Margaret A. Lawson

Winston Churchill said, “If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided, all will fail.”

Together, IFT and other organizations around the globe can make the promotion of a safe, affordable, accessible, and nutritious food supply worldwide a reality.

For decades, IFT has participated in a variety of professional forums to address current issues in the field. The diverse expertise within our 28 Divisions—our Centers of Excellence—combined with our global reputation within the scientific community gives IFT exceptional access to top food science and technology experts.

Working cooperatively with allied and other international organizations, IFT has participated in World Congresses of Food Science and Technology and World Food Summits. IFT actively participates as a non-governmental organization in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the international food standards–setting organization.

Also in 2005, IFT’s “Three Presidents” and the Executive Vice President of IFT at the IFT Annual Meeting + FOOD EXPO® in New Orleans had encouraging and successful meetings with delegations from Latin America, China, Japan, Lebanon, and Thailand. Our hope is to continue to build on these positive discussions to identify true avenues of effective collaboration.

We have established significant partnerships with various organizations:
CIFST. IFT has identified a number of collaborative avenues in our partnership with the Chinese Institute of Food Science and Technology. Last month, IFT welcomed CIFST representatives Madame Meng Suhe, Secretary General; Rao Pingfan, Professor and Director of Institute of Biotechnology, Fuzhou University; and Shao Wei, Head of International and Academic Division to Chicago. In addition to visiting Wrigley’s Global Innovation Center, the National Center for Food Safety & Technology, and Kraft Foods Inc.’s Research and Development Center, IFT and CIFST representatives discussed the 2006 IFT–CIFST Summit and the possibility of publishing a joint magazine in China. We are encouraged by their recent visit and look forward to an evolving and fruitful partnership.

ALACCTA. The Asociación Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Ciencia y Tecnología de Alimentos and IFT are coordinating a joint session at IFT’s Global Food Safety and Quality Conference, to be held during the 2006 IFT Annual Meeting + Food Expo in June.

GAIN. IFT and the IFT Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition Foundation. GAIN works to improve nutrition in developing countries through the fortification of locally produced and consumed staple foods.

Fujian Province. IFT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fujian Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau to discuss the development of workshops and training programs for staff of the Bureau.

FAO/ALACCTA. IFT Past President Ann Hollingsworth spoke on “Food Safety & Food Regulations: Are They Compatible?” at the Food Safety Symposium celebrating World Food Day last October. The symposium, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization and ALACCTA, was held in Mérida, Mexico.

FSIA. The Food Safety Institute of the Americas and IFT are considering an agreement of mutual cooperation on joint food safety education and training programs (the IFT World section elsewhere in this issue).

PFSE. IFT joined the Partnership for Food Safety Education, a nonprofit organization supporting activities that educate the public about safe food-handling practices. The Partnership is popularly known for its Fight BAC! campaign to reduce bacterial foodborne illness during food preparation at home.

IFT identified opportunities where the Partnership’s message can be added to IFT-produced promotions to further affect public health. IFT added the Fight BAC! steps for reducing foodborne illness to our promotion of science presented during IFT’s 2005 Annual Meeting.

RCA. The Research Chefs Association and IFT have discussed additional partnership opportunities beyond the pavilion activities at Food Expo.

Discovery Education. IFT formed a partnership with this organization to create and distribute food science career-oriented educational kits to every public high school across the country.

INNOVA. Last September, I spoke on “Invisible Borders in the New World—The Impact of Globalization on Dinner” at INNOVA 2005, the International Symposium on Innovation and Food Development, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

By leveraging our partnerships, we have made true inroads, both domestically and internationally, for our profession. Nothing is impossible when we work together.

by Margaret A. Lawson,
IFT President, 2005–06
Technical Services Manager, T. Hasegawa USA, Cerritos, Calif.
[email protected]