Geoffrey Podger: Speech delivered at the Inaugural Ceremony of EFSA, Parma

Geoffrey Podger

Speaking Notes

Mr. Chairman
On behalf of the staff of EFSA, I also have much pleasure in welcoming all our distinguished guest. We are indeed fortunate that some of the highest authorities in Italy and of the European Union have found the time to join us this afternoon for our inauguration ceremony.

EFSA works very closely with the national food authorities through the mechanism of the Advisory Forum. As its Chairman, it is a great pleasure to welcome so many colleagues from the Forum this afternoon and that thank them for what they do in spreading scientific knowledge and information across the European Union.

Not least on behalf of our own internal scientific experts, I also must welcome the members of the Scientific Committee and Panels (including their Chairman, Professor Silano) who are here this afternoon. All make considerable sacrifices to contribute their expertise to food science across the European Union and their contribution to the work of EFSA cannot be overpraised.

We in EFSA feel very happy that our permanent home should be here in the heart of the Italian Food Valley. We know already that we can draw on the considerable expertise of academia and industry in our area and we look forward to developing these links. Being here also of course enables us not merely to help ensure that the EU continues to have food of a very high standard – it also enables us to taste and enjoy
the very high quality of food which is on offer!

Finally I must express my thanks to the Italian Authorities and people at all levels. We have much appreciated the speed and efficiency with which Ministers and their staff in Roma have sought to meet our needs. Similarly I cannot speak to highly of the very positive and constructive relationship we have always had with the Region Emilia- Romagna, the Province of Parma and the Comune di Parma itself. No effort has been spared to welcome us and help us install ourselves here – and we appreciate this infinitely.

Parma has a proud history and it is a great privilege for us to be invited to make our home in this European City. Few days ago Parma Football Team could officially join the top rank in the Italian football championship and, as of today, the city of Parma officially enters the “championship” of the European seats.

Thank you for your attention.