FOOD SAFETY SPECIALIST
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- FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture.
- Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
- Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO's values
- FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination
- All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
- All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) is responsible for leading FAO's response to regional priorities for food security, agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning, and implementation of FAO's priority activities in the region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the region and, in collaboration with the Offices, Centres and Divisions at headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO's strategic response to regional priorities. RAP also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization's Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. RAP develops and maintains relations with region-wide institutions including the Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs) such as ASEAN, SAARC and SPC. The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates the emergence of regional partnerships, and supports capacity development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.
Safe and nutritious food is fundamental for achieving SDG2, which in turn is critical to achieve all the SDGs. Every year more than 275 million people fall ill and 225 000 people die due to food borne diseases in Asia and the Pacific region, largely due to the lack of hygiene. Beyond the risks that they present to public health, food safety incidents also threaten to reduce consumer confidence not only in specific foods, which can result in unnecessary waste, contributing to significant additional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also in the food safety authorities responsible for creating and enforcing food safety rules. The FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31 explicitly lists “Safe food for everyone” (BN3) as one of the Programme Priority Areas (PPAs). Rapid urbanization, growth of population, new technologies, changing production systems, climate change and changing environmental conditions are triggering the emergence of new food safety threats. The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP) works closely with the governmental authorities, local industry and other relevant stakeholders from the region countries to address food safety issues. Technical assistance includes, but is not limited to, support for development and improvement of food legislation and regulation, assessment of national food control systems and capacity building of national co-ordination mechanisms and competent authorities on implementing the food safety risk analysis framework. FAO also works towards enhancing participation in Codex activities, adapting international standards for trade, incorporating good practice and standards such as HACCP, GAP and GMP along supply and value chains and information, education and communication activities.
The incumbent will report to Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer of the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
The applicant is required to be able to apply a mix of technical and analytical skills, pertaining to modern approaches of food control, including the use of the risk analysis paradigm, and the application of a holistic One Health approach, supported by careful considerations of national or regional policy issues, to deliver relevant support.
Tasks and responsibilities
• Review approaches and practical arrangements for official food control systems, or parts thereof, and provide recommendations for improvement
• Lead or support, as a team member, the assessment of national food control systems, such as the FAO/WHO food control system assessment tool and guide strategic discussions for determining priorities and planning progressive improvement of the national food control capacities
• Review food safety and quality policies, and lead or provide support to their (re)formulation, using evidence based approaches
• Contribute to the review of legal frameworks applicable for food control
• Assess national capacities with regard to Codex Alimentarius work and provide specific recommendations for improved involvement in Codex Alimentarius processes
• Provide guidance on strengthening food safety risk assessment processes in microbiological, chemical or other risk disciplines as necessary, as well as use of the risk analysis framework by food control authorities
• Support the implementation of food safety management systems (such as Good Hygienic Practices, Pre-Requisite Programmes and HACCP) along value chains
• Provide support or lead the design and implementation of events such as workshops and training courses for capacity development aimed at to strengthening national food control systems, on various specific aspects (e.g. practical use of the risk analysis framework to support decision making; risk based approaches for domestic and /or import inspection; risk communication; food safety emergency preparedness and response, analytical capacities)
• Develop food safety and food control training materials and curricula, including for academic use and on the job professional learning
• Formulate projects or programmes aiming at strengthening food control systems, or parts thereof, using the logical framework approach or similar approaches
• Provide overall support to food control capacity development programmes, including monitoring and reporting activities
CANDIDATES WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE FOLLOWING
• Advanced university degree in agricultural sciences, veterinary science, food processing/food science, microbiology, chemistry, biology, agronomy and other related disciplines.
• Minimum 1 years for Category C, 5 years for Category B, 12 years for COF/ 15 years for PSA Category A of experience in one or more areas related to food control policy, governance, policy analysis, food control programme management, food safety assurance in food businesses, food safety risk analysis and food safety/food control project activities
• Working knowledge (level C) in English and limited knowledge (level B) of one of the following: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish for COF. Working knowledge of English is required for PSA.
FAO Core Competencies
• Results Focus
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work
• Extent and relevance of experience in providing food safety/quality policy advice at local, national and regional levels
• Extent and relevance of experience in project/programme formulation and implementation of projects, programmes and studies in relevant field of expertise pertaining to food safety and quality
• Extent and relevance of experience in the implementation of international instruments such as Codex Alimentarius
• Demonstrated ability
- To evaluate, assess and/or analyse food control systems using relevant international tools and approaches
- To formulate projects pertaining to food safety and quality using the logical framework or similar approaches
- To plan and implement capacity development events pertaining to food safety and quality
- To organize and conduct technical meetings, conferences and workshops when applicable
- To support resource mobilization efforts
• Familiarity with the work of international organizations, regional entities and national governments in food safety and quality
Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency
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