South Africa


Dr. Lucia Anelich, PhD
South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST)

Prof. Gunnar Sigge, PhD
South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST)
Council & Exco Member

Prof. Dr. Thierry REGNIER
Research Professor
Tshwane University of Technology

Ambassador’s Report

SAAFoST is the Association for Food Scientists, Technologists and other Professionals serving the food and allied industries in South Africa. The organisation provides its members with valuable networking and knowledge-sharing events and publications. SAAFoST promotes education and professionalism as well as an appropriate legislative structure in the industry.

Food standards should be developed in such a way that they do not present a barrier to trade, whilst simultaneously affording adequate protection for consumers of those countries. Most countries in Africa are members of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) and members of the WTO. It therefore follows that Codex Alimentarius standards are regarded as the minimum standards that these countries should comply with, not only for conducting international and regional trade, but also for providing safe and nutritious food for the domestic population.

All countries in Africa have food standards. However, these range from very few and rudimentary standards to antiquated standards developed during colonial times to more modern standards reflecting the spirit of the WTO and the CAC. Consequently, projects exist within Regional Economic Communities to harmonise existing food standards. However, many existing food standards are not based on scientific principles as per the SPS Agreement and cannot be justified scientifically.

There is a general lack of scientific capacity in many countries in Africa. Capacity building will require political will as a first step, followed by policy development and long-term strategies for maintaining that capacity in a particular country. This is vital to enable effective participation in relevant regional and international forums such as the Regional Economic Communities and the CAC, respectively. These developments should, however, go hand in hand with harmonisation of food standards at regional
and international levels, in order to facilitate trade.

Prof. Thierry Regnier:
The aim is to promote awareness on the need for a strong and reliable global harmonization of food safety regulations, especially in Africa. My first aim is to talk to our new generation of food technologists and explain the role of the GHI. I am planning to talk to people about the GHI at the Food Technology Congress in Abu Dhabi in April.


Title: African Perspectives on the need for global harmonization of food safety regulations
Author: Lucia ECM Anelich
Publication and Date: Journal on the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2013

Title: Ensuring Global Food Safety
Chapter title: Development of Food Legislation Around the World: South Africa
Year of publication: 2010