For immediate release
Walmart Invites Global Collaboration on Food Safety in China
Launch of Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center to promote food safety innovation, education
October 19, 2016 (Beijing) – Walmart today marked the launch of its Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center (WFSCC) with a celebration at the Westin Financial Street hotel in Beijing. The launch was attended by partners from the Chinese government, business leaders from the U.S. and China as well as leading food safety researchers and scholars. The Center brings together food safety experts and stakeholders to promote a collaborative approach to improving food safety in China.
With the WFSCC, Walmart is set to bring some of the world’s leading food safety innovation to China. The Center will target several areas, including research focused on analyzing root causes of food borne illness, and developing scalable solutions that can be made available to the entire food supply chain across China. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation plan to invest $25 million in funding over five years to support research projects in applied science, education and communications that enhance Chinese food safety.
“By bringing together the best food safety thinkers from across the food ecosystem, from farmers to suppliers, retailers to policy regulators, we’ll accelerate food safety awareness and help make Chinese families safer and healthier,” said Doug McMillon, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Walmart is honored to help facilitate this collaboration.”
“Collaboration is an essential element of the effort to raise food safety standards and increase public trust in China,” continued Frank Yiannas, Vice President of Global Food Safety at Walmart and Special Advisor to the WFSCC. “To improve national health, each participant in the ‘farm-to-fork’ supply chain, including farmers, distributors, suppliers and retailers, needs to take an active role. "Through the work of the Center, we hope to strengthen a strong and vibrant food safety culture throughout the entire food system in China and positively influence safe food behaviors among all stakeholders to better protect consumers.”
The WFSCC will act as a connector and a focal point to bring together local and international research and expertise, helping to identify issues that are unique to the fast-growing Chinese economy and China’s changing food consumption habits.
The WFSCC has received widespread support from both public and private sector stakeholders in China. The Center is working with the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund, as well as private actors including IBM, Hainan Group, Fujian Shengnong Food Company ltd., New Hope Liuhe Co. ltd., Guangzhou Jiangfeng Industry Co. ltd. and iSoftStone. Today’s inaugural launch was jointly sponsored by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and AmCham China.
The launch was well-attended by Walmart executives, Chinese and American executives, Chinese regulators, academics and industry experts as well as the U.S. Ambassador to China. The event featured a roundtable discussion by CEOs from China- and U.S.-based companies discussing the importance of collaboration in developing a unified strategy and comprehensive food safety system in a world where food sourcing is increasingly globalized.
“Food safety is a global issue that no country can solve alone,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, Walmart’s Chief Sustainability Officer and President of the Walmart Foundation. “We hope that the projects supported through the WFSCC can engage diverse stakeholders in developing effective solutions across China. We’re pleased this collaborative effort has received strong support from organizations around the globe, and we look forward to being part of the international partnerships that will help reduce the burden of food-borne illness.”
At the event, the Walmart Foundation announced the funding of three projects which support the spirit and the mission of the WFSCC:
1. An initiative with CCTF focused on educating children and parents across China by increasing knowledge of safe handling of food in the household;
2. A collaborative research project bringing together U.S. and Chinese academics (from University of Arkansas, South China Agricultural University, China Agriculture University, Zhejiang University, and Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences) and Chinese poultry producers (Fujian Shengnong Food Company ltd., New Hope Liuhe Co. ltd., Guangzhou Jiangfeng Industry Co. ltd.) to study safety in poultry supply chains;
3. A collaborative research project bringing together the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University and Tsinghua University that will use supply chain analytics and state-of-the-art technology to rapidly predict and detect those areas of greatest vulnerability for food adulteration in food supply chains.
The WFSCC has already initiated projects with institutions promoting household education on improved food safety practices and academic capacity building, and has an ongoing collaboration with IBM on food traceability leveraging IBM Blockchain technology to securely and transparently track and authenticate food as it moves to consumers' plates.
Walmart China, President and CEO Dirk Van den Berghe applauded the strong leadership shown by the Center’s partner in the Chinese Government CCPIT as well AmCham China: “We could not have asked for a more constructive partner than CCPIT, we are very proud to have them as our companion on this journey to improve food safety in China. This is a priority that AmCham also shares with us and which underpins their support for the Center.”
About the Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center
Launched in October 2016, the Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center (WFSCC) is a new initiative dedicated to improving food safety in China. It strives to promote and accelerate the country’s food safety reform efforts through partnership and collaboration with leading experts and stakeholders. This year, Walmart celebrates its 20th Anniversary of doing business in China, and the WFSCC is part of our continued commitment to the positive advancement of the country and the well-being of the Chinese people. The WFSCC’s work will focus on the root causes of food safety issues throughout the supply chain, and findings from key projects will be made publicly available with the intent that solutions can be applied and adopted throughout the broader, nationwide food community.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,539 stores under 63 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
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