The Wageningen University & Research Executive Board has appointed Dr H.J (Ine) van der Fels-Klerx to the position of Professor by special appointment of Food Safety Economics. The chair, which will be installed on 1 August 2019, is part of the Business Economics Chair Group and is sponsored by Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR).
To guarantee food safety in plant and animal production chains, businesses deploy both statutory and non-statutory systems and procedures and monitor their results. The government keeps track of these businesses by conducting on-site system inspections and by means of monitoring. However, because there are so many different types of food safety hazards, food products and food businesses, the government must conduct these monitoring activities selectively and within certain budget constraints. Moreover, the law demands that inspections be carried out as much as possible on the basis of risks.
Transparent and objective
The new chair of Food Safety Economics will consider the economic aspects of the food production chains in relation to the inspections and monitoring programs. Both the business community and the government will benefit from this new research field, because it will provide a scientific sounder, transparent and objective basis for deciding what and when to inspect and monitor.
The new chair is part of WUR’s Business Economics Chair Group, which is led by Prof. Alfons Oude Lansink. The Business Economics Chair Group provides support in the decision-making of stakeholders in food production chains by analysing and evaluating risks and economic, environmental and social performance.
Predicting models and prioritising
Ine van der Fels-Klerx is expertise group leader of Agrochains at WFSR. This group evaluates and analyses food safety hazards in animal and plant production chains. Among other things, they are developing systems for predicting and prioritising food safety hazards. Providing timely information on potential food safety hazards and prioritising these hazards will help to prevent incidents and improve food safety. It will also provide a basis on which to build risk-based monitoring programmes.
Ine van der Fels-Klerx (1971) studied Animal Sciences at Wageningen University. After her graduation, she spent a number of years working at a practical research centre, researching cattle, sheep and goats in Lelystad. In 2001 she obtained her PhD in the field of Animal Health Economics with Wageningen University’s Business Economics Chair Group. She subsequently spent three years with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment developing quantitative microbial risk assessments for food production chains. As of 2004 she has been modelling contaminants in animal feed and food production chains for WFSR . She also coordinates national and international projects and advises EFSA and the Top Sectors in the field of food safety.