentarius standards and sustainable agri-food production systems.
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Private standards and public standards in international trade in animals and products of animal origin

Standards are critically important to businesses that are involved in various aspects of food supply chains around the world. They are present at each stage of food production and are often referenced in business transactions between various private sector entities operating within a food supply chain.

Public food-system related standards promulgated by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the OIE are officially recognised under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS Agreement). Furthermore, the OIE is recognised as the sole organisation developing global animal welfare standards.

In contrast with public standards, private standards have been developed in response to consumer preferences, and they have greatly increased in number and importance in the past decade. In some instances, private standards may conflict with the official public standards. The OIE has revealed this situation and has proposed solutions.

* SSAFE (Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere) represents a partnership between global food system companies, international NGOs, intergovernmental organisations and academia. Members include: Cargill, Danone, Keystone Foods, McDonald’s, Michigan State University, Nestle Purina PetCare, Pfizer Animal Health, The Coca-Cola Company and Underwriters Laboratories. Current collaborators include: CARE USA, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Colorado State University, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Federation for Animal Health, National Veterinary School of Alfort, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), EcoHealth Alliance, OIE.

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