On October 24, 2022, Maple Leaf Foods, in partnership with the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) Protein PACT, held its 12th annual Food Safety Symposium as part of the company's commitment to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration among the food industry with the goal of creating a safer, healthier food supply. The theme of the event was “How Measurement, Management and Transparency Builds Long Term Trust Among Stakeholders.”
At the Symposium, a panel of leading food safety experts shared their thoughts about the industry's non-competitive approach to creating best practices for and conducting workshops on Listeria control, and how collaborative efforts can create value and trust for stakeholders. Panelists expressed the benefits of industry focusing on its shared goal of protecting public health by serving safe food.
A second panel discussed the value of food safety audits in encouraging transparency and continuous improvement. Panelists agreed that how a company responds to audit results is more important than the audit itself. Panelists also noted that findings from audits can strengthen food safety if the findings are considered through the lens of continuous improvement.
In the closing panel, Randy Huffman, Ph.D., Chief Food Safety and Sustainability Officer at Maple Leaf Foods and a member of Food Safety Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board; Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of NAMI; Jim Snee, CEO of Hormel Foods; and Michael McCain, Executive Chair of the Board and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, discussed the Protein PACT, its ambitious visions and targets for 2030, and the increasing demand among consumers for transparency. Snee embraced the increasing transparency that the Protein PACT will bring to the meat industry and the opportunities for trust building, stating, "We often hear 'big food is bad.' We want to be good big food."
Maple Leaf Foods’ 2023 Food Safety Symposium date will be announced in the near future.