The PPFS Plenary Meeting on 14-16 August and the Third APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security on 18-19 September were both held in Beijing, China in 2014.
APEC Ministers issued the Beijing Declaration on APEC Food Security outlining key areas of focus including boosting agricultural productivity through science and technology, enabling agriculture to be more adaptive to climate change and resilient to disasters, improving post-harvest management due to food loss, enhancing management of food safety and food quality, and strengthening prevention and control of trans-boundary animal and plant diseases, among others. For more information, see news release.
PPFS endorsed the following plans and action plans:
-APEC Food Security Road Map towards 2020
-APEC Food Security Business Plan
-Action Plan for Reducing Food Loss and Waste
-Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance
APEC Food Security Road Map towards 2020
The long term goal is the attainment of a regional food system structure by 2020, sufficient to provide lasting food security to APEC member economies as well as enhance food supply efficiency and provide more affordable food for lower income consumers. APEC economies will strive to reduce food loss and waste by 10% compared with the 2011-2012 levels by 2020 in the Asia-Pacific economies and aim to advance beyond the Millennium Development Goals 2015 hunger goals.
Closely linked with other APEC working groups and committees, the PPFS is implementing the following strategies to achieve these goals:
- Sustainable Development of the Agricultural and Fishery Sectors
- Facilitation of Investment and Infrastructure Development
- Enhancing Trade and Markets
- Reducing food loss and waste
- Improving food safety and nutrition.
Several APEC committees and working groups work on topics relating to food security, including the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) and its subgroup the Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF), the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG), the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG), and the High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HPLDAB).
With most APEC economies dominated by small scale farmers and small-scale fisheries, PPFS is also focusing on improving farm efficiency for all farmers, including small holders.
Improving Food Safety
Through the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum and together with the APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance, APEC is working to enhance food safety standards and food testing capacity in the region through laboratory training. For example, in a recent APEC project, scientists in Chile and China received in-laboratory training on innovative rapid detection methods for salmonella and e-coli bacteria. For more information, see recent APEC Bulletin article on improving food safety.
APEC PPFS 2015 Conference on Corn, Wheat and Rice Standards and Safety Assurance proposed by China, the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, and the Philippines will be held in the Philippines.
Reducing Food Loss and Waste
Together with the APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group, APEC is Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain (led by Chinese Taipei). According to the United Nations, roughly one-third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which is about 1.3 billion tons per year.
Over a five year period, this project aims to address post-harvest losses at all stages of the entire food supply chain in the APEC region by strengthening public-private partnerships. As part of the first phase of the project, a workshop was held on August 2013 in Chinese Taipei that identified key issues and challenges in post-harvest food losses, formulated a preliminary methodology on food crops, and deliberated on strategies and action plans for APEC economies. Building on these outcomes, a workshop on reducing fruit and vegetable food losses in the supply chain was held in August 2014. Other annual workshops will be convened on different topics: fishery and livestock products in 2015, and food wastes issues related to food consumption in 2016.
Based on outcomes from these workshops, the project will continue to revise the drafted methodology of APEC food losses assessment. The final phase of the project in 2017 will generate policy recommendations, action plans, toolkit and dataset, and a consolidated methodology of APEC food losses assessment—culminating in a high-level policy dialogue meeting in order to achieve APEC food security goals. See news release for more information.