On June 15, the 2015 National Food Safety Publicity Week and the 7th China Food Safety Forum jointly held by 18 departments, including the Food Safety Office of the State Council, kicked off at China National Convention Center, Beijing. This is the seventh consecutive year that the COFCO Group sponsored this event. Frank Ning, Chairman of COFCO Group and Wan Zaotian, vice president of COFCO Group attended the forum.
The food safety forum, based on the themes of “upholding morality, observing laws, and comprehensively increasing the level of rule of law in food safety issues”, focuses on topics including legal institution and technological innovation regarding food safety. It aims at improving the government’s supervisory capability stipulated by law, urging enterprises to be honest and law-abiding in operations, and reaching a phase where the whole of society make joint efforts in supervision and governance so as to safeguard food safety.
Vice-Premier of the State Council Wang Yang, who is a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, emphasized in his remarks at the forum that food safety is directly related to the immediate interests of the masses as well as the overall situation of building a well-off society and modernization drive of socialism. The rule of law should be prioritized while attaching equal importance to the morality and law. Efforts should be made to accelerate the formation of the order of rule of law regarding food safety and hold fast to the moral codes of food safety so as to conscientiously build a mechanism that can safeguard food safety with enduring effects. In order to promote legal institutions of food safety, all parties should take active steps to respect, learn, observe and apply related laws and regulations. Enterprises should raise the awareness of being honest and law-abiding, implement the food safety responsibility as legal persons, voluntarily fulfill the statutory obligations, improve quality and safety control system, enhance training of the employed, and guarantee the quality and safety of food products from the source. The government should increase the level of supervision by law, improve systems of management such as routine supervision, spot-check, and information disclosure, and ensure that laws must be strictly observed, enforcement of laws must be strict, lawbreakers must be dealt with and offenders must be severely punished so as to maintain the market environment with fair competition and survival of the fittest. The public should actively participate in the governance according to law, trade associations should strengthen self-discipline and the news media should effectively supervise public opinion. The measures of joint social governance should be improved and strengthened to guide all members of the society to uphold, observe and safeguard the rule of law with regard to food safety.
Chairman of COFCO Group Frank Ning said, “As far as food enterprises are concerned, safeguarding food safety is their most important as well as bottom-line responsibility. COFCO has always regarded food safety as its hallmark project, a life-line project, a corporate social responsibility project and a core competitiveness project. It will actively play an exemplary role in safeguarding food safety so as to benefit consumers.”
As the leading agri-food processing enterprise, COFCO relies on its production and management model based on fully integrated value chain to ensure the quality, safety and excellence of its products. COFCO has taken a slew of measures to establish quality and safety risk control mechanism over the entire process from farm to fork, build a three-tier test and inspection system including Group-level test and inspection center, regional lab and grassroots-level enterprise lab, form a 3-D test and inspection network, develop a quality and safety performance assessment system (SPAS) with independent intellectual property rights, systematically identify weak points in management so as to promote the systematization, standardization and visualization of quality and safety management work.
Deputy Director of COFCO Group Quality & Safety Management Department Chen Zhigang attended the sub-forum themed “Technological innovation and food safety” and shared his insights. He said, “With the help of GIS system, COFCO has drawn a quality and safety risk map for over 20 types of major agricultural raw materials, realized dynamic supervision, graded evaluation and real-time pre-warning of over 170 source risk indexes, effectively avoided deployment and purchase in regions where the environment is seriously polluted. For the purpose of enforcing strict process management, COFCO has compiled quality and safety risk control outlines for thirteen value chains, comprehensively identified value chains’ quality and safety risks, clarified control standards, management responsibility, monitor frequency and resources allocation and achieved seamless alliance of management.”
At present, COFCO has established a food safety management system with 17 sub-systems such as relevant party management, traceability sub-system, test and inspection and performance assessment covering the entire value chain from top to bottom so as to provide safe, nutritious, and healthy food to consumers. In random inspections of food safety conducted by government, the passing rates of COFCO’s products reached above 99% on average for five consecutive years. As a result, the notion of “premium products off integrated value chain” has taken roots in the hearts of COFCO employees.