The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has spent 2263 hours in organizing various awareness activities in 2018. Through a total number of 330 activities covered topics of food safety, livestock and agriculture in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the authority reached out to tens of thousands of students, consumers, and visitors of various festivals and events held throughout the year. Moreover, the authority also targeted its staff through organizing internal awareness activities. Organizing such activities reflected ADFCA's keenness to raise awareness among various segments of the society about food safety and areas of the authority's work.
In this regard, Thamer Al Qasemi, ADFCA's Spokesperson, said: "The last year witnessed a considerable diversity in topics discussed in our activities that were organized across all areas of Abu Dhabi Emirate. The topics were appropriate for the target audience and food sectors. Their diversification of the topics was to ensure optimal interaction with all segments of consumers."
He added that organizing those activities stems from the authority's belief in the importance of its awareness-raising and oversight role in realizing food safety and agricultural sustainability. Al Qasemi noted that the authority spent 365 awareness hours covering livestock-related topics through organizing 70 various activities, and 642 hours covering food safety topics through 89 activities. Meanwhile, it spent 580 hours in covering agricultural issues through 56 different activities. Besides, ADFCA spent 676 hours in introducing its functions and tasks throughout 115 activities.
Al Qasemi pointed out that the awareness activities of 2018 aimed to raise awareness of the public about food safety, livestock and agriculture topics. Meanwhile, ADFCA's institutional and internal awareness activities aimed to equip its staff with knowledge and introduce stakeholders to its tasks, duties and achievements.
"The activities come as part of ADFCA's efforts to highlight its role as a control authority concerned with food safety. The authority also seeks to raise awareness of the public and executing its mission to promote sound agricultural and food practices by organizing comprehensive and effective programs for various segments of the society. ADFCA's activities also aim at correcting consumers' unsound practices and introducing them to ways for handling food safely throughout the food chain," Al Qasemi clarified.
ADFCA's Spokesperson indicated that ADFCA managed to spend 2263 hours for awareness in 2018, with an increase of 421 hours, about 23%, compared to 2017. He added that this number of hours is due to the increased demands on the authority's awareness-raising activities by the Department of Education and Knowledge, neighborhood councils and partners.
"This is a significant achievement at the level of the government services that aim to raise awareness and serve the community. It will boost ADFCA's journey towards excellence. The achievement is the result of efforts made by ADFCA to raise awareness of the public about food, agriculture and livestock topics, as well as implementing the highest standards of food safety in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The authority responded to the desire of the community institutions, particularly the educational ones, to host the authority's awareness activities," stated Al Qasemi.
ADFCA also presented 11 various lectures in the neighborhood councils of Abu Dhabi, Al Dhafra and Al Ain. The lectures highlighted issues of agricultural sustainability, livestock development, essentials of food safety, and the most important services provided by the authority.
During 2018, ADFCA effectively took part in the national festivals and events. Those festivals included Abu Dhabi Science Festival, during which ADFCA organized many workshops for kids that aimed to raise their awareness about food safety practices. Moreover, they were educated about diseases that transmit from animals to humans and ways of prevention as well as animal welfare law.
The authority also participated in Zayed Heritage Festival by coordinating and organizing the Agricultural Oasis. During the festival, ADFCA's staff received school delegations, distributed publications and gifts to the visitors, and organized interactive competitions.
ADFCA also carried out field visits for school students targeted several food facilities and markets, through which students were briefed on stages of food processing, its sterilization and preparation, and ways for identifying the validity of food items. In addition, the authority distributed guidelines and awareness leaflets to several schools. Its activities also included field visits for students to its agricultural research stations.
Those activities are part of the authority's plans aim to raise awareness about the best food practices among consumers and institutions. The authority also aims at enhancing the food safety system in the UAE, as well as preserving the consumer safety by organizing awareness activities.