Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


International award for online food safety resource

Friday, March 9, 2012
International award for online food safety resource

An open source Food Safety Knowledge Network devised by a Massey University Professor has won a major international award for improving food safety practices in developing countries.

Professor of Agribusiness Hamish Gow oversaw the development of the network that has been recognised with the international effective practice award by the Sloan Consortium.

He worked with a team at Michigan State University on the project that provides Third World food producers free and open access to best practice food safety guidelines.

“The project got started when I was director of Partnerships for Food Industry Development,” he says. “We needed a more effective and scalable model for reaching small and medium enterprises and farmers in developing countries with extension and capacity building.”

The network provides a set of steps that any producer can access that will take them from no food safety capacity to meeting international standards, Professor Gow says.

“We approached the Global Food Safety Initiative, a group comprising some of the biggest food producers in the world, and put together some technical working groups to create the competency requirements,” he says. “This involved four or five companies putting their food safety training manuals on the table. We built a set of training materials that are now available online and through regional and international consultants.”

The network appears to have had pleasing results, with anecdotal evidence showing there has been a big impact on food safety in some countries. “In Ukraine, I’m told, they have gone from 20 per cent compliance to 90 per cent,” he says.

Professor Gow says it is a model that is perfectly suited for knowledge transfer in the New Zealand agricultural sector. “This is a different type of model for engagement. It could help solve the extension problem with disseminating the latest research and best practices to farmers in an easily accessible manner out of Massey and other research organisations. It’s an advanced way of writing a textbook that has a lot more impact.”

Professor Gow’s work fits well with other projects at the University including the World Bank project that has seen public health and veterinary professionals taught master’s programmes through distance programmes devised and offered by Massey staff. The University has also begun offering short courses to Agribusiness managers in a joint initiative with Lincoln University.

The Sloan Consortium is an institutional and professional leadership organisation dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: 'the everrumble' by Michelle Elvy

This is Zettie’s tale from her birth date in 1965 through to her ‘passing’ at the age of 105. Yet, Zettie’s tale is our own tale, as humans still all-too-often hell-bent on destroying our environment and therefore our fellow creatures – and thus – symbiotically and inevitably – ourselves. More>>

Tuia 250: Endeavour Arrives At Tūranganui-A-Kiwa

The co-chair for Tuia 250 national commemorations says it's not a bad thing if people want to express their views, as a replica of Captain Cook's Endeavour is today set to make its way into Tūranganui-a-Kiwa... Local iwi oppose the ship's visit and have refused to do a pōhiri. More>>


On 7–19 October: NZ Improv Fest Turns (It Up To) Eleven

The New Zealand Improv Festival (NZIF) is celebrating eleven years by going 110%; this national festival has increased to two weeks of improvisation with guests from all over the world. More>>


NZ On Air: $12 Million For Stimulating Content For Tamariki

New Zealand tamariki have much to be excited about, with just under $12.5 million in funding confirmed for a raft of new screen and music content including a new daily kids quiz show. More>>


Master Storyteller: Author Jack Lasenby Remembered

Jack Lasenby died on Friday, aged 88. He was the author of children's books, novels, and short stories. He was the winner of numerous awards, including the Prime Minister's award for Literary Achievement in 2014. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland