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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Lao restaurants get new green and safe quality award

LUANG PRABANG, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, 24 July 2014 – The Luang Prabang Safe and Green Tourism Scheme today launched “The Mark” – a clean and safe dining initiative – at a ceremony held in Luang Prabang. It was attended by some 100 restaurant and hotel managers who witnessed how the UNESCO World Heritage City’s eateries can meet minimal global guidelines for food production safety and hygiene.

“The Mark proves to tourists and tour operators that a dining establishment has passed a stringent food safety and hygiene audit, has necessary occupational health and safety measures in place, and is respectful of the environment through implementing resource efficiency standards”, said Toshiyuki Miyake, UNIDO Industrial Development Officer.

Funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the creation of the mark was supported by UNIDO under the UN cluster project on “Enhancing sustainable tourism, clean production and export capacity in Lao PDR”. It is operated by the Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (LANITH) and thereby following the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health’s (CIEH) global guidelines for food production.

At the ceremony, the Luang Prabang Safe and Green Tourism Scheme Governing Board awarded The Mark to four Luang Prabang establishments – Phouvao Hotel, The Balcony, Thepboupha Restaurant, and Xiengthong Palace Hotel. All of them have successfully passed a strict audit by CIEH accredited auditors during the initiative’s pilot phase.

Franck Caussin, the UN Cluster International Project Coordinator, said that The Mark in Luang Prabang aims to provide a model for use nationwide, while creating awareness in the community for the need to offer tourists clean and safe dining.
“Most Lao businesses recognize the need for a business standard like The Mark, even though there is currently no mandatory minimum standard in place,” said Caussin, noting that many restaurant kitchens lag behind in meeting the minimal level of accepted global standards, and others still do not realize they need food hygiene and safety to attract big-spending foreign visitors.

Lanith provides independent CIEH-accredited auditors for site inspection, which ensures The Mark follows CIEH food production guidelines for safety and hygiene, tourism health and security, and environmental protection. The Institute has also contracted Souphanouvong University to conduct laboratory tests.

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For more information, please contact:

At LANITH:
Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality
Peter Semone
Lanith Chief Technical Advisor
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At UNOPS:
Franck Caussin
International Project Coordinator of the UN cluster
UNOPS – Ministry of Industry and Commerce
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At UNIDO:
Toshiyuki Miyake
UNIDO Industrial Development Officer
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