STDF latest events

STDF events: sharing good practice to support SPS capacity building 

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Joint STDF/WBG Webinar - Food Safety Reform: Learning from the Best

WED 8 December 2021 @14:00-15:15 CET


This joint STDF and World Bank Group webinar will highlight the need for food safety reform, the changing role of the public and private sector, and will introduce a new IFC learning course (New Zealand food safety system case study).

*Event webpage

Joint STDF/IPPC Outreach Event on the PCE Facilitators project

STDF's Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) Facilitators' project, led by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat, aimed to help National Plant Protection Organization (NPPOs) improve their work through more robust needs' assessment and action planning, based on the IPPC's PCE Tool. The project set out to create a pool of trained PCE facilitators to roll out the PCE Tool in developing countries. In the process, it trained forty PCE experts, developed guides for PCE training and national phytosanitary capacity development strategy, and resulted in the completion of PCEs in Madagascar, Barbados, Kenya, and Guinea.

An independent external project evaluation, published in 2021, took a critical look at the project's relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability, based on OECD's evaluation criteria, and assessed its contribution to STDF's programme goal of improved and sustainable SPS capacity.

Join our online outreach event on Tuesday 30 November @ 13:00-14:15  (CET) to learn and discuss the findings and recommendations of the PCE project evaluation.


For more information, visit the webinar webpage.

Watch the recording of the session HERE

New STDF Guide on Good Regulatory Practices - SPS Committee Side Event

How can good regulatory practices help ensure that SPS measures are fit for purpose? What challenges are developing countries facing when using good regulatory practices? How can the STDF Guide help SPS regulators develop or review SPS measures?

At a zoom event on 3 November 2021, the STDF will be launching its guide on Good Regulatory Practices to improve SPS measures. Find out more here

Join the online discussion on Wednesday 3 November @ 13:30-14:45 (CET)

Watch the recording of the session HERE

SPS e-Cert - Accelerating Cross-border Paperless Trade

This webinar, jointly organized by UNESCAP, ADB, ICC and the STDF, will provide an overview of the "state of play" on SPS eCert in the relevant international standard-setting bodies and present case studies from countries across the Asia-Pacific region. Participants will share lessons and experiences from using the “ePhyto Solution” to facilitate the exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates and explore challenges and highlight developments in scaling up electronic veterinary and food safety certification. For more information visit the webinar webpage.

Join the online discussion on Wednesday 8 September @ 10:00-11:30 (CEST)


Prioritizing Investments and Leveraging Resources to Boost Agri-Food Exports in the COMESA Region

When the investments needed to facilitate safe trade in the COMESA region are huge but resources are limited, why and how can evidence-based approaches add value?  

How can the STDF's P-IMA framework help to prioritize investments to boost regional trade linked to policy goals?

TUE 24 AUG 2021 @15:30-17:00 (NAIROBI, EAT)


UN Food Systems Summit Pre-Summit
Joint Codex, IPPC, OIE and STDF Virtual side-session

UN Food Systems Summit Pre-Summit

Joint Codex, IPPC, OIE and STDF Virtual side-session: 


TUESDAY 27 JULY, 19:30 - 20:20 CEST (Rome Time)


As part of the Pre-Summit of the UN Food Systems Summit, the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) together with the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) are organizing a affiliated session on: "Promoting sustainable food systems: the role of international standards".


  • Mr. Steve Wearne, Vice Chair of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
  • Ms. Juliet Goldsmith, Plant Health Specialist, Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Agency (CAHFSA)
  • Dr. Alemayehu Mekonnen Anbessie, Advisor for office of the State Minister for Livestock sector Development at the Ministry of Agriculture of Ethiopia. Former delegate from Ethiopia to the OIE.


Systems Approaches in Food Safety and Plant Health - SPS Committee Side Event

WED 14 JULY 2021 @13:30-14:45 CET

Watch the recording of the session HERE

Presentation slides - Introduction to Systems Approaches
Presentation slides - Rethinking aflatoxin management in East Africa

Join this STDF and World Bank Group webinar to learn more about the concept of Systems Approaches and to hear about specific case stories that describe the challenges and opportunities of implementing a system.


  • Meghan NOSEWORTHYNatural Resources Canada
  • Theo PONGOLO, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, South Africa
  • Phyllis GITHAIGA, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service
  • John KEYSER, World Bank's Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice
  • Shane SELA, World Bank's Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice

*Event webpage

STDF's Independent Dialogue for the United Nations Food Systems Summit

Transforming food systems for the 21st Century: Why does facilitating safe trade matter?

Who is involved in facilitating safe trade, and how can we strengthen trust and synergies across stakeholders and sectors to support agri-food systems transformation?

What are the trade-offs in facilitating safe trade, why are they relevant, and how can they be better navigated to support agri-food systems transformation?

How can STDF's global partnership influence and catalyse change that supports agri-food systems to deliver for the world of tomorrow?

Transforming agri-food systems to deliver food security is urgent for the future. Around the world, diverse stakeholders recognize the need for change to catalyse sustainable economic development, benefit women, youth and other vulnerable groups, and promote the health of the planet. Facilitating safe trade must play a crucial role in this change.

The STDF’s global partnership of public and private sector actors from across agriculture, health, trade and development is working to facilitate safe trade that supports sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.

The STDF Independent Dialogue for the United Nations Food Systems Summit will engage members of STDF's global partnership to:

  • share experiences and learning about innovative and collaborative safe trade solutions in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, and explore how they are contributing to food systems transformation;
  • reflect on how ongoing trends – from the growth in regional and South-South trade to digitalization and inclusive and sustainable trade – are influencing SPS capacity development, and what this means for food systems transformation; and 
  • identify new opportunities for STDF's global partnership to influence and catalyse sustainable improvements in SPS systems that support agri-food systems to deliver for the world of tomorrow.



*UN FSS event webpage

Aid for Trade: Investing in safe trade systems to protect health and market access

WED 24 MARCH 2021 @12:30-14:00 CET

Watch the recording of the session HERE

COVID-19 has provided a clear reminder of the ease and speed at which pests and diseases can spread worldwide, and of the inter-connectedness of global supply chains. Protecting food safety and animal and plant health across borders as a global public good is now more important than ever. With food security and livelihoods already under pressure, developing countries have been hit hardest by the pandemic, threatening to undo progress achieved in economic growth and poverty reduction. Building their resilience will require long-term investments in sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) capacity. Action is needed to establish new partnerships between governments and private sector to meet international standards and go digital with new technology to cut down on unnecessary trade costs.

Join this STDF event with agriculture, health, trade and development experts to discuss how we should invest in safe trade systems and scale up assistance for developing countries to support economic recovery.



  • Melvin Spreij, Head, Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)

*Event webpage

Unlocking Regional Trade in East Africa: Enhancing Investments in Standards for Market Access

How is TMEA applying the STDF P-IMA framework to unlock regional agri-food trade in the EAC region, and how is this relevant for other regional economic bodies, including the African Continental Free Trade Area?

How can evidence-based approaches add value when the investments needed to facilitate safe trade in East Africa are huge, but resources are limited?



STDF's Global Partnership: Facilitating Safe and Inclusive Trade Horizons in a Changed Context

What does pandemic-driven change mean for the STDF's partnership and approach?

How can the STDF partnership harness innovation to deliver for the world of tomorrow?

The STDF's global partnership of public and private sector actors from across agriculture, health, trade and development are continuing to work to facilitate safe trade, and support sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries worldwide.

In January 2020, the STDF launched its 2020-2024 Strategy in support of the UN's 2030 Agenda. Since then, our world changed completely. More than ever we need to join forces and innovate.  

What do these changes mean for the STDF's approach on the ground? How is the STDF's operating model relevant for today’s world and that of tomorrow? What have we learned in 2020? And how can we build on this together to drive food safety, animal and plant health in developing countries?

A virtual discussion took place on 08 February 2021 with STDF partners, donors, project partners (government/private sector) and developing country experts to hear what the pandemic-driven changes of 2020 mean for the STDF's partnership moving forward. Participants shared their views on how we can learn and adapt to the challenges to strengthen STDF's model, delivering safe trade solutions that benefit people in developing countries.

Featuring the premier of STDF’s new film “Shaping a safer world


  • Markus Lipp, FAO
  • Shane Sela, WBG
  • Kelly McCormick, US FDA
  • Suzanne Neave, CABI
  • Jeremy Knops, COLEACP
  • Martha Byanyima, Land O'Lakes East Africa (former STDF developing country expert)


  • Marlynne Hopper, STDF


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.