Events

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    TRAINING ON ‘’REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS RELATED TO NUTRITION IN THE GCC: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES’’MUSCAT, OMAN 18-20 MARCH 2019

    R.A Consulting organized, in collaboration with the GCC Standardisation Organisation (GSO) a training on ‘’Regulations and standards related to nutrition in the GCC: Opportunities and challenges’’ hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Oman in Muscat Oman on 18-20 March 2019. Participants included representatives from the private and public sector including from the Ministries of Health, Ministries of Commerce and Standardisation bodies of GCC countries.

     The training highlighted the role of the GSO in the harmonization of standards and regulations through the work of its technical committees and gave an overview on global trends in health and nutrition policies with a focus on the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations in GCC countries as well as on policies and action plans on healthy diets and lifestyles in GCC countries.

    Local food and beverage companies as well as multinationals highlighted the successes and challenges they face in voluntary food product reformulations in the GCC and in the implementation of regulations in the GCC.

    The working group session and panel discussion addressed some of the key challenges faced by the food industry in the implementation of policies and regulations such as the frequency of regulations, the notification and timelines provided and the different application of standards and regulations across the GCC.

    Recommendations were developed on ways to enhance the collaboration between the public and private sector and on the best way forward for the harmonisation of regulations and standards and for the development of a mutual recognition system across the GCC.

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    NUTRITION & HEALTH SYMPOSIUM (NHS) – WORKSHOP ON NUTRIENT PROFILES FOR FOODS AND BEVERAGES (RE)FORMULATION, MARCH 14, 2019, DUBAI UAE

    R.A Consulting moderated a panel discussion in the workshop on Nutrient profiles that was organized by Nestlé at the margin of the Nutrition & Health Symposium, under the umbrella of the Emirates Nutrition Association and the Department of Health (DOH) and with the participation of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOPH).

    The workshop highlighted the important role of nutrient profiles to drive food products reformulation and innovation and the need to develop a multisectoral and collaborative approach in the UAE to work on the development of comprehensive and locally relevant Nutrient Profile model. Participants from the public and private sector had the opportunity to share and exchange expert knowledge on the topic. The panel discussion highlighted the importance of food reformulation that was listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) among the cost-effective measure for the prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and the challenges faced to find the right balance between food reformulation and consumer taste and preference as well as the importance of raising consumer awareness on healthy lifestyles.

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    4TH GLOBAL HALAL INDUSTRY PLATFORM HALAL EMPOWERMENT JOURNEY (TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED GLOBAL SYSTEM), 18 FEBRUARY 2019, DUBAI, UAE

    R.A Consulting participated in the 4th Global Halal Industry Platform on Halal organised by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) at the margin of the 24th edition of Gulfood. The halal platform focused among others on the Globalization of the Halal Industry, the correlation between food safety and halal, and the efforts achieved towards the harmonisation of Halal.  The Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO) and ESMA announced the Arab Halal Program and the unified Pan-Arab framework for the mutual recognition of Halal products and services certificates that aim to harmonise halal certificates between the countries that are members of AIDMO.

    Participants in the panel discussion moderated by R.A Consulting highlighted the trade challenges faced in various markets due to the differing halal requirements such as for meat products and the acceptance of alternative methods to slaughtering whether it is stunning or mechanical slaughter. The panel also highlighted the need for a better harmonization of halal standards and to have commonly accepted standards among global certification bodies as well as mutual recognition of halal requirements and certificates.

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    GSO TRAINING ON INTERNATIONAL AND GCC REGULATIONS RELATED TO HEALTHY FOOD, 30 JULY – AUGUST 1RST 2018, ABU DHABI, UAE

    R.A Consulting collaborated with the GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) on the training on International and GCC regulations related to healthy food, hosted by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) with the participation of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), the Ras al Khaima Municipality, the Public Authority for Food and Nutrition (PAFN) of Kuwait and a large representation from the private sector including the GCC Food and Beverage Alliance.

    The training highlighted the regulatory developments on health and nutrition at global level and focused on the policies and measures being implemented in the GCC in line with WHO recommendations such as on nutrition labelling, front of pack labelling with the introduction of a voluntary traffic light labelling system, the gradual introduction of excise taxes of 50% on carbonated beverages and 100% on energy drinks across GCC countries, the GSO guideline on salt reduction, the measures to limit the levels of industrial transfats in food products, as well as voluntary reformulation initiatives on sugar, salt and fat. The SFDA, ESMA and other representatives of the public sector indicated that market studies, national nutrition surveys, awareness programs on healthy diets, and education campaigns on food labels and food product composition are underway to support these measures.

    The training also gave the opportunity to highlight some of the challenges faced by the private sector such as in the different implementation of GSO standards and technical regulations at national level, the frequency of amendments being recently introduced to technical regulations and the short timeline given by some Member States to implement these amendments.

    The SFDA presented the SFDA Strategy for Healthy Food in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 that is being implemented in Saudi Arabia with the support of the Ministry of health and which contains a number of strategic objectives aiming at reducing the burden of NCDs in the country and at increasing consumers awareness on healthy diets and lifestyles. The SFDA also announced that a pledge will be signed with the members of the GCC Food and Beverage Alliance (GCC FBA) and some local companies on September 12, making Saudi Arabia the first country in the Middle East region to introduce such an initiative.

    The training concluded with a panel discussion that gave the opportunity to emphasize the importance of continuing on the path of harmonization of food regulations in the GCC and to address the opportunities for public – private partnerships and collaboration between various stakeholders in the development of policies and measures such in the area of food product reformulation.

    The recommendations of the training will be addressed by the GSO at their next technical committee.

    For more information please contact us at info@raconsulting.co

  • 71st WORLD HEALTH ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES

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    The 71st World Health Assembly meeting that took place on 21–26 May 2018 in Geneva concluded its sessions by adopting a number of resolutions on public health issues such as poliomyelitis, cholera, tuberculosis, noncommunicable diseases, the shortage of medicines and vaccines among other topics.

    Delegates renewed their commitment to invest and scale up nutrition policies and programmes to improve infant and young child feeding. A new report was launched on the implementation of the Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes, highlighting that six additional countries have adopted or strengthened their regulations on marketing of breastmilk substitutes.

    Delegates welcomed a proposed five-year global strategic plan to improve public health preparedness and response, through implementation of the International Health Regulations, and agreed on a resolution on digital health urging Member States to prioritise the development and wider use of digital technologies in health.

    By 2023, the targets is to achieve one billion more people benefitting from universal health coverage, one billion more people better protected from health emergencies; and 1 billion more people enjoying better health and wellbeing.

    Member States also endorsed the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA). The plan’s goal is a 15% reduction in the global prevalence of physical inactivity in adults and in adolescents by 2030.

    The Assembly recognized that enhanced political leadership is needed to accelerate prevention and control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), as well as implementing cost-effective and feasible “best buys” and other recommended interventions on physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diets. Member States reiterated their commitment, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), to reduce by one-third by 2030 premature deaths from NCDs, primarily cardiovascular disease, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, and to promote mental health and wellbeing.

    The delegates called for stepped up action on NCDs, and urged the participation of Heads of State at the Third United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of NCDs taking place on 27 September 2018 in New York, and which will undertake a comprehensive review of global and national progress achieved on measures to prevent and control NCDs.