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STDF events: sharing good practice to support SPS capacity building 

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ePhyto Webinar: Solutions on safe trade in plants and plant products

The ePhyto solution – driving the exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates – is being led by IPPC under an STDF project, backed by international organizations, donors and industry associations.

virtual discussion took place on 23 September 2020 to discuss about how countries are using ePhyto to safely facilitate the trade in plants and plant products across borders.

Partnering to improve food safety outcomes: accreditation and the role of vTPA programmes

  • How can the public-private sector jointly drive food safety?
  • What can we learn from the use of vTPA programmes?

Around the world, regulators and the private sector are coming together to drive improvements in food safety outcomes for public health and trade. Multi-national companies as well as micro and small and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs) are making use of quality assurance schemes to reduce supply chain risks and raise the quality and safety of food products and open up access to markets. 

A number of authorities are recognizing these programmes and using trusted data generated by certification audits to make risk management decisions and conduct inspections. This also offers opportunities for crisis periods, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing this interest, Codex is developing new guidelines on the recognition and use of voluntary third-party assurance (vTPA).

Alongside regulators, vTPA owners, food industry, accreditation and certification bodies and food safety service providers, the STDF and UNIDO held a virtual discussion on accreditation and the role of vTPA programmes. The webinar took place on 9 June 2020, marking the World Accreditation Day. Click here to access the slides, and here to access e-news and video.

Future-proofing safe trade during COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic, livelihoods worldwide are being affected with an unprecedented disruption of businesses and delays at borders, while the impact is felt across global supply chains. For developing countries, where health systems, infrastructure and resources face longstanding gaps, governments and the private sector, including MSMEs, now face huge challenges to respond.

The STDF held a virtual discussion on 26 May 2020 on how STDF partners are responding to COVID-19.

 Webinar Recording


Global action underway on meeting pesticide standards for export

Pesticides often cause trade concerns for tropical fruits and vegetables from developing countries. Few Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) exist for these crops, and they can differ from Codex standards or also for different trading partners. Three STDF projects (STDF/PG/359, STDF/PG/337, and STDF/PG/436) helped producers and traders in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia to meet pesticide requirements for tropical crops, including mangos and bananas.

An STDF information session held on 07 November 2019, at the margins of the WTO SPS Committee, shared the findings and recommendations of an independent evaluation of these projects, as well as discussed their catalytic impact in driving regional and global collaboration.

Why investing in SPS capacity matters for safe trade and sustainable development

Trade in food and agricultural products offers a way for farmers, processors and traders in developing countries to increase their incomes and boost economic development. But limited capacity to meet food safety, animal and plant health requirements – SPS measures – for export can be a major challenge.

An STDF session held on 4 July 2019 looked at the impact of building SPS capacity on inclusive growth, highlighting experiences from the public and private sectors in Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Uganda.

Strengthening the control of transboundary animal diseases in Cameroon

Animal diseases can have a major impact on international trade and food security. Cameroon is committed to unlock its potential to become a major livestock exporter, by reducing the risk of transboundary animal diseases. An STDF project led by FAO helped to set up four national strategic plans, key to fight against animal diseases (STDF/PG/336).

An STDF information session held on 20 March 2019 looked at the results and impact of the project, sought to mobilize follow-up commitment and capitalize investments for the strategic plans.


Costs and benefits of Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD) Control for Livestock Trade 

STDF's session on 1 November 2017 discussed options, costs and benefits of FMD control in the context of livestock trade. Key findings and recommendations from two studies conducted by the Royal Veterinary College were presented during the session, attended by over 100 delegates from the WTO SPS Committee. This included lessons from:
• Feasibility study of establishing a fresh meat producing compartment in Zimbabwe (STDF/PPG/550)
• Cost-Benefit Analysis for establishing a Foot and Mouth Disease Free Zone or Compartment in Tanzania (STDF/PPG/516)

Read more here.

Transitioning from paper-based to automated SPS systems

New technologies bring key benefits for agricultural production; reduce costs and time of exports for developing countries through automated certification processes. STDF's event at the 6th Aid for Trade Global Review explored cutting-edge opportunities on the use of new technologies in the context of SPS compliance and trade. The session took place on 12 July 2017 and identified best practices and considered challenges and opportunities for future action to support developing countries.

Read more here.

SPS Assistance for Development: the case for French-speaking Africa

On the occasion of the International Francophonie Day, STDF organized jointly with the Permanent Missions of Canada and France an information session in 27 March 2017. The session highlighted the outcomes of STDF projects boosting safe trade across French-speaking Africa.
Read more here.


STDF guide to help Prioritize SPS Investments for Market Access (P-IMA)

STDF's publication provides an evidence-based approach to help inform and improve decisions on where to invest in SPS capacity building. The P-IMA User Guide was launched at an STDF information session on 16 March 2016, on the margins of the WTO SPS Committee.

Read more here.

Facilitating trade: going paperless with electronic SPS certification

Latest opportunities and challenges related to the electronic SPS certification systems were discussed at an STDF seminar on 28 June 2016. The session shared best practice and lessons learned for effective transition from paper-based to automated systems to benefit developing countries. 

Read more here.

Spicing-up development assistance: How SPS requirements triggered a transformational change in Sri Lanka's cinnamon sector

Greater global competitiveness, improved food safety and hygiene practices and increased exports to lucrative markets were amongst the main outcomes of an STDF project on Sri Lanka cinnamon sector discussed at a joint session with UNIDO on 21 June 2016. The session provided valuable inputs on how to up-scale agri-food value chains by adopting an SPS approach.
Read more here.


Effective Implementation of SPS Measures to Facilitate Safe Trade

A high-level STDF plenary session took place during the 5th Aid for Trade Global Review on 30 June 2015. The panellists discussed how to facilitate trade while ensuring robust and science- and risk-based SPS control, key implementation experiences and the role of Aid for Trade. STDF'S film Safe Trade Solutions was launched during the session and showcased good practices and lessons learned from Chile, Peru and Colombia. 

Read more here.


Implementing SPS measures to facilitate safe trade

A thematic session took place on 26 March 2014, on the margins of WTO SPS Committee. The session led to knowledge exchange on trade facilitation and the implementation of SPS measures and shared the preliminary findings of three regional studies.


Beyond Compliance: Integrated Systems Approach for Pest Risk Management in Southeast Asia

Innovative Systems Approach to Pest Risk Management was discussed during an STDF side event on 16 October 2013. Successful regional studies were showcased as a part of an STDF-funded project.

Public-Private Partnerships in a Value Chain Context

An STDF side event at the 4th Aid for Trade Global Review explored the high potential of PPPs in helping developing countries to get connected into value chains. Lessons learned and key recommendations from STDF's work on PPPs were disseminated and specific case studies were discussed. 

Read more here.

Prioritizing SPS Investments for Market Access (P-IMA)

This P-IMA workshop brought together developing country experts who provided useful lessons from their country's use of P-IMA 24-25 June 2013. The discussions generated practical guidance on how to deepen and improve this evidence-based approach and trigger wider the use of P-IMA.


Use of P-IMA to inform Decision-Making on SPS capacity Building

The P-IMA framework was presented to key SPS experts from the Asia and the Pacific during an STDF workshop on 12-13 November 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop shared practical experiences from Belize and Vietnam where the framework have been used and provided the necessary knowledge and skills to apply this framework. 

International Trade and Invasive Alien Species (IAS)

The STDF in collaboration with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) organised a seminar on 12-13 July 2012 to discuss how to manage and control the spread of IAS, an important threat for biodiversity, agricultural production and wildlife.


Aid for Trade 3rd Global Review

The 3rd Aid for Trade Global Review took place on 18-19 July 2011. Previous Global Reviews (2007 and 2009) demonstrated that Aid for Trade is making progress and that partner countries are making headway in mainstreaming trade in their national and regional development strategies. The focus of the 3rd Review was on outcomes and impact.

The STDF submitted three case stories on: public-private partnerships (PPPs) in support of SPS capacity; SPS indicators to measure the performance of national SPS systems; and economic analysis to inform SPS decision-making. The STDF also prepared a background note on the challenges faced by LDCs in meeting SPS standards in the fisheries sector, based on desk research and case stories submitted by the Ministry of Commerce in Benin and TradeMark Southern Africa.

Read more here.

Use of P-IMA to Inform Decisions on the Allocation of Resources aimed at Strengthening SPS Capacity

A Regional P-IMA workshop took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on 16‐17 August 2011. The workshop introduced the use of P-IMA, shared country experiences and discussed emerging issues faced in using this framework.


Public-Private Partnerships in support of SPS Capacity

The STDF, in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) and the World Bank Institute, organized an international workshop to discuss the untapped potential and role of PPPs in agricultural development and market access in The Hague, The Netherlands on 4-6 October 2010.

Indicators to measure SPS performance

Following the emergence of result based management frameworks, STDF organised jointly with OECD a technical working meeting on 1 July 2010 to explore indicators measuring the performance of national SPS systems.


The use of economic analysis to inform SPS decision-making

The STDF organised a workshop on 30 October 2009 to raise awareness on how economic analysis can be used to inform SPS decision-making.

Fruit Fly Control in West Africa

Building on previous efforts to control fruit fly threat in West Africa, STDF and ECOWAS organised a joint donor workshop to foster the multi-stake approach in coordinating the fight on fruit fly, on 29-30 September 2009, in Bamako, Mali.

Climate Change and Agriculture Trade: risks and responses

A joint STDF/World Bank seminar looked at the implications of climate change for SPS risks and explored avenues to addresses the challenges on 22-23 September 2009, in Washington D.C, United States.


Good Practice in SPS-related technical cooperation

The STDF organised a workshop in collaboration with WTO on 6 October 2008. The workshop identified and shared good practices in SPS-related technical assistance and discussed on how to maximise the impact of SPS projects on international trade.
Read more here.

Private Standards 

STDF's information session on 26 June 2008 shared the latest updates on private standards and discussed options to assist developing countries preparing to comply with these new schemes.

Read more here

SPS-Related Capacity Evaluation Tools

STDF's workshop on 31 March 2008 examined the benefits of SPS capacity evaluation tools and discussed the scope for collaboration and cooperation in the future development and use of these tools. 

Read more here.