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Piloting the use of TPA Programmes to improve food safety outcomes for public health and trade in Central America
Competent authorities are increasingly considering and using voluntary third-party assurance (TPA) programmes to better inform their risk profiling of food businesses, and more effectively target resources within their national food control systems. Using voluntary TPA programmes can help competent authorities and food business operators to improve food safety outcomes, while allowing each to operate within their defined roles and responsibilities.
Work under the PPG will be based on close collaboration between relevant government agencies and the private sector. Other interested stakeholders will be involved to create synergies, learn from existing experiences and ensure linkages to work by the Codex Committee on Food Import Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS) to develop principles and guidelines for the assessment and use of voluntary third-party assurance programmes. The work will also be closely linked to a related regional PPG, implemented by IICA in Africa (STDF/PPG/665), to facilitate synergies, learning and cooperation across the two regions.
The purpose of the PPG is to develop a regional project proposal to pilot and assess how voluntary TPA programmes may be used in practice in selected Central American countries to improve food safety outcomes, with a focus on specific commodities, products and supply chains. The supply chains will include the horticulture and grain sector in Belize, and the horticulture and farmed shrimp value chain in Honduras.