28 March 2003

Ninth Central and Eastern European Roundtable Held in Nitra

Some 70 attendees participated in the Ninth Central and Eastern European Agricultural Information Roundtable Meeting on "Food Safety and Quality in Transition Countries," which was held March 24-26, 2003, in Nitra, Slovak Republic. IAALD Board Member Michal Demes served on the Organizing Committee for the event, while IAALD Vice President, Qiaoqiao Zhang, represented IAALD and delivered Acting President Pamela Andre’s welcoming remarks, plus some of her own. In addition, IAALD provided sponsorship monies for the conference.

Anton Mangstl, Director of the Library and Documentation Systems Division of FAO, delivered the keynote address, “Knowledge Technologies for Managing Food Safety Information.” He underlined the importance of IT-technology for information storage and exchange. He also pointed to the problem of the growing quantity of information and the shortcomings for accessing this information. The precision of current search engines is low, such that they do not meet user needs adequately. He indicated that new technologies are needed to improve the accessibility and relevance of information relating to food and agriculture. Newly developed systems should make it possible to efficiently collect, analyze, interpret and disseminate information of high quality and relevance.

The conference brought together policy makers, scientists and information specialists to discuss such important issues as food safety and quality. The main topics covered were:
  • Responsibilities of the state and scientific community for food safety;
  • Resources and methods for classification of food safety;
  • Information systems and web based communication in food safety and quality;
  • Legislative and administrative management of food safety; and
  • Education and promotion of food safety.



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