Mary Kenny is the Food Safety and Consumer Protection Officer at FAO’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, based in Budapest, Hungary. Having worked at FAO for 25 years, Mary manages the regional programme of work on food safety, responding to countries’ needs to develop policies and national food control systems; to strengthen value chain operators capacity to ensure food safety from farm to fork; and to support use and contribution to FAO/WHO scientific advice and the Codex Alimentarius food standards. Mary is also the Delivery Manager for FAO’s regional programme of work on Transforming food systems and facilitating market access and integration.
Focussing on the UN Food Systems Summit, and beyond, Mary is supporting FAO’s work in Europe and Central Asia, including direct support and advice to countries undertaking Member State Dialogues, the organization of independent dialogues, and supporting the regional UN Issue-based Coalition on Sustainable Food Systems.
Mary has worked extensively on projects and capacity development activities in most regions of the world. Assuring food safety requires a multi-disciplinary approach and working in partnerships, through her work, Mary engages with multiple national authorities, private sector and consumer groups and a range of UN agencies and international Organizations. Mary’s work includes a focus on policy coherence between the food safety arena and other national priorities and increasing an understanding of the role of food safety in achieving food and nutrition security.
Prior to joining FAO in 1995, Mary worked in the UK and Ireland where her responsibilities included food regulation and inspection, food law compliance, environmental pollution control and the assessment of standards in the private – rented housing sector. Mary’s educational background includes a Degree in Environmental Health Officer and a Masters in Food Science and Technology.