Compliance support infrastructure and services - UNECE
Market Access Section
Economic Cooperation and Trade Division
Tel: +41 22 917 1176
E-mail : liliana.annovazzi-jakab [at] unece.org
UNECE supports the use of international agricultural quality standards, in particular in the agricultural sector of low and middle-income countries through the development of international best practice for sustainable quality production; inspection and trade and related capacity-building. This is done in cooperation with other international organizations (e.g. CODEX Alimentarius Commission; European Union; OECD), NGOs and the private sector. This cooperation facilitates the harmonization of standards and their wide dissemination. The UNECE agricultural quality standards help countries access international markets and link into cross-border supply chains. Covering meat, fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, nuts, eggs and seed potatoes in over 100 standards, they are used today in countries worldwide. As the standards provide produce-specific minimum requirements for international trade but also national markets, they reduce transaction costs and related risks by providing a reliable and sustainable regulatory framework and support to quality production and food loss reduction along the entire supply chain. To ensure the uniform application of the standards and organize capacity-building, the UNECE develops guidance material and explanatory publications.
The UNECE provides demand- and impact–driven technical assistance and capacity building to government agencies, food inspection, and regulatory services, exporters, importers and producers’ associations from transition and developing countries. Areas include: implementation of quality infrastructure and regulations; development of training programs and material; efficient and effective compliance services; analysis of procedural flows for supply chain optimization; product grading and evaluation; coordination mechanisms with other inspection bodies; risk analysis, food loss and food waste issues; eating quality and traceability. The interplay of these topics are highly relevant to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2 (ending hunger, achieving food security and promote sustainable agriculture), and 12 (ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns). Workshops, which have been organized worldwide, resulted in increased awareness and use of quality standards at national and international level by national authorities and private operators: They have opened possibilities for cross-border cooperation and pooling of production for increased export competitiveness in conflict-ridden areas such as the Fergana Valley region.