Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)

  • 10th August 2016
  • by secretary

The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), is a global partnership of FAO, OIE, WHO, WTO and World Bank, to help developing countries implement international standards, meet sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import requirements of trading partners and gain/maintain market access. The STDF acts as a knowledge hub and funding mechanism for project development and implementation. The STDF’s mandate is to:

  1. increase awareness, mobilize resources, strengthen collaboration, identify and disseminate good practice; and 
  2. provide support and funding for the development and implementation of projects that promote compliance with international SPS requirements.
Over 150 projects have been supported since the inception of the STDF. Detailed Information on the work of the Facility is available on the STDF website.
The 2015 STDF Annual Report provides a good overview of recent activities and projects and the results achieved ).

  • STDF seminar on electronic SPS certification, took place on 28 June 2016, including presentations, etc.
  • STDF/UNIDO info session (June 2016) that built capacity in Sri Lanka to export cinnamon
  • STDF work on trade facilitation and enhancing SPS border management, including a short film (2015) highlighting good practices in Peru, Colombia and Chile. The film is extensively used as training material by organizations like World Bank and the WCO in large trade facilitation projects:
  • In May 2016 STDF also released a short video at the World Cocoa Conference highlighting how in the global cocoa value chain SPS capacity helps to make sure that cocoa plants are free from pests and diseases and that chocolate is safe for consumers. The film (as well as other STDF films) is also available on YouTube, and also increasingly being used as training material. 

STDF also worked extensively on topics like:

STDF funded a number of projects in West Africa to control fruit fly (which are currently undergoing an ex post impact evaluation). STDF also funded the development of a regional action plan to control FF in West Africa and STDF organized, together with the EC, ECOWAS and the World Bank, a conference in Bamako in 2009 where the plan was adopted. This plan is now at the heart of the project that is currently being funded by the EC and implemented by ECOWAS, with support from the French Development Agency. A film developed by the STDF in 2010 (“Trading Safely”) includes a case story on FF control and papaya exports from Belize to the United States.

The next STDF Working Group (convening the aforementioned STDF partner organizations, bilateral donors, SPS experts from developing countries and a range of other relevant organizations) will be held in October 2016, on the margins of the next WTO SPS Committee meeting. Members will discuss – amongst others – an application from AU-IAPSC to organize a meeting with key stakeholders in Africa and discuss opportunities to establish a pan-African approach to control FF.