A Renowned Figure in Risk Management: Fadi Al-Natour Fostering Perpetual Business Relations

Fadi Al-Natour | Risk Management Expert | ADAFSA
Fadi Al-Natour | Risk Management Expert | ADAFSA

Meet Fadi Al-Natour, a distinguished Risk Management Expert at the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA). With an impressive track record spanning two decades, Fadi has cultivated excellent relationships with international and regional organizations dedicated to public health, animal health, food safety, and agriculture.

Fadi brings a wealth of knowledge to his role, demonstrating mastery of Gulf standards and a comprehensive understanding of UAE local and federal regulations pertaining to public health, food and feed safety, and animal health. His expertise extends to early warning systems, adopting a holistic one-health approach that addresses risks in human health, animal health, and plant health.

As a seasoned risk management expert, Fadi specializes in the food chain and veterinary sectors, with a focus on animal health and food safety risk analysis, risk-based regulations, standards, food safety management systems, and incident and crisis management. Recognized as an approved trainer, he imparts his knowledge in risk and crisis management through training programs, showcasing proficiency in course material development and trainer evaluation.

Fadi’s impact is not confined to the national level; He is working actively with the international agency such as With FAO in development of technical back ground document Early warning tools and systems for emerging issues in food safety and WHO in the development of the WHO global strategy for food safety 2022

Also he is an integral member of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Food Safety and member of the WHO advisory group known as the “Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG).” His international engagements also include being an INFOSAN Expert for the FAO and WHO, serving as an INFOSAN focal point, and holding the position of EU-RASFF focal point.

He is a certified risk manager His project management skills are underscored by certification, with proficiency in project automation and electronic solutions for Food and animal health area where AI is utilized in efficient and effective way.

Fadi is not just a professional with a remarkable skill set; he is a dedicated team player with high leadership skills, fluency in English and Arabic languages, and an enthusiasm for achieving objectives. His contributions to the field of risk management, food safety, and international collaboration mark him as a key figure in ensuring safer food for better health on a global scale.

A Global Journey

Fadi has gained practical experience in various countries, commencing with roles in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Additionally, he has had the opportunity to conduct business visits to several other nations.

Throughout his career development, Fadi has demonstrated a strong commitment to self-improvement and continuous learning. He holds a Master’s degree in food safety management, which is centered around risk management principles. In pursuit of excellence, Fadi has undergone training from renowned organizations specializing in food and animal health risk management. These organizations include BfR in Germany, as well as EPA-USDA, WHO, OIE, and FAO. Furthermore, he has received training on private standards such as ISO standards.

He had diversity of work experience climbing the stairs of the career development starting from the field  practice to field inspection and auditing to  policy and regulatory development to project design and management to risk assessment and crisis management

Commitment to Excellence in Food Safety and animal health and public health

Fadi’s academic and professional journey reflects a commitment to excellence in the field of food safety and veterinary medicine. Armed with a Master of Applied Science in Food Safety Management from the Higher College of Technology in the UAE (2015), where he graduated with Distinction and achieved a Cumulative GPA of 3.66, Fadi has consistently demonstrated his dedication to advancing knowledge in his chosen field.

His expertise is not limited to academia; Fadi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery earned from Jordan University of Science & Technology in 2001, providing a solid foundation in veterinary sciences. Fadi’s educational journey began with a Secondary Certificate in 1996 from Zaid Bin Alkhatab Alryadiah in Jordan, showcasing his early commitment to academic excellence.

Fadi’s extensive work experience is marked by his impactful roles and contributions. Notably, he has been a key member of the WHO advisory group, “Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG),” since May 12, 2021. In this capacity, Fadi plays a crucial role in advising WHO on methodologies for estimating the global burden of foodborne diseases, reviewing epidemiological data, identifying research priorities, and making recommendations on scientific and technical matters.

Additionally, Fadi has been a member of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Food Safety: Safer Food for Better Health since November 23, 2020. In this role, he actively contributes to the development of WHO’s global strategy for food safety, chairs the Stakeholders Engagement and Communication group, and supports various aspects of strategy implementation, including food controls, emerging risks, risk analysis, and stakeholder engagement.

Fadi’s professional journey includes significant roles in the private sector, such as his tenure as Veterinary Export Technical Support from September 2004 to November 2006 at LILLIDALE ANIMAL HEALTH, where he represented the company in multiple countries, developed partnerships, and supported veterinary products. His earlier roles as a Medical Representative in Saudi Arabia and Jordan further showcase his diverse experiences in marketing and technical support of medical and veterinary products.

Spearheading Impactful Risk-Based System Projects and early warning  systems

Fadi highlights the development of risk-based inspection systems projects as a memorable and impactful aspect of his career. Notably, he played a crucial role in establishing the Rapid Alert System at various levels, initially at the emirate level in Abu Dhabi, then expanding its scope to cover the entire UAE and later at the GCC level. Also he played key role in development of the early warning system integrating data from many international and national organization under the umbrella of one health These initiatives required strategic thinking, effective communication skills, and the ability to align multiple entities to ensure coordinated efforts.

In many situations, Fadi emphasizes the importance of working smart and fostering strong communication skills to bring various stakeholders to the same table and facilitate collaboration. Additionally, he implemented continuous learning programs for multiple countries in the region to enhance knowledge and expertise in the field.

Regulatory Leadership

In his role in regulatory development and bylaws taskforce, Fadi prioritizes staying updated on the latest regulations. He ensures strict adherence to regulatory standards by subjecting all managed projects to both external and internal quality and regulatory audits. This meticulous approach guarantees compliance and quality in the implementation of various initiatives.

Moreover, Fadi emphasizes effective consultation with stakeholders, striving to understand their roles and how they can contribute to mutual success. This collaborative approach aims for a win-win situation, fostering positive relationships and synergies among all involved parties.

Building Trust through Source-Centric Communication and Team Unity

Fadi highlights the significance of focusing on the source rather than just the story, emphasizing consistent communication with stakeholders at all stages and understanding their needs to build a strong level of trust. Additionally, Fadi stresses the importance of teamwork, ensuring that every team member is brought to the same level and expressing a belief that no team member should be left behind. This collaborative approach contributes to a unified and supportive team environment.

Training Initiatives

Fadi has played a significant role in conducting various training courses, particularly in the GCC countries. These courses have contributed to enhancing the inspection of imported food, streamlining trade processes, and achieving key performance indicators (KPIs) related to sampling and testing. The impact extends to local food establishments and farms, where inspections have become more effective and science-risk based under Fadi’s guidance.

Advancing Knowledge in Food Safety and Public Health

Fadi’s commitment to advancing knowledge in the fields of food safety and public health is further exemplified through his notable publications and research endeavors. Here is a glimpse into his significant contributions:

  • .R1, Mu, W., Kleter, G.A., Bouzembrak, Y., Dupouy, E., Frewer, L.F., Al Natour, F.N.R. Marvin, H.J.P. “Making food systems more resilient to food safety risks by including Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Internet of Things into food safety early warning and emerging risk identification tools”
  • 2023. Early warning tools and systems for emerging issues in food safety – Technical background.
  • WHO global strategy for food safety 2022.
  • GCC Guide For Control On Imported Foods 2015
  • “Investigation of the antimicrobial preservatives in the dairy product (Labaneh).” Published in Food Science and Quality Management, Vol. 31, 2014.
  • “Mercury and Arsenic Levels in Some Predatory Fish Species Marketed in Abu Dhabi, UAE.” (ADAFSA study 2006).
  • “Plastic particles in bottled drinking water in Abu Dhabi Market.” (ADAFSA study 2019).
  • “Impact of World Wide Food Alert Notifications on Food Safety 2009.” (ADAFSA study 2009).
  • “Pesticides residues in rice and dates marketed in Abu Dhabi emirate.” (ADAFSA study 2022).
  • “Salmonella contamination in fresh poultry marketed in Abu Dhabi.” (ADAFSA study 2017).

These publications showcase Fadi’s diverse research interests, spanning from the integration of cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and the Internet of Things into food safety systems to the investigation of specific contaminants in food products. His work not only contributes to the academic and scientific community but also holds practical implications for food safety practices and regulations. Fadi Al-Natour continues to play a pivotal role in advancing the understanding and implementation of food safety measures on both global and regional scales.

A Global Perspective in Food Safety

According to Fadi, risk management not only promotes innovation but is also a crucial stage in fostering growth. Recognizing the interconnected nature of the world, Fadi emphasizes the importance of avoiding siloed approaches and encourages professionals in food safety and quality assurance to utilize AI and early warning systems. The advice extends to thinking outside the box and adopting a helicopter view, considering the broader scope of multi-hazard systems to make a meaningful impact in the field.

Vision for Universal Food Safety Standards

Fadi expresses hope for the development of a global multi-hazard system accessible to everyone. The aspiration includes a desire for all countries, particularly low-income ones, to achieve an equivalent standard of food safety compared to other regions worldwide.