Food traceability can benefit Malaysia

CYBERJAYA: Malaysia has much to gain from food traceability,
according to Britain-based Global Food Traceability Forum (GFTF)
chairman Ian Smith. 

“Initialising food traceability would
definitely improve the standard of living in Malaysia,” he told
reporters via a conference call from Halifax, England, on Monday. 

Smith said practising food traceability could leverage Malaysia as an exporter, especially in halal products. 

Another driving force is that consumers are becoming more discerning, Smith said. 

“People are becoming more concerned about their food. They want to know
what they are eating is safe,” he said, adding that Malaysia was ahead
of neighbouring countries as far as incorporating food traceability was

“Malaysia’s efforts in launching the Malaysian Food Information and
Traceability System last year are applauded. It shows that the
Government recognises this problem and is doing something about it.”  

Food traceability refers to the ability to trace and follow food, feed
and ingredients through all stages of production, processing and

Food traceability is mandatory by law in the European Union (EU) since
2005. Smith said incidents such as mad cow disease were among the
incidents that drove the EU to implement the law. 

“With the implementation of food traceability, incidents like that or
the recall of products which could cost manufacturers huge losses, can
be avoided,” he said. 

Smith is also the organising committee chairman for the GFTF, which
will be held on April 1 and 2 at the Sunway Resort Hotel in Petaling

The two-day forum will feature speakers comprising leading food
traceability experts and industry figures, primarily from Europe and

“We are not just going to bring down speakers. We want to hear and speak to the audience too,” Smith said. 

“We will be gathering feedback from our guests and will relate the issues back to the EU to seek ways to improve conditions.”