PARIS – In recognition of his outstanding contributions to promote sustainable and safe food globally, Dr. Bernard Vallat, Director General of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), was awarded the first Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere Leadership Award (SSAFE). Incorporated in 2006, SSAFE is a global/public/private partnership consisting of partners from major companies in the private sector from global and regional food and feed systems (production, processing and distribution), non-governmental organizations, universities, intergovernmental and national agencies worldwide.

“I’m honored to receive this Award because it highlights the importance of the efforts of the World Organization for Animal Health [OIE] in preventing the spread of infectious diseases of animal origin, while limiting the devastating consequences they can have worldwide,” Vallat said at the Award ceremony that took place in Paris March 16. “The SSAFE decision is recognition of our efforts and underlines that sanitary conditions affecting the animal kingdom can have very serious global consequences for the rural economy and for global food safety and security.”

By respecting Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) standards, the OIE and SSAFE believe it is possible to improve public health, animal health and food safety at global level. This requires involving leaders from the food and feed industry, governmental agencies, academia, NGOs and consumer groups to create alliances amongst the public sector, including the Veterinary Services, and all relevant stakeholders from the private sector.

“The work of OIE and, in particular, the commitment of its Director General, Dr. Bernard Vallat, to improve animal health and food safety worldwide is of utmost importance for us, as it directly contributes to make SSAFE’s vision a reality,” said Dr. David Corley, SSAFE president. “The correct implementation of the standards and guidelines of the OIE and the Codex Alimentarius by all countries worldwide would represent a great achievement for SSAFE, as it is one of our key objectives for the protection of consumers globally.”