Theme: Next Generation Food Safety Technologies addressing Sustainable Development Goals

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The transition in the concept of Food Security from the 1950s to date has been strategic and inclusive towards ensuring sustainable access and availability of safe and nutritious foods. The trend has shifted from "self-sufficiency in major staples" through "access to sufficient food (Food and Agricultural Organization's World Food Conference of 1974)", to present day concept stating that "Food Security is achieved when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life" (FAO World Food Summit, 1996). Food security is pivoted on four major aspects, which are availability, access, stability and utilization. In the same way, Food Safety implies "the absence of, or acceptable and safe levels of contaminants, adulterants, naturally occurring toxins or any other substance that make food injurious to health on an acute or chronic basis".

Transforming our world through the sustainable development goals is crucial to achieve food safety and therefore food security. The world's hungry live in developing countries and therefore the solution should be an indigenous one supporting innovation and solution based research within these developing countries, learning from indigenous knowledge and known scientific research. Subsequently, South Africa, one of the objectives of the Department of Science and Technology (DST 2011-2016 strategy) is to reduce poverty through technology by improving socio-economic status and food security that is sustainable and vibrant in the urbanizing spaces and rural communities.

Bill and Melissa Gates made the prediction that Africa would feed themselves by 2030. In order to achieve this and build "The Future We Want" innovation needs to be accelerated within Africa allowing us to ensure safety in order to assure food security. Therefore the next generation innovative technologies are required in the field of food safety especially within developing countries. Combining the force of indigenous food safety knowledge and practices as well as those of scientific research is key to achieving these goals. This conference represents how the sustainable development goals will be coupled with important food safety themes in order to address food safety and food security.

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