Food security has become an increasing concern among many APEC economies due to rising food prices and periods of price volatility. APEC economies are faced with both demand and supply of food security challenges. On the demand side, APEC economies must deal with a global population that will reach an estimated 9.6 billion in 2050. Income growth and urbanization has also resulted in changing food consumption patterns in the Asia-Pacific.

On the supply side, natural resources constraints will become more stringent in the coming years, adversely impacting crops, fisheries, and aquaculture yields as well as the capacity to expand food production, including capture fishing. Agricultural land per capita is projected to decline from its 2012 level of 0.22 hectares in use per person to 0.18 in 2050, while the proportion of the population living in urban areas is forecasted to rise from 50% to 70%. In addition, increased cycles of adverse weather conditions associated with climate change will cause yield declines for some important staple food crops, particularly rice, wheat and fish products. APEC members recognized that in the absence of any policy intervention, the cost of food could rise substantially due to increasing demand and reduced production.

In response, the APEC Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) was established in 2011 for strengthening public-private cooperation to address food security issues in the region. Ministers of APEC economies responsible for agriculture and food met in Niigata, Japan, in 2010 and issued the Niigata Declaration — the first comprehensive APEC plan for promoting regional food security. Recently in 2014, the Third APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security met in Beijing and issued the Beijing declaration, outlining APEC’s new plans for tackling food security.

Current Activities

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.

Achievements

 

Contacts

César SOTOMAYOR (Mr)
Vice Minister for Agricultural Policy
Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Peru
Email:
Paula Rosa CARRIÓN (Ms)
General Director for Agricultural Policy
Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Peru
Email: ppfs2016@minagri.gob.pe
Pruthipong Poonthrigobol (Mr)
Email: pp15@apec.org