CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 17 -- Green food service providers offering healthy and safe food will soon be available in the country.
June M. Alvarez, the executive director of the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI), said the country is in the process of developing environmental criteria for food services.
Alvarez said the scope of food services include casual dining, fine dining, fast foods, catering services, canteens, and cafeterias.
This initiative is part of the implementation of National Eco-labeling Programme-Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP) which promotes the production and purchase of environmentally friendly products and services. The PCEPSDI administers the program.
Alvarez said the NELP-GCP technical working group (TWG) is divided into four subgroups with each environmental concern to tackle: nutritional value, food safety, waste management and resource management.
He said various health and food safety considerations are now being validated in the TWG meetings, including the food fortification laws, sanitation code of the Philippines, solid waste management programs, and food-handling practices.
"There are internationally accepted standards being considered like the Servsafe of United States. Similar eco-labelling criteria from the US and European countries as well as our partner from the programs from the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) where we want aim to harmonize standards are also being considered," he noted.
Alvarez said the final draft criteria will be approved by the NELP-GCP technical committee and its board.
He stressed that part of the drafting of criteria is the stakeholders' consultation meetings where target applicants, its suppliers, and related business will be given the chance to comment on the criteria.
"After this, our organization will start accepting applicants for the application and certification process," he added. (EOR/DV-PNF/PIA 10)