End of Year Message (2018) from SAAFoST President

Dear Members,

I cannot recall a busier year than this one for many of us, including SAAFoST. The listeriosis outbreak is thankfully over and it has certainly changed the face of food safety in South Africa, both at government and at industry levels.

We have been very active in SAAFoST this year, with three major initiatives that have been or are being implemented. These are:

oWe have subscribed to a webinar system and it was inaugurated on 27 November 2018 with an important presentation from SACNASP about the importance of registering with SACNASP and accrual of CPD points for this profession. This is the first of many more webinars we are planning for 2019.
oThe SAAFoST website is being re-developed completely and should be up and running early in January 2019. It has a new and modern look, is mobile-friendly and will be extremely easy to navigate with past Congress information all in one place for our members to access.
oCouncil has agreed to support a new position i.e. a Communications Officer. Many volunteers have stepped up in the past and are still doing so currently, to run our social and other media platforms. I am naturally exceedingly grateful to them, but SAAFoST has grown and one of the areas that we have identified for significant investment, is regular communication with our members and other stakeholders. Briefly, this person will be tasked with developing and implementing a communications strategy for the organization using all possible media platforms. Applications will be sought in January 2019.

The MySAAFoST initiative was slow to start but in the second half of the year, the KZN branch held a very successful event with many young professionals and students involved. The three branches are now in the process of building on that and a brainstorming session for a core group of students and young professionals is being planned for March 2019.

A most recent and exciting development was the first SAAFoST event held in Port Elizabeth, arranged by a person with boundless energy - Juliette Le Roux. The event was a mini-workshop on food regulations and was held on 29 November. A whopping 91 people registered, some coming from far outside of PE! We were of course elated at the great interest the event attracted. We are fully behind Juliette in her endeavours to possibly start up an Eastern Cape branch, so watch this space! My grateful thanks goes to Willem Michau from the Nelson Mandela University who very kindly assisted Juliette with this event.

Goodness me, another Congress year in 2019 - how time flies! This time it will be held in Johannesburg. So keep an eye open for exhibition and sponsorship opportunities. All the information you require can be found at https://saafost2019.org.za/.

Finally, my heartfelt gratitude goes to Council members, staff, all SAAFoST volunteers who have worked tirelessly to keep this Association most relevant and I look forward to working closely with you all in 2019 to consolidate all these exciting developments.

I wish you and yours a restful, safe and happy festive season. Come back in 2019 revived and ready for another busy year at SAAFoST!

Best wishes,

Dr Lucia Anelich
President (2017 - 2019)