“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” (FAO 1996)
Food safety and food security are intrinsically linked, not only to each other, but also to the safety and availability of water, the health of human populations, and market access.
The Food and Water Safety research team suggests that poverty cannot be reduced and health and nutrition cannot be improved without concerted research efforts to improve policymakers’ understanding of:
- the impact of the production and consumption of unsafe food and water on the livelihoods of the poor,
- the role that food and water safety plays in food security,
- the impact of food safety standards on poor populations’ access to markets, the institutional mechanisms (food safety certification, cooperatives, contract farming, etc.) that can effectively facilitate poor producers’ access to markets and to the benefits that come from the production of safe food,
- the cost-effective control strategies that can minimize food and water safety risks, and
- the most effective means of communicating information regarding both food and water safety risks and strategies to mitigate these risks.
Research findings and research gaps