22 January 2009

Re-issued as received

Healthy and Safe Food for the Future

FutureFood6 Conference in Vienna 

VIENNA, 22 January (UN Information Service) - Policy makers, food industry representatives, experts, specialized institutions and various stakeholders are gathering in Vienna, Austria, on 27 January for the Final Conference of the project "Healthy and Safe Food for the Future - A Technology Foresight Project in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia" also known under the acronym FutureFood6. The project is funded by the European Commission under its 6th Framework Programme of the Directorate-General for Research and coordinated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The project aims to bring up to international standards the entire food chain of the participating countries.

The conference seeks to promote dialogue between all players involved, based on the project findings and recommendations and to introduce measures for ensuring healthy and safe food in the Central and Eastern European countries. It will also provide an overview of global food industry issues and discuss the main results of the project.

The project uses the Technology Foresight research method to mobilize innovative thinking about long-term development options. In this context, one of the key merits of this project is that it has opened the door to important discussions on food safety and health issues in a long-term prospective. It has mobilized a large number of stakeholders who have not only engaged in formulating visions, but also, most importantly, in implementing them. The project will enable the six countries involved to better manage the future of the food industry in the region through the development of concrete "road maps".

The FutureFood6 Consortium is coordinated by UNIDO and comprises the Fundación Observatorio de Prospectiva Tecnológica Industrial (Spain), The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (Austria), the Institute of Economics (Hungary), the Technology Centre of the Academy of Science (Czech Republic), the BIC Group (Slovakia), The National Wholesale Market Company (Croatia), The Executive Agency for Higher Education and Research Funding (Romania) and the ARC Fund (Bulgaria).

The event will take place on 27 January 2009 from 8:30 to 17:20 at the Tech Gate Vienna, Donaucity Strasse 1, Vienna, Austria. A press conference will be organized just after the closing ceremony. Media representatives intending to participate should register at: www.unido.org/foresight/registration. They should also present their valid press card and passport/ID on entering the conference premises.

The Conference agenda is available at: www.futurefood6.com/index.php?kat=73 and additional information at: www.futurefood6.com

UNIDO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system that works towards improving the quality of life of the world's poor by helping countries achieve sustainable industrial development. UNIDO views industrial development as a means of creating employment and income to overcome poverty. It helps developing countries and economies in transition to produce goods they can trade on the global market. It also helps provide the tools - training, technology, and investment - to make them competitive. At the same time, it encourages production processes that will neither harm the environment nor place too heavy a burden on a country's limited energy resources. UNIDO has 172 Member States and has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. See also www.unido.org

* *** *

For further information, please contact:

Ricardo Seidl da Fonseca
Senior Industrial Development Officer and Project Coordinator, UNIDO
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-3737
Email: R.Seidl-da-Fonseca@unido.org

Lucia Dávidová
Project Manager, BIC Group s.r.o.
Enterprise Europe Network Slovakia
Telephone: (+421) 2 54 41 11 92
Email: davidova@bicba.sk