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World Food Safety Day: MARKUP beats the drum

Agriculture is a key pillar to Kenya’s economy, food and nutrition security, contributing about 65 percent of the country’s total exports. However, this security can only be realized when food safety is keenly observed along the entire value chain; from production, to packaging, to transportation, trading and consumption.

According to WHO, an estimated 600 million people in the world which is almost 1 in 10, fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420 000 die every year. Therefore, food safety is a collective responsibility, which should be observed by all. If properly observed, production, processing and consumption of safe food will lead to a healthy and wealthy nation.

Kenya joined the rest of the world in celebrating the 2nd World Food Safety Day on 7th June 2020. Due to the current challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic the celebration was marked by live promotions and talk shows on local television networks and radio stations, a series of webinars and articles in print media. Through UNIDO, MARKUP Kenya run a series of activities leading up to the day. These included participation in a live TV forum on KTN TV discussing  key food safety hazards, the role of partners in the food safety systems, and the impact of Covid 19 on food supply and food control systems in Kenya. MARKUP also shared food safety messages in the social and digital platforms, communicating directly to producers and consumers. Social media influencers were brought on board to provide cooking demonstrations while handling food safely to promote the theme EAT IT SAFE. Additionally, food safety messages were shared with digital groups including “Digital farmers” and “Lets cook Kenyan meals” targeting both producers and consumers in line with the theme-GROW IT SAFE. MARKUP Kenya also carried out a Twitter Blast Campaign to drive conversation towards food safety issues using creative images, gifs, polls and threads on Sunday, 7th of June in line with the theme-TEAM UP FOR SAFETY under the hashtag #FoodSafetyDayKE.

This important initiative demonstrated what can be achieved when Development Partners, Government and the private sector team up for a common cause.