Partners With a Common Purpose” – A New AFDO/Industry Vision

The Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO) is announcing a new initiative for creating change through a shared vision with food industry representatives. This shared vision recognizes a common purpose embraced and supported by government regulators and industry in improving public health and consumer services. The initiative will extend beyond stakeholder’s individual interests and will be called “Partners With a Common Purpose”. 

Since its inception in 1896, AFDO has recognized the importance of collaboration in an innovation context. Many AFDO efforts have led to  greater coordination among regulatory officials, including their vision for a fully integrated national food safety system which is now recognized in the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The concept of “Partners With a Common Purpose” recognizes that public health and consumer service is a common purpose that can be a major driver of successful collaboration. Innovation by establishing equal partnership at meetings and forums will allow for greater input and collaboration towards continuously improving the safety of the food supply and public health.

Within this AFDO-Industry initiative, food safety professionals and regulatory officials will engage with each other in a “safe-harbor” environment to examine their ability to impact food safety control through discussion, self-examination and forums. All participants will be equal partners and their discussions might involve characteristics of successful programs, barriers in implementing intervention strategies, lessons learned, sharing of best practices, and future opportunities. In addition, the group is working to expand the Directory of State & Local Officials (DSLO) to include key industry food safety contacts. While the initiative will begin with a focus on food safety, AFDO expects to expand the program into medical products as well. One of the primary roles of AFDO will be to ensure there is an initiative wide agreement on the common purpose and that all stakeholders are engaged.

AFDO has formed a Working Group, and the initiative will officially begin with a facilitated forum June 10, 2018 at AFDO’s Annual Conference in Burlington, VT. All interested parties are welcome to join the conversation at that time.