YORK, England, Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A major new international food safety training facility, aimed at improving compliance with EU food import standards, is being launched today by The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) and analytical equipment manufacturer Waters ® (NYSE: WAT). (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110707/NE31586LOGO ) A significant proportion of food safety incidents reported in the EU are due to imports, therefore ensuring the legal compliance and safety of imported food is vital for protecting consumers. The EU and other international organisations have recognised the value of improving food safety testing globally, so that risks can be identified and tackled at source. In the EU alone the value of exports and imports of foodstuffs today exceeds £690 billion (over 860 billion Euros). The Fera International Food Safety Training Laboratory (Fera IFSTL), based near York, will primarily train scientists concerned with exporting foods to Europe. Experts from Fera will lead training programs that teach best practice methods to analysts from overseas, using state-of-the art technology and equipment for determining chemical contaminants and residues in food. This will enable food producing countries around the world to implement their own solutions and gain access to the opportunities offered by trade with Europe. Speaking as he formally opened the new Training Laboratory Lord de Mauley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Lords), said: "It's very encouraging to see the public and private sectors working together to facilitate trade from outside the EU. This will improve food safety testing for food imported into the EU, ensuring food is safe before it reaches our tables." The new venture combines the respective regulatory and scientific expertise of both organisations. The Fera IFSTL draws on Fera's extensive expertise as world leaders in the application of analytical chemistry to food safety testing and as the UK National Reference Laboratory for chemical contaminants in food, pesticide residues and veterinary drug residues.