This Toolkit aims to empower reformers with a suite of tools to assess market potential, build capacity, and assist in mitigating barriers to development in the area of food safety. The Toolkit tackles each step in the reform process. It examines the related system development in a strategic way supported by best practice examples and sound principles of institutional structure and legislative reform. Risk-based approaches to regulation and regulatory delivery are considered alongside the need for flexible and proportionate responses to both.
Guiding Principles of Food Safety Reform
For all projects related to food safety reform, the following guiding principles should be kept in mind:
- Regulation and official controls by themselves cannot ensure food safety.
- Primary responsibility (and liability) for the safety of food rests on food business operators.
- Food safety should be secured across the entire food chain.
- A preventative and risk-based approach should be the basis for regulatory reform, decision making, and control and self-control of food safety.
- International standards and scientific justification should form the basis of all regulatory measures.
- The impact of food safety reform on trade, consumer prices, economic output, and jobs should be carefully considered – costs and negative impacts can be significant from an economic perspective.
- The food safety system will always involve multiple players; coordination and collaboration are vital.
The purpose of this Investment Climate Food Safety Toolkit is to provide reformers, project teams supporting reforms, and policymakers with an overview of the principles of food safety reform, the primary objectives, key instruments and critical success factors, as well as provide a number of specific examples and case studies. The Toolkit is aimed at supporting work on food safety and inspections reform to support development of the agribusiness sector.
This toolkit may also be used as a guidance document for external audiences, such as partners and stakeholders in reform programs, so that they can understand the scope of food safety reform, the importance of collaboration of public and private sectors, the value of education of all involved parties, the importance of transparency, and the strength of the market-driven approach.
This toolkit focuses on the overall architecture of food safety regulation and answers the following questions:
- What does it entail?
- What other components form the “food safety system” and are essential for it to work effectively?
- What are the key elements of best practice (and what elements are disputed)?
- What can interventions by the Investment Climate Department of the World Bank Group focus on (and achieve)?
This toolkit emphasizes the roles of all players in the food chain, including food business operators and states providing the regulatory and control environment. The Toolkit emphasizes solutions and approaches that are realistic, and conducive to private sector development and broad-based, inclusive growth. At the same time it warns against potential pitfalls, including the danger of “gold plating” and the introduction of regulatory requirements that are not commensurate to the level of development of the country or of its businesses.
Finally, it should be noted that the Toolkit does not attempt to provide full, in-depth prescriptions on all aspects of food safety regulations, as this would both make the Toolkit unwieldy and duplicate information readily available in public documents.