Roll-out of the International Portal on food safety, animal and plant health
The project aimed to develop a handbook for countries to set up a national window for the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health (IPFSAPH) to exchange official legislation and regulations on food safety, animal and plant health.
The international food and agricultural trading environment is complex and evolving. For countries, having rapid access to a wide range of official information, such as legislation, notifications, regulations, scientific evaluations, standards and other information, leads to better informed policy decisions. It also helps countries to prepare for, and comply with, relevant international and national regulations and measures.
An international online information system – the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health (IPFSAPH) was set up in 2003 by FAO, together with WTO, OIE, Codex Alimentarius, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), IPPC and other bodies. The system aims to facilitate trade in food and agricultural products and support countries to meet WTO SPS Agreement requirements.
A national manual for the IPFSAPH portal was published in 2007 to show countries how to integrate relevant national documents into the portal. The manual outlines how data is collected, maintained and updated, and it provides recommendations to improve the quality of the content before it is submitted.
Pilot projects in Turkey and Uganda showed promising signs for a future national roll-out of the IPFSAPH portal, with assessments leading to a better understanding of information needed for the national portal.
Competing priorities, financial resources, and government staff capacity need to be considered during all stages of a future project, including needs assessment, design, roll-out, and maintenance of the system.