The UK FAO Reference Centre for AMR is a joint accreditation across three Defra agencies: the VMD, Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), and Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).
As one of the agencies, we were delighted to co-host the first FAO AMR Reference Centres Congress in Weybridge, Surrey, held on the 15 and 16 March 2023.
The Congress was a hybrid meeting attended by both the FAO delegates and representatives from each of the nine designated FAO AMR Reference Centres. The purpose of the congress was to strengthen relationships between the representatives, share expertise and plan areas of collaboration for the year ahead.
Activities of the first two days were centred around presentations about the current and future FAO and Quadripartite AMR initiatives including RENOFARM, InFARM, Multi-stakeholder Partnership Platform and the FAO AMR Laboratory Community of Practice.
Discussion focused on the role of the FAO AMR Reference Centres with reference to these initiatives and how to contribute.
Reference Centre representatives shared insights and updates about their various activities, areas of expertise and planned programme of work to improve alignment between the Reference Centres.
The second day ended with a workshop with all Representatives mapping out their activities for the year according to the five pillars of the FAO Action Plan on AMR.
Dr Rachel Dalton, VMD Lead for UK FAO Reference Centre for AMR said:
As an outcome from this Congress, we look forward to closer collaboration with FAO and the AMR Reference Centre community as we deliver our ambitious programme of activity supporting countries to tackle antimicrobial resistance.