Interview with Mr. Yao Yuan 姚远先生新闻采访
conducted by Rick Gilmore, Chairman of GFSF
As the first person in charge of the Global Food Safety Forum (GFSF)-China, Mr. Yao Yuan has won wide recognition from Chinese government and enterprises through active and tenacious efforts over the past five years. Under his management, GFSF has grown its membership base and range of services and activities nationwide. He has obtained official recognition for his work in advancing food safety in China through the public-private platform of GFSF.
1.Q: Congratulations on becoming First Secretary of GFSF/ China. During the five years since GFSF was established in China, you have played a key role in its growth, activitities, and brand recognition. Looking back, what do you see as GFSF’s major accomplishments in China?
A: First of all, thank you, Rick, I am very happy that we can work and do something really meaningful together. Over the past five years, I found it very rewarding to learn and grow together with Global Food Safety Forum ( GFSF ). We successfully organized our brand forums and summits in many regions of China, which helped us gradually gain influence in China’s food safety field. Shuanghui Group, Maotai and other large enterprises have successively become members of GFSF, which lays a good foundation for the development of our future work.
2.Follow-on Question: Here’s a tough one. What do you see in the road ahead? Perhaps the best way to tackle this question is to highlight upcoming GFSF activities and strategies that are likely to span its work in China over the next five years?
A: In the following 5 years, we will continue to carry out our original brand activities in China, such as Global Food Safety Forum, Food Safety White Paper and etc. In the meanwhile, I also hope we can comply with China’s national strategy—-“One Belt and One Road”, to make full use of the international influence of non-government organizations (NGOs) and to develop certified “One Belt and Road Initiative” products that facilitate the circulation of food among nations through joint efforts with relevant international institutions.
3.Q: China has placed new restrictions on foreign NGO’s (non-governmental organizations). GFSF has managed to continue operating and even broadening its scope, thanks to your leadership. In this new phase, it will also be collaborating with CCIC, its new partner. Would you tell us a bit more how that collaboration will work? Do you think the partnership with CCIC will give GFSF an opportunity to strengthen its public-private platform in China. Specifically, will you be working closely with CFDA and AQSIQ as well as with the private sector?
问：中国已经对外国NGO（非政府组织）设置了新的限制。 由于你的领导，GFSF已经成功地继续开展运作，甚至扩大了范围。 在这个新的阶段，我们也将迎来新的合作伙伴–中国检验认证集团CCIC。 你能详细的告诉我们一下这种合作方式将如何开展吗？ 你是否认为与CCIC的伙伴关系会给GFSF带来新的机遇，加强其公私平台的实力？ 具体而言，您是否将与国家食品药品监督管理总局CFDA和国家质量监督检验检疫总局AQSIQ以及私营部门继续进行密切合作？
A: I really agree with you. Next, we will work closely with CCIC and relevant government agencies to conduct activities such as food safety charitable training and online courses.
4.Q: With the Food Safety Law as amended in April 24th, 2015, China now seems to have a comprehensive regulatory infrastructure for food safety nationwide. Yet, these regulators openly admit that compliance is a persistent issue at the provincial levels. GFSF has hosted events in several provinces over the years. Do you plan to continue this strategy and what new approaches do you foresee that may serve to increase GFSF’s effectiveness?
问：根据2015年4月24日修订的“食品安全法”，中国现在似乎在全国范围内拥有全面的食品安全管理基础设施。 然而，这些监管机构公开承认，合规是省级层面长期存在的问题。 多年来，GFSF在多个省份举办活动。 您是否打算继续这一战略，以及您预见到哪些新的方法可能有助于增强GFSF的有效性？
A: Yes,local governments and enterprises at all levels warmly welcome that we, GFSF, organize our brand activities in various regions. We also hope to seize this opportunity and introduce new ideas, technologies and cooperation opportunities through GFSF. Yes, we will keep this popular trend ongoing.
5.Follow-on question: And what about new food safety technologies and the use of blockchain in food safety tracing systems. GFSF has had a couple of preliminary workshops on blockchain and technology demonstrations. What’s the plan in this space for the future?
后续问题：在食品安全追溯系统中，新的食品安全技术和区块链的使用又如何呢？ GFSF中国区已经举办了一些关于区块链和技术示范的初步研讨会。 未来这个领域发展的空间是什么？
A: I personally think that blockchain technology will surely receive wide range of applications and high social value in the future development of food safety traceability. However, in the light of China’s current situation, the public needs more time to be fully aware of it. This, therefore, will be our great opportunity in the next two years.
6.Q: You haven’t mentioned food safety liability insurance which has been a featured focus for GFSF. Are you giving up on that despite the Food Safety Law amendment which encourages suppliers to subscribe to this type of insurance and the trend of foreign buyers requiring their suppliers to take out liability insurance? Doesn’t this make more sense than ever?
A: In terms of food safety liability insurance, currently the foreign food enterprises should have mandatory insurance. Domestic food enterprises, however, are less motivated, since it undoubtedly increases the overall cost of the company. Therefore, we should find the right time to pupularize relative insurance knowledge to those enterprises.
7.Q: You and I have been friends for a long time. I even know that you’re a good singer and I’m not!! The challenge remains on how to translate our rapport to a seamless, global organization with a well-defined mission for food safety in China. Think we can do it?
A: Ha ha, thank you for remembering the song that I sang in Daqing Duerbote Prairie’s Mongolian bag, thank you! That is my favorite song— “The Legend of Genghis Khan” Although it impressed you a lot, I swear that I’m really not a good singer. Rick, I respect you so much! You are our spiritual leader, our best partner, we are the best Anda (Mongolian). Our mission will be definitely reached in the future!