UN agency says global food standards offer opportunities too for the developing world
A proliferation of standards and codes relating to the growing and supply of foods has generated increasing challenges for developing countries to penetrate markets in richer States but good agricultural practices can also help the developing world cope with globalization, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which wants to help create a “win-win” solution for all parties.
“The terminology good agricultural practices is now most commonly used to designate codes of agriculture production methods for implementation at farm level, which are promoted by many governments, retailers, exporters, producers, academia and other actors in the agriculture sector around the world,” FAO expert Anne-Sophie Poisot said.
“FAO has an important facilitating role to play in helping public and private stakeholders work together and find win-win situations for the implementation of good agricultural practices in the specific contexts of developing countries.”
FAO’s approach, while consistent with existing international regulatory frameworks, “is voluntary and would not lead to new international standards or codes, but is,” she added in a press release issued in Rome after a seminar to discuss the issue earlier this week.
The agency helps governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local communities and others to foster locally appropriate practices adapted to a range of farmers with different objectives, from smallholders which produce for the domestic markets to export-oriented estates.
In recent years, FAO has launched many initiatives to support the adoption of good agricultural practices and to help institutions implement them in developing countries. National workshops, projects and other activities were organized in Burkina Faso, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Thailand, Chile and other countries.
Electronic conferences and regional training courses on safety and quality of fresh fruits and vegetables were also organized or will take place in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.