Workshop Issue 4: Planning Next Steps for the FSIA
- Workshop Chairman: Dr. Matias Fernandez, Ministry of
- Workshop Co-Chair: Mr. Bryce Quick, Food Safety and Inspection Service,
- Workshop Co-Chair: Mr. Richard Van Blargan, Food Safety and Inspection
- The goal established by the workshop
for the FSIA is to become a
self-sustaining organization by obtaining
sources of funding from governmental and
non-governmental entities as well as
exploring opportunities for non-monetary
- The workshop participants discussed
what the FSIA should look like 5
years from now. For the future,
workshop participants discussed their
desire to see the FSIA become an
educational outreach organization for
food safety and biosecurity.
- It is expected that the FSIA
could work towards harmonizing
food-safety standards and
requirements, as well as be viewed
as a repository of information on
food safety and biosecurity.
- In addition, it is expected
that the FSIA will be used to
locate food-safety assistance,
coordination, information on
scholarship or training
opportunities and information
about research being conducted.
- The scope of the FSIA would be
to benefit consumers, industry
- A strategic plan will be proposed to
the FSIA by June 2005, and by September
2005, the results of the needs assessment
on the effectiveness of current programs
will be completed.
- The University of Florida and Miami
Dade College will perform the work
necessary to what will be a strategic
plan for the FSIA. The results of this
work will demonstrate where potential
food safety gaps exist and will therefore
determine where the FSIA should focus its
resources. The deliverable will be the
identification of food-safety gaps and
the methods by which the FSIA members
will work to fill those gaps.
- Also during the first year or two, the
FSIA, in collaboration with partnering
countries, would begin to define and
develop its “colleges,” as discussed
within the concept paper. These colleges
could be located throughout the Americas,
which would respond to the workshop’s
recommendations that the FSIA be viewed
as a truly independent hemispheric
- Inform other countries of the FSIA.
- This can be accomplished through presentations at meetings
such as those held by Codex, IICA and PAHO.
- Create an informational plan and documents to educate
those interested. The strategic planning from this
conference will be turned into an updated concept paper for
- Use information from the 5-year goals in the informational
- FSIA should hold a kick-off event.
- A seminar, meeting or conference on a specific topic that
would be of interest to nearly all of the participating
countries is a good idea. The topic could be determined at a
- The purpose of the meeting would be to provide a tangible
deliverable and to promote the FSIA.
- Secure outside funding so that the FSIA operates and
makes decisions as a truly independent hemispheric
- It is vital that the FSIA become self-sustaining, and this
will be achieved through successful short- and long-term
planning. While the initial funding for this effort comes from
the U.S. government, other sources of support must be
- Alternative sources of funding could include, but are not
limited to, non-governmental organizations, foundations,
industry and trade association resources, cooperative
agreements with international government entities and
educational grants to the FSIA from universities.
- Develop a plan on how to govern the FSIA. This may
- A Board of Directors to include a representative from each
- Individual working groups for specific issues or topics.
- Transparency, methodology used to determine priorities.
- Stakeholder views from industry and other participants.
- Co-locating offices hemispherically in partnership with
other regionally-based organizations.
- Agricultural and public health agencies must work
- Other U.S. Federal agencies, particularly the FDA, should
participate in the FSIA.
- Partnering with industry and trade associations, academia
and international organizations, such as INPPAZ, would be
beneficial to both organizations.
- Non-monetary sources of funding can be an effective
use of resources. This can
be accomplished in a variety of
- A technical assistance expert assigned to each “college” who
could provide information to member organizations;
- Information sharing and training via the Internet;
- Cross-cultural training or job sharing; and
- Exploring the technologies that permit meetings and
communications in non-traditional ways, such as web
conferencing and virtual meetings.
- Ongoing evaluations of the FSIA as an organization
and the specific initiatives of the
FSIA are necessary.
- The workgroup felt it important to continually assess the
effectiveness of the organization and its initiatives and
implement modifications when necessary.