Walmart to Sponsor Food Fraud Prevention Online Course In China

PR Newswire

BEIJING, June 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Walmart has agreed to sponsor the

translation of a Food Fraud Prevention online course to the Mandarin language.

The course was developed by Dr.John Spink, Professor at Michigan State

University (MSU) and Director of the University's Food Fraud Initiative. Dr.

Spink, a recognized expert in this area, has joined Walmart in their efforts to

help customers, regulators, suppliers and retailers increase public awareness

of food fraud prevention inChina and prevent food fraud through joint efforts

in the market.

MSU's first Food Fraud Prevention Overview was originally conducted in May of

2013 and it has only been offered in English. Since its debut, the massive open

online course (MOOC) hasseen over 800 participants from 48 countries take in

the free course. Following the first MOOC, there has been great interest in

follow-up courses and translation into other languages. The Walmart sponsorship

of the first language translation of the MOOC into Mandarin is a critical next

step in protecting against food fraud and improving the global food supply

chain.

This two-week MOOC is offered free to anyone, anywhere, who has Internet

access. The first Mandarin version of the two-week course will be offered in

two sections, on August 5 and August 12. It is especially targeted to be a tool

to help food companies inChina further strengthen their food fraud prevention

and surveillance programs.

Participants of the MOOC will gain important insights into the reasons food

fraud continues to be a major issue inthe global supply chain. The course will

draw on a wide range of current experience and expertise, infusing many

real-world applications and problem-solving exercises that will provide a

framework for success in the future.

Frank Yiannas, Vice President of Food Safety for Walmart said, "At Walmart,

we take the issue of food fraud very seriously. Because prevention of food

fraud is a shared responsibility and education is a key to deterrence, Walmart

is delighted to be able to helpMichigan State University make the course more

broadly available to regulatory officials, industry professionals, consumers

and other stakeholders inChina."  

Dr. Spink said, "We are grateful for forward-thinking companies like Walmart

who are working, and investing in, improving the safety of the world's foods."

 He elaborated that,"When we rapidly expand the education and awareness

building at this early stage in the development of the science, we can more

efficiently establish a starting point and trajectory of our actions."

"Food fraud has been recognized as a common challenge not only for retailers

but also the whole supply chain," Walmart China Chief Compliance Office Paul

Gallemore said."As the largest retailer in the world, Walmart intends to

leverage global food safety expertise and best practices to help our suppliers

address the problem together in order to provide even greater assurance of food

product quality, authenticity and safety to our customers."

The retailer recently announced they are continuing to invest heavily in food

safety forChina with their total investment for 2013, 2014 and 2015 reaching

300 million Yuan. A portion of this investment has been heavily focused on

supplier training and management. Walmart is helping suppliers understand and

comply not only withChina's regulations, but the company's extensive and

rigorous food safety policies. Meanwhile, the company will perform additional

testing and tougher standards for suppliers in 2014, increasing DNA testing on

meat products by 100 percent and facility audits and inspections of primary

producers by more than 30 percent from 2013. Walmart China has also taken a

zero-tolerance policy on food fraud.

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