Knowledge on SPS capacity building

  • 07th November 2018
  • by secretary

29-30 October 2018. Geneva. The Standards and trade Development Faclity (STDF) Working Group gathered together over 50 agriculture, health and trade experts from partners, donors, developing country experts and a wider network of international and regional organizations, and the private sector.

The discussions spanned the latest SPS topics, with Good Regulatory Practice, facilitating safe trade and Public Private Partnerships moving to the top of STDF’s agenda for 2019.

  • The safe food imperative – World Bank Group highlighted the economic case for improving food safety for domestic markets and trade, proposing smarter investment avenues, according to the findings of their latest study supported by U.S. FDA. 
  • Trade and natural disasters – WTO shared ongoing research supported by Australia, looking at the link to SPS issues. 
  • Gender and SPS measures – ICTSD presented the case for gender mainstreaming from its study supported by Australia. 
  • Developing national SPS systems – SPS expert, Kees Van Der Meer, showcased good practices in preparing SPS action plans.
  • Spillovers of SPS capacity building – Michigan State University discussed findings from a PPG on how trade-related projects affect the domestic situation, and recommendations for more co-benefits.

Upcoming projects
4 new STDF projects and 4 project preparation grants were approved with STDF funding of US$2,297,972. 

  • Burkina Faso – addressing aflatoxin challenges in maize for export and domestic markets
  • India – upgrading food safety management in selected spice value chains
  • Kyrgyz Republic – helping public and private sector address food safety for regional markets 
  • Uganda – improving SPS compliance of fruit and vegetable exports

New STDF project preparation grants

  • Africa and Latin America – developing projects on third party assurance programmes, linked to Codex 
  • Asia – developing a collaborative, regional framework on bio-pesticides
  • Niue – assessing the SPS needs to promote safe bees export

New STDF briefing on environment
STDF’s briefing (October 2018, 4 pages) ‘Promoting safe trade, protecting the environment’ is now online. Find out how SPS measures protect the environment. See how STDF projects help small-scale farmers to use non-toxic inputs for safe trade, develop knowledge solutions and connect SPS and environmental agencies. 

Upcoming events


Over the last years, the STDF has funded a Total Diet Study (TDS) project, implemented by FAO in collaboration with WHO and the Centre Pasteur in Cameroon, benefiting Benin, Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria. 

  • The project has led to strengthened capacity in the countries to conduct a TDS, food contamination data were generated, risk assessments for harmful food chemicals were conducted, knowledge was shared and stakeholder groups were sensitized on the outcome of TDS. 
  • The next step is to translate TDS outcomes further into risk management, communication and policy
  • The results of the project are captured in a short video entitled “How Safe is Africa’s Food?”, which will be released shortly. 
  • In moving forward, more assistance should be provided by bilateral donors to scale up the TDS approach, in order to make the case for more informed food safety investments.

This action intends to improve regulatory cooperation on SPS and food safety between EU and ASEAN and Asia partners and expand economic opportunities for businesses in Asia. The action aims at avoiding unjustified restrictions in trade resulting from sanitary and phytosanitary control measures and facilitating the access of food and drink products to the respective markets. The target countries are China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.