474 | IAASTD Global Report

tries of Agriculture, Energy, Trade, Health and Commerce) and with significant guidance from academic, agricultural, nongovernmental and private sector players.

7.3.4 Ways forward

Recognizing that food safety, animal health and plant health are global public goods, new mechanisms to support the development and, most importantly, implementation of proactive and preventative policies and programs to facilitate compliance with SPS standards could be explored. Internationally, donor support could be targeted to specifically assist those countries that cannot adequately finance SPS standard implementation nationally but attention could also be paid to ensuring that trade facilitation is not the only driver of SPS program delivery. The application of AKST to address yield and quality losses associated with pests or pathogens that are of domestic, but not international, importance may have more impact on reducing hunger and poverty, and improving nutrition and health, particularly in the least developed countries, than applying these resources exclusively to accessing international markets. For small developing countries, the possibility of regional food safety "trusts" to provide a continuous funding source for shared SPS related surveillance programs, infrastructure and personnel should be considered. An international SPS insurance mechanism that would supplement or replace current ad hoc funding to detect and mitigate transborder food contamination incidents, zoonoses and plant health contagion should also be considered. Meeting the plant health needs of small-scale farmers

     Given the globalization of agriculture and trade, the institutional separation of Codex, OIE and IPPC may be of limited relevance in the future. The traditional mandates of these international organizations are already challenged by the emergence of alternative regulatory mechanisms that integrate food safety, animal and plant health related standards and production practices e.g., Good Agricultural Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, on-farm HACCP plans and other retailer-driven certification programs. Revising SPSrelated policy and regulatory measures within an explicitly coordinated biosecurity framework may be one option for promoting cross-sectoral interventions. Internationally, policy and regulation related to food safety, plant and animal health could be better integrated if the mandates of Codex, OIE and IPPC were recast to remove areas of duplication, identify sources of conflict and promote opportunities for policy and program coordination to more effectively utilize the limited resources that are applied to SPS issues.

Policy options

  • For smaller and contiguous developing countries, strengthening or starting regional foodborne, animal and plant health surveillance systems may be a viable option, particularly where dietary patterns, agricultural practices, and natural resources for agriculture are similar.
  • Consideration should be given to establishment of national or regional food safety trust funds invested to ensure a continuous funding mechanism to gradually build the national or regional surveillance systems upon which effective food safety interventions depend. The trusts could be financed from an increase in ODA and from an increase in agrifood corporate taxes. Alterna


tively, governments can continue to respond ad hoc to food safety emergencies or SPS related threats to trade, financed by voluntary funds for each purpose.

  • Governments should consider expanding current "aid for trade" commitments to include the financing of specific SPS infrastructure requested by WTO members with documented incapacity to finance that infrastructure from domestic sources. Since it is unlikely that governments will support binding and enforceable "aid for trade" commitments, governments should consider developing a model contract for expedited needs assessment that is not tied to import of SPS technology or training from any one donor.
  • Considering that SPS standards are largely implemented in developing countries for the purpose of trade facilitation, often with little benefit to local consumers of domestically produced food, policies that focus on domestic food production and domestic priorities for animal and plant health, food safety and public health could receive greater attention.
  • Weak national SPS surveillance systems could be strengthened to improve the timeliness and efficacy of preventative or prophylactic food safety, animal and plant health interventions. Even where there is an absence of detailed epidemiological or surveillance data, foodborne infections and animal and plant diseases could be better managed through policies that promote simple, workable SPS programs implemented at the farm or community level. Capacity building could be redirected from training to understand SPS rules to technical support needed to operationalize such programs.
  • Eradication of the major epizootic animal diseases is unlikely to be achieved in the foreseeable future in many developing countries in spite of significant investment and effort to do so. An alternative, commodity based approach could instead be used as a tool to promote access to international markets which would also allow resources to be allocated for the prevention of losses caused by other animal and zoonotic diseases.
  • Governments could align their public sector investment to ensure that AKST is applied to assisting producers to meet only statutory SPS standards, through agricultural research, extension and/or education systems.
  • Governments could strategically invest in AKST to promote the participation of small-scale farmers in third party certification, through the provision of education programs and technical assistance.
  • The ongoing initiatives from OIE and others to support veterinary services in developing countries could continue as a means to support access of animals and their products into national and international markets and to improve food safety and secure food supply. Policies that recognize and support the training of paraprofessionals such as community animal health workers could be promoted to compensate for the limited availability of veterinarians trained in veterinary public.
  • Policies could support the provision of international support to developing countries when coordinated interventions are required to manage international emergencies (e.g., highly pathogenic avian influenza virus) and sustained improvements in national disease control