The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) is aligning with international best practice techniques to monitor and track its food supply chain with greater sophistication, efficiency and accuracy. The use of geospatial technology has transformed tracking of livestock, farms, food outlets and laboratories, and has proven indispensable to food regulators worldwide. In a move to enhance ADFCA’s internal Geographic Information System (GIS) capacities, it has entrusted GPC to develop the ADFCA GIS Roadmap, develop foundation GIS applications and initiate the ADFCA GIS operational infrastructure.
The use of a GIS food control system will enable data integration, cross analysis and timely investigation that translates into a priceless tool for mitigating livestock epidemics and food consumption health risks threatening a population. It will also support, detailed traceability from ‘farm to fork’ – even for food supply beyond borders, effective detection of contamination, disease or pests and instigation to manage the outbreak, improve regulation of food growth and administration of animal welfare, and much more. “The Enterprise GIS platform will improve operational efficiency, promote sustainability and empower decision makers at all level of government to make better informed decisions” said Sherif Awad, Senior Director of GPC. “International experiences, such as in the instances of the Mad Cow Disease and Foot and Mouth epidemics have proven that geographic accuracy is absolutely pivotal to disease control and food safety generally.”
Fully appreciating the significance of geospatial data, ADFCA have already embarked upon activities consuming spatial information and services from Abu Dhabi – Spatial Data Infrastructure (AD-SDI), hosted by Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC). The AD-SDI provides Abu Dhabi Government with a single portal for cross sector coordination and dissemination of all spatial information in a macro, emirate wide GIS framework. Joseph Abdo, Director of Professional Services, GPC, said “it will be imperative to integrate all ADFCA information technology systems and initiatives, coordinate with field relevant stakeholders such as growers, regulatory entities and researchers, and align ADFCA’s efforts within the AD-SDI to gain access to the most progressive and comprehensive geospatial data within Abu Dhabi – in tandem, this will enable food regulation on a completely different plain.”
The ADFCA operates to manage, operate and deliver a number of services that fulfil a number of bylaws and regulations, including: violation of food and its handling, risk-based systems for control of imported food, food traceability and recall, animal identification and registration system for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, food sampling for official control, and food hygiene throughout the food chain. The Authority aims to develop a sustainable agriculture and food sector that ensures the delivery of safe food to the public, whilst protecting the health of animals and plants, and promoting sound agricultural and food practices through cohesive and effective policies and regulations, quality standards, research and awareness. The GPC awarded contract will enhance all of ADFCA’s mandated operations with the embedment of advanced geospatial technology.