Highlights


Highlights

A complete overview of all projects together with related documents is provided in chronological order in the Projects Overview.

Below, for a selection of projects, further information, documentation and some pictures are provided offering some insight and taste of a better atmosphere for a better understanding of how enjoyable it is for experts to share their often longtime experience with colleagues less privileged.

1. Orange House Partnership works together with the University of Khartoum, Sudan

  • The sugar cane plant inspection team upon arrival at the Kenana Sugar Company

Since March 2010, senior experts of Orange House Partnership (OHP) have been working together with the Department of Food Hygiene and Safety of the Khartoum University in Sudan. OHP lectured on risk assessment principles at Sudan’s First International Food Safety Conference from 21-23 March 2010 and represented the FAO in 2 round table discussions at the same conference. On 23 March 2010, on behalf of FAO, OHP participated in a site inspection visit of a cane sugar plant some 400-500 Km southwest of Khartoum. During these first couple of days OHP was made aware of the urgent need of Khartoum University for professional assistance in food and feed safety and management training and education.

For further reading see Project RT(2010)3 on the “Projects Overview” of this website.
· Total Project costs (travel expenses of OHP expert): reimbursed by FAO
· OHP contribution: expert time
· Other contributions to the project: none
· For details: see document JM/M(2012)2

At the request of the Faculty of Public Health of the University of Khartoum, OHP organized from 21-25 November 2010 the first full week of Training on Food, Feed and Water Risk Assessment, Monitoring and Surveillance, provided by Orange House Partnership (OHP). The training was attended by public health faculty staff and teachers, post graduate students and experts from the Ministry of Health. The objective of this first training was:
a) to contribute to a good understanding of the food and feed risk analysis process by lecturing on the basic principles and approaches of risk assessment and risk management and
b) to guide participants, by means of practical examples, through actual risk assessments and risk management decision making cases.
The purpose of the training conference was to achieve an adequate level of knowledge and understanding of risk assessment science and processes by government and other public sector food safety managers in order for them to comprehend and interpret risk assessment outcomes and make well-balanced risk management decisions based on these outcomes. Following the training course a meeting was arranged with Prof Kamil Mirghani Shaaban, Dean of the Faculty of Public and Environmental Health to discuss the possibility of a more formalised cooperation between the Khartoum University and Orange House Partnership. The intention was expressed for OHP to develop annually an extensive training course on food safety and security and to start working on a food safety Bachelor’s education programme at the University of Khartoum. Furthermore, efforts would be made to fund a 2-year Masters education in food sciences at the University of Wageningen in the Netheralnds and other well-respected universities in Europe

  • Announcement banner of the OHP training course at the entry of the campus of the Khartoum University.

For further reading see Project ZT(2010)2 on the “Projects Overview” of this website.
· Total Project costs (travel expenses of OHP experts): € 5,525
· OHP contribution: € 5,525 + expert time
· Other contributions to the project: none
· For details: see document JM/M(2012)2

  • Under the watchful eye of Professors De Wit and Nazik Eltayeb Musa Mustafa, Prof Kamil Mirghani Shaaban and Dr Herman Koëter agree on close cooperation between OHP and the Department of Food Hygiene and Safety.

On 25-27 February 2011, OHP participated in the First Annual International Conference on Health Sciences, organised by the University of Khartoum. Travel expenses were reimbursed by the University of Khartoum and the Federal Ministry of Higher Education and Cultural Development. The OHP senior expert lectured on food management with emphasis on food safety management. Following the conference further discussions took place about close cooperation between OHP and the University. This resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed and adopted by OHP on 8 June and by the University of Khartoum on 25 September 2011. Efforts are being made to establish a new student support foundation.

For further reading see Project RT(2011)1 on the “Projects Overview” of this website.
· Total Project costs (travel expenses of OHP expert): € 2,644 reimbursed by the University of Khartoum
· OHP contributiom: expert time
· Other contributions to the project: none
· For details: see document JM/M(2012)2


2. Orange House Partnership provides GHS training in Uruguay, South Africa, China and Southeast Asia

The Globally Harmonised System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals and Chemical Mixtures (GHS) aims at providing a system to communicate the hazards of chemical substances and mixtures in a manner that is globally harmonised. This implies that criteria to define the severity of hazards of specific chemicals have to be agreed by the regulatory authorities of all participating countries as well as the way these hazards are communicated through labels, pictograms, placards and safety data sheets. Such harmonisation facilitates international transportation of chemicals, and assures a higher level of safety during the production and handling of chemicals at the workplace (e.g., at laundries, painting facilities, chemical production plants) or in the field (e.g., use of pesticides and fertilizers) and at consumer level (e.g., household chemicals). The GHS was developed by the IOMC (Inter-Organisation Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals) in the late 1990s and adopted by the UN Social and Economic Council (UN ECOSOC) in 2002. Although implementation of the GHS at national level is not mandatory, many countries have already implemented the system (e.g., the EU member states and New Zealand) or are in the process of implementing the GHS (e.g., Canada, Japan, USA, South Africa). In developing countries and countries with emerging economies, national chemical classification and labelling systems are often not available and, therefore, the GHS offers an excellent opportunity to implement this globally accepted and very up-to-date chemical classification and labelling system.

URUGUAY
At the request of the University of the Republic of Uruguay, with support of the Ministries of the Environment, Health, and Labour, respectively, and with financial contributions from the National Association for Chemistry and Pharmacology, OHP developed a comprehensive training course which was given in May/June 2010 to technical experts from the public and private sector in Uruguay. UNITAR/ILO provided support by sharing its draft pilot GHS introductory course to OHP. Following the comprehensive training course, the trainers shared their experience with the draft UNITAR/ILO GHS Introductory Course materials with the UNITAR/ILO Programme Advisory Group for the GHS at its biannual meeting in June 2010.

  • The trainers (Helmut Fleig from Germany, far left, Herman Koëter from Belgium, third from left, Iona Pratt from Ireland, in front of Herman Koëter, Klaus Wettig from Germany, far right, and Steve Vaughan from New Zealand, second from the right). Paula Viapiana (second from the left) headed the local organising team.

For further reading see Project RT(2009)4 on the “Projects Overview” of this website where the detailed report [R/RT(2009)4/1] as well as the project report summary [PRS/RT(2009)4/2] of the Uruguay training can be found.
· Total Project costs (travel expenses of OHP experts): € 11,100
· OHP contribution: € 11,100 + expert time
· Other contributions to the project: National Association for Chemistry and Pharmacology of Uruguay covered costs of training facilities and meals
· For details: see document JM/M(2012)2

  • Trainer Steve Vaughan from New Zealand explains the so-called “Bridging Principles” at the Workshop in Midrand (halfway between Pretoria and Johannesburg).

At the request of the non-profit Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA), Orange House Partnership experts: Helmut Fleig (Germany), Herman Koëter (Belgium), Iona Pratt (Ireland), Steve Vaughan (New Zealand), and Paula Viapiana (Uruguay) gave a series of two comprehensive GHS training workshops in Durban and Midrand, South Africa, respectively. The workshops were financially sponsored by RPMASA and Orange House Partnership (OHP). In addition, AVCASA (the Agricultural & Veterinary Science Trade Association) and Dow Chemical provided modest sponsorship and participants from the private sector paid a modest registration fee. UNITAR was represented by Jonathan Krueger and RPMASA by Liz Anderson. Moral support was received from the Departments of Labour and the KwaZulu Natal Agriculture, Environmental Affairs & Rural Developments of South Africa.
The workshops were held in 2011 from 10-11 March in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and from 14-15 March in Midrand, Gauteng, South Africa and were attended by approximately 100 participants from the public sector (various ministries) and private industry.

For further reading see Project RT(2010)8 on the “Projects Overview” of this website where the detailed report [R/RT(2010)8/1/REV1] as well as the project report summary [PRS/RT(2010)8/1] of these workshops can be found.
· Total Project costs (travel expenses of OHP experts): € 8,805
· OHP contribution: € 8,805 + expert time
· Other contributions to the project: Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA) covered the costs of hotels, meeting facilities and meals.
· For details: see document JM/M(2012)2

SOUTHEAST ASIA AND CHINA

As a joint activity of Orange House Partnership and UNITAR/ILO a total of 4 GHS Introduction Training Courses and 9 Advanced GHS Training Courses were given in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand during the period September-November 2011. The objective of these training courses in 4 ASEAN countries and China was to build capacity in the use of the GHS in these countries, in particular at the government level, at the level of regional and local authorities, labour organisations, public interest NGO’s, academia and industry. The aim of the capacity building was to facilitate the national implementation of the GHS in these countries. The training courses were also used as a pilot exercise for UNITAR and OHP to gain experience with the newly developed training material. A total of 8 trainers were involved in the training courses. These were:
· Paul Brigandi, USA (China training)
· Peter Dawson, New Zealand (China training)
· Andrew Fasey, UK (China and Philippines training)
· Helmut Fleig, Germany (Thailand and Philippines training)
· Kimberly Headrick, Canada (China training)
· Herman Koëter, Belgium (Indonesia and Malaysia training)
· Iona Pratt, Ireland (Thailand training)
· Steven Vaughan, New Zealand (Indonesia, Malaysia)
The project was sponsored by the European Union and national authorities and partners responsible for chemical management in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

PHILIPPINES
In Manila, Philippines, the following GHS training courses were given:
· On 12 and 13 September, 2011: two 1-Day GHS Introduction Courses. The audience included future GHS trainers in government authorities and the private sector.
· From 14-16 September 2011: a 3-Day GHS Advanced Training Course. Again, the audience included future GHS trainers in government authorities and the private sector.
From the evaluation forms completed by participants of the various courses in Manila, Philippines it appeared that the learning objectives with respect to the GHS Introduction Courses were generally met. However, for the advanced training course this was less so, most probably because the amount and level of detail of information provided and considered necessary in order to meet the objective (an advanced understanding of the GHS) was too much to comprehend in the limited time available.

  • The first day of training in Manila: Andrew Fasey (at left) lectures.

Notwithstanding this, the overall level of satisfaction with the respective training courses was very high.

THAILAND

  • Helmut Fleig checks the answer to an exercise at the Bangkok training course.

In Bangkok, Thailand, 3 subsequent GHS training courses were arranged. Approximately 215 participants from governmental agencies, academic and research institutes, business and industry associations, and labour, consumer, and civil society organisations, together with a large number of enterprises attended one, two or all three courses on the following days:
· 20 September, 2011: 1-Day GHS Introduction Course for approximately 100 participants;
· 21-22 September, 2011: 2-Day GHS Advanced Training Course for approximately 90 participants;
· 23 September 2011: 1-Day Abbreviated GHS Technical Training Course for some 45 participants.
From the evaluation forms completed by the course participants, it appeared that the advanced training course was greatly appreciated, both in terms of the course content and the way in which it was presented. Although the GHS Introductory course was also very much appreciated the amount of information provided in one day appeared almost to much to absorb. It also missed the high level of interaction between trainers and audience The advanced training because time did not allow for practical exercises in subgroups as was part of the advanced training.

MALAYSIA
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia the following GHS training courses were conducted at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):
· On 26-27 September and again on 28-29 September, 2011: two 2-Days GHS Advanced Training Courses; the target audience was mixed government and private sector. Most of the approximately 100 attendants in each course were at least to some extent familiar with one of the three hazard areas covered by the GHS.
· 30 September, 2011: GHS Multi-stakeholder workshop with an audience of largely academia (University of Kuala Lumpur) and government (Ministry of Health) representatives; in addition a small number of industry (pesticides) managers participated.
Participants of the two 2-day courses considered the trainers as very effective and the methodology used as quite useful.

  • In Kuala Lumpur, the auditorium was an excellent facility for plenary lectures. Here the GHS building blocks approach is explained.

However, the amount of information provided and the complexity of several of the exercises appeared almost too much to digest in 2 days only. The multi-stakeholders workshop was very animated with all participants (approximately 35) actively participating in the various discussions. Senior management both at the public and private sector appeared to be very energetic and determined to lift the country into the higher regions of the UN list developed countries by the year 2020!

INDONESIA

  • Steve Vaughan lectures on explosivity and flammability hazard classification in front of the course banner.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, GHS training courses were conducted at the premises of the Ministry of Industry in Jakarta (the GHS Introduction Course), at a hotel in BSD City which is an industrial satellite city of Jakarta (the first Advanced Training Course) and at a hotel in Jakarta (the second Advanced Training Course) as follows:
· 3 October 2011: 1-Day GHS Introduction Course for about 40 government officials at the Ministry of Industry with a few participants from the private sector (mainly chemical and petrochemical industries). For most participants the GHS was a new experience.
· 4-5 and 6-7 October 2011: two 2-Day GHS Advanced Training Courses for a mix of approximately 50 government and industry officials in each course.
Although the overall level of satisfaction for all three courses
was high, participants also indicated that there were too many slides and slides were too busy to comprehend.

Furthermore, all regretted that there was not enough time to include real life exercises. In particular for those who had no prior knowledge of chemical classification and labelling, one day for the introductory course and 2 days for the advanced course clearly appeared too short.

CHINA
In Beijing, China the following GHS training courses were given:
· 7-8 November 2011: a 2-Day GHS Advanced Training Course for approximately 200 government officials, and
· 9-11 November 2011: a 2.5-Day GHS Advanced Training Course for a little more than 130 representatives of the private sector, research organisations and academia.
The participants apparently had already a high level of understanding of the GHS prior to the training. Hence, unlike the experience in most of the Southeast Asian countries, the time available was most certainly adequate. In fact participants had expectation a more in-depth training. Trainers realized that an instant adaptation of the training was needed and, subsequently, provided more in depth training where feasible.

For further reading see Project RT(2011)2 on the “Projects Overview” of this website where the detailed report [R/RT(2011)2/1/REV5] as well as the project report summary [PRS/RT(2011)2/1] of these workshops in China and Southeast Asia can be found. Furthermore, all PowerPoint presentations are also available on this “Activities” page.
· Total Project costs (travel expenses of experts): reimbursed by the European Union through UNITAR
· OHP contribution: € 1,592 + expert time
· Other contributions to the project: national authorities and partners responsible for chemical management in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand provided the local training facilities and, occasionally, lodging and meals.
· For details: see document JM/M(2012)2


3. Orange House Partnership provides training to government authorities in central African countries on risk assessment and risk management of pesticides

  • The training course banner.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, GHS training courses were conducted at the premises of the Ministry of Industry in Jakarta (the GHS Introduction Course), at a hotel in BSD City which is an industrial satellite city of Jakarta (the first Advanced Training Course) and at a hotel in Jakarta (the second Advanced Training Course) as follows:
· 3 October 2011: 1-Day GHS Introduction Course for about 40 government officials at the Ministry of Industry with a few participants from the private sector (mainly chemical and petrochemical industries). For most participants the GHS was a new experience.
· 4-5 and 6-7 October 2011: two 2-Day GHS Advanced Training Courses for a mix of approximately 50 government and industry officials in each course.
Although the overall level of satisfaction for all three courses
With financial and intellectual support of the European Development Fund through its Pesticides Initiative Programme (EU-PIP), all six African member countries of CEMAC (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon) jointly developed a Common Regulation in 2005 on the Registration of Pesticides in the CMAC zone. This regulation comprises (i) pesticide safety data requirements, (ii) safety data evaluation and (iii) a common decision-making process (referred to as homologation). The implementation and management of this regulation is trusted to the Inter-State Pesticide Committee of Central Africa (CPAC) and the CEPAC Secretariat works hard to streamline the pesticide registration (and allowed use) in all member states. However, although administratively the implementation of this regulation works very well indeed, the part on the safety data evaluation as provided in the dossiers submitted by the pesticide producers is still not optimal because of a lack of risk assessment capacity among the various government authorization bodies of the CEMAC countries.

At the request of CEPAC’s Permanent Administrative Secretary, Mr Benoit Bouato, Orange House Partnership (OHP) offered to develop a training course on pesticide management for regulatory risk assessors and risk managers of the Interstate Pesticides Committee (CPAC). To this end a preparatory meeting was held in Cameroon in January 2010, which was reported in the CEPAC Info Bulletin No.8. The objective of the project was to build technical and scientific capacity in the CEMAC zone to allow autonomous, independent and scientifically sound evaluations of pesticide dossiers and subsequent decisions on the use of these pesticides in CEMAC countries.

The training was co-sponsored by Orange House Partnership (OHP), the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), The Hague, The Netherlands and the CPAC, Cameroon. The in-depth training was given in May 2010 at the CEPAC offices in Yaounde, Cameroon. The following OHP expert trainers participated in the training course:
· Dr Anja Friel, senior pesticide and MRL expert at the European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, Parma, Italy (not representing EFSA);
· Prof. Dr Yong-Hwa Kim, Pesticide expert, Korean Institute of Technology, Seoul, Korea;
· Dr Herman Koëter, Toxicologist and Managing Director of OHP, Brussels, Belgium;
· Prof. Dr Paul Peters, Toxicologist and Senator (1st Chamber of the Parliament), The Hague, The Netherlands.

The training course was considered very successful by CEPAC, as reported in CEPAC Info Bulletin No.10 and local newspapers. It was also very clear that follow-up training focussing on practical dossier evaluation, is needed in order for CEPAC to be able to make independent scientific assessments of pesticide dossiers submitted for authorized use in CEMAC countries.

For further reading see Project RT(2009)5 on the “Projects Overview” of this website where the following project report summaries can be found: PRS/RT(2009)5/1, PRS/RT(2009)5/2 and PRS/RT(2009)5/3.
· Total Project costs (travel expenses of CPAC participants and OHP experts): € 15,954
· OHP contribution: € 11,204 + expert time
· Other contributions to the project: OPCW: € 4,750 as contribution to the travel expenses of CPAC members from countries other than Cameroon.
· For details: see document JM/M(2012)2.


4. Training government representatives of Russian speaking eastern European countries in food risk analysis
At the request of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in March 2010 a workshop was organized by Orange House Partnership (OHP) for a group of approximately 30-35 experts from Russian speaking eastern European countries. The workshop was co-sponsored by the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine. The following countries were invited and, subsequently, involved in the workshop: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. These countries are in the process of transition to a market-led economy. Although systems for food control exist, they generally suffer from a multiplicity of official ministries and offices involved in food control, outdated legal systems and standards requiring strict government controls and checks.

  • March in Kiev may be very sunny but temperatures can drop to well below -100 C.

The workshop focused at providing the national governments with a good understanding of the relevance of food risk analysis and how to apply this in a consistent manner thus providing the scientific basis of decision-making (risk management options). To that end, the Workshop’s objectives were to: (i) raise awareness and understanding of international approaches in food and feed risk assessment and risk management, (ii) contribute to a better comprehension of the relevance of food control systems, data collection approaches, food-borne disease surveillance and other aspects of risk analysis, and (iii) identify those aspects of the risk analysis paradigm which are already in place and functioning well at national level and the areas that need improvement or are not yet covered and which have to be dealt with in the (near) future. Overall, the aim of the workshop was to increase the application of the risk analysis framework at country level, to improve food safety systems and ensure that risk management decisions are based on science and best available scientific data.

The workshop provided training and contributed to building capacity among representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Food Safety Authorities, Ministries of Health and scientific institutions who are involved in risk assessment and risk management activities, in the following areas:
(i) Raising understanding of the Risk Analysis Framework, its components, process and benefits for improving public health, ensuring food safety and raising economic status of the country;
(ii) Introduction to experience and process of Risk analysis framework application as a basis for food control systems in participating countries;
(iii) Practical training exercises on the risk analysis application for chemical and biological hazards in food;
(iv) Improved knowledge on the use of risk analysis framework in the development of Codex international food standards.

The workshop also made an effort to identify the greatest needs in each participating country in terms of risk analysis application as a means to support food control systems, and how to use the scientific advice from FAO and WHO and Codex Alimentarius standards.

The attendants were, without exception, very pro-active and eager to learn from the meeting. The most striking observation was that food safety standards, including maximum residue levels (MRLs), were generally considered as the most important management instrument. Russia was proud to announce that it has thousands of food standards, several with maximum allowable levels in food products which are well below internationally agreed standards. Monitoring and surveillance, however, are generally quite understaffed activities and are certainly not up to any proper compliance monitoring.

For further reading see Project RT(2010)25 on the “Projects Overview” of this website where the following project report summary [PRS/RT(2010)2/1] as well as the full project report [R/RT(2010)2/1] can be found.
· Total Project costs (travel related costs of OHP experts): € 334
· OHP contribution: expert time
· Other contributions to the project: FAO: travel fares and lodging costs and additional expert allowances totalling: € 1,376 which was donated by the experts to OHP.
· For details: see document JM/M(2012)2.