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2016 APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security

Piura, Peru | 27 September 2016

Fourth APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security

Piura - Peru, 27 September 2016

Piura Declaration on APEC Food Security


  1. We, the APEC Ministers and Heads of Delegation responsible for food security, met in Piura, Peru, from 26 to 27 September 2016 under the chairmanship of Mr. José Manuel Hernández, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation of Peru, to discuss policy issues to strengthen regional food security and to contribute to achieving a sustainable APEC Food System by 2020.
  2. We welcome the participation of the representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Potato Center (CIP) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).  
  3. Our meeting was preceded by a fruitful dialogue with private sector representatives which helped inform our discussions.  We thank those representatives for joining us in Piura. We have heard their views and we look forward to continuing our engagement with business in addressing the challenge of ensuring food security in the region.
  4. We recognize the key role that food security plays in achieving quality growth and prosperity in the region. In particular, we recall that, in 1999, APEC Leaders welcomed the Minister’s report on the APEC Food System proposed by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC); and endorsed instructed to implement its recommendations, as a vital contribution to meeting APEC’s objectives.
  5. We bear in mind the Ministerial Declarations that paved the way for attaining regional food security issued in Niigata, Japan (2010); in Kazan, Russia (2012), and in Beijing, China (2014). We also welcome the important contributions stemming from the Ocean-Related Ministerial Declarations issued in Seoul, Korea (2002); Bali, Indonesia (2005); Paracas, Peru (2010), and Xiamen, China (2014), as well as the Plan of Action of the High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Blue Economy held in Iloilo, the Philippines (2015).
  6. We are conscious that over the past years APEC economies have attached increasing importance to the food system and the food security agenda, linking farmers, fishers, food processers, and consumers to increase the agri-food sector’s contribution to APEC economies. We have created the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) and adopted a series of documents, including but not limited to the APEC Food Security Road Map Towards 2020; the APEC Food Security Business Plan (2014-2020); the APEC Action Plan for Reducing Food Loss and Waste, and the Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance. APEC Economic Leaders have welcomed this progress and encouraged further implementation of these guiding documents.
  7. We value the work on food-related issues carried out during 2016 through APEC fora and sub-fora, including the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS); the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG); the Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) and the High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB). We also commend ABAC for its contributions to the food security agenda and take note of the 2015 establishment of its Asia Pacific Food Industry Forum (AP-FIF).
  8. We acknowledge the good work on trade and good regulatory practices carried out by Committee on trade and Investment (CTI) and its Sub-committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC). We also value the work done by the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) and its Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN); that have contributed to the enhancement of food safety systems. Likewise, we take note of the food security issues dealt by the Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) related to climate change, and look forward to the results of the 10th Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum on “Emergency Preparedness for Supply Chain and Emergency Food Security”.
  9. We highlight that the APEC region has great potential to improve its food security through concerted cooperation among its member economies, consistent with international commitments. APEC is in a unique position to support and encourage economies to expedite the implementation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, noting the direct relevance of a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for food security and poverty eradication.
  10. Overview, Challenges and Opportunities for Food Security in the Region

  11. Across developing APEC economies, there has been a major transformation of the agricultural and food security landscape due to such trends as rapid urbanization, availability of natural resources, changes in incomes, taste preferences, technological advances, dietary changes and food system transformation, which have had important implications for the supply and demand of food. These trends are closely linked, and present immense opportunities and challenges for governments and the private sector that could impact the future of agricultural production, food security, rural development, poverty reduction, food markets and trade, and the environment. We are committed to expanding farming and fisheries opportunities and revitalizing rural and fisheries communities for sustainable development of food security.
  12. The global population will increase to 9.7 billion by 2050[1], which means 60% more food will be needed. At the same time, the world’s natural resources are under stress by land degradation, decreasing soil fertility, rising of agricultural water use, loss of biodiversity, and global fisheries pressure. In Asia-Pacific, a region that accounts for half of the world's cereal production and over 40% of its trade volume, production growth depends on expanding cultivable areas, productivity growth and continuing favorable weather conditions. Production growth alone won’t be sufficient; we also need to improve the efficiency of the whole value chain.
  13. Sustainable aquaculture and fisheries are of key importance to food security in the region. APEC members account for over 80% of global aquaculture production and more than 65% of the world’s capture fisheries. APEC level of consumption is much higher than the world average, as well as comprises 9 of the 10 top fish producers in the world. Likewise, aquaculture has become the fastest growing food-producing sector, which now accounts for almost 50% of global food fish for human consumption. At the same time, reducing post-harvest fish loss and waste remains a challenge.
  14. Furthermore, the region also faces other challenges to food security, including the extreme weather events intensified by climate change, aging of farmers and lack of younger labor entering the sector combined with higher urban demand for safe, nutritious and varied food supply. These challenges underline the need for linkages between rural-urban areas.
  15. Across the APEC region, the food security of vulnerable groups is also under risk. A large proportion of the poor and undernourished populations live in rural areas, as many of them depend on agriculture and rural off-farm activities for a living. Women play an important role in promoting productivity, improving availability, access, and utilization of food in these communities and throughout the supply chain. Therefore, food security policies need to incorporate inclusiveness and gender equality perspectives/balance to be more effective.
  16. We believe that APEC can contribute to addressing many of these challenges by taking steps to further enhance food markets; integrate food producers, including small farmers, fisher folk and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), into domestic and global food supply and value chains; address chokepoints arising from infrastructure gaps, burdensome and unnecessary restrictive trade regulations; apply innovative techniques and technology to improve productivity and support the food system; and reinforce capacity building and increase opportunities for women, youth and other vulnerable groups in agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and other domestic and region-wide collaboration and coordination on enhancing regional food security.

    Regional Food Market and Trade

  17. We recognize the importance of trade in improving food security through increased food availability. We reaffirm our shared commitment to the multilateral trading system under the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and support the outcomes, including on agriculture contained in the “Nairobi Package”. We encourage APEC members to implement these outcomes.
  18. We acknowledge that APEC’s primary mission includes championing open, and free trade and investment, promoting economic growth and integration, as well as encouraging economic and technical cooperation. Likewise, we recognize the importance of stable economy-wide and food transparent policy settings and science-based regulations and practices in each economy to achieve well-functioning food markets, including through trade facilitation, and enabling policy environment for greater market connectivity, which should increase the availability of safe and nutritious food supply to meet demand across the region.  
  19. We welcome economies’ efforts to streamlining customs and other procedures to disseminate timely and accurate information on food export and import requirements to facilitate expanding food trade and food security in the region and we encourage economies to continue this effort. We welcome progress in a number of pilot projects focused on the use of global data standards to enhance supply chain connectivity, integrity and security and to reduce the costs of food trade.
  20. We take note of ABAC’s research initiative to facilitate trade and identify factors acting as barriers that may inhibit trade, raise costs and reduce the availability of affordable and nutritious food choices for consumers; we will examine the results of this study once available. We instruct PPFS to continue exchanging views on this matter in 2017, to take concrete consensual steps for facilitation of trade in food.
  21. It is a cause for concern that, whilst extensive trade liberalization has taken place across many sectors in the APEC region, the Second Term Review of APEC’s Progress towards the Bogor Goals reveals that sectors related to agriculture still experience trade barriers across the region. We accordingly encourage economies to address relevant measures including non-tariff measures and non-tariff barriers.
  22. We support business models that promote smallholders’ associativity and market access to strengthen their overall competitiveness in the food value chain. We will exchange expertise on successful development of food business linkages and building entrepreneurial capacity for smallholders, family farmers, smallscale fishers and food MSMEs.
  23. We support international food related standards setting bodies like the Codex Alimentarius Commission, International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). We acknowledge other related recommendations made by FAO and WHO to build up a more effective international food safety system and do not hinder trade.

  24. Recognizing that approaches and requirements to food safety may differ between economies or areas within them, we remain committed to seek and develop common ground for promoting strong science-based food safety systems that meet the legitimate objectives of protecting  human, animal and plant life or health whilst their application is as least trade restrictive as possible, consistent with WTO rights and obligations under agreements such as the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures.  This should reinforce a more predictable, fair, transparent, and open global trading environment.
  25. We acknowledge the private sector’s potential capability to enhance and assure food quality demands or requirements through production, manufacture and distribution in line with voluntary standards such as those of the International Standards Organization (ISO).
  26. We value initiatives and capacity building activities to enhance food safety and quality control systems, develop regulatory roadmaps for export certificates and pesticide maximum residue limits, encourage industry-regulator dialogue in the development of food safety regulations, prepare trainers to prevent emerging animal diseases and address food safety concerns, examine differences in international guidance on hand hygiene to identify gaps and develop resources to train food processing workers, enhance food standards connectivity to deepen mutual understanding and push forward the cooperation to facilitate food trade and raise regional food security within APEC economies. We also encourage economies to consider preventive approaches to ensuring food safety and quality through collaborative public-private partnership.
  27. Sustainability for a Resilient Food System

  28. We recognize agriculture´s link to sustainable environmental management and the urgent need to protect, conserve and sustainably use natural resources. Accordingly, we encourage APEC economies to adopt policies and expand technical and economic cooperation to improve governance, foster efficient use of natural resources, ensure ecosystem integrity and enhance resilience.
  29. Water is a key driver of agricultural development and a basic element for maintaining the natural environment. Thus we encourage economies to share best practices in water use and governance, considering multi-sectoral and multi-level perspectives. We will foster APEC cooperation for the sustainable use and the integrated management of water resources.
  30. We also call on economies to build on knowledge and experience to foster an integrated approach, which is able to support the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, provide sustainable practices and management systems, promote resilient and inclusive communities and secure economic returns and livelihoods, especially for family farming and fishing communities.
  31. Likewise, since the sustainable use of marine fisheries resources and sustainable practices in aquaculture are essential to food security, we encourage APEC economies to implement relevant fisheries conservation and management measures, including science-based management plans in order to restore fish stocks. We encourage economies to conserve and sustainably manage fish habitats and coastal and marine ecosystems, to ensure a resilient food supply, including through promoting innovative waste management solutions to prevent marine debris. 
  32. We are determined to reinforce our cooperation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the region, including by enhanced detection of IUU products to prevent their entry into trade. We reiterate our call to consider ratification and implementation of the FAO Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).
  33. We acknowledge the key role of forests to help reduce carbon emissions, preventing desertification, land degradation and drought; fostering the conservation of biodiversity, supporting watershed protection and producing food, which also allows the provision of important ecosystem services. We continue to promote sustainable forest management and improve forest governance, recognizing its contribution to food security.
  34. Climate change is one of the major challenges for agricultural growth, fisheries production and food security. Therefore, we call on economies to strengthen our efforts to increase capabilities on climate change adaptation and mitigation suited to different economies. We commit to enhancing our cooperation on implementing climate friendly and resilient food systems. We recognize the potential of climate science in improving information services, and the need to improve agriculture and fisheries risk forecasting assessment and management. We value a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach in this matter, in cooperation with the APEC Climate Center (APCC).
  35. We support initiatives on Sustainable Agricultural Development and welcome the efforts in organizing workshops on related topics in the next three years and having exchanges on technologies and experience as well as mutual learning. We support dialogues in exploring new approaches that promote sustainable agriculture in this region. In particular, we welcome the Framework for Multiyear APEC Program on Food Security and Climate Change and look forward to the preparation of its action plan in 2017, under the leadership of PPFS, in coordination with relevant sub-fora.

    Innovation and Technology

  36. We encourage member economies to support science and innovation to increase resilience, mitigation and response to climate change and natural disasters. We encourage broader regional collaboration on reducing disaster risks, improving adaptive capacity in food industries and communities, and supporting economies’ in food emergency situations in order to maintain a stable food supply. We recommend that APEC Senior Finance Officials' Meeting (SFOM) consider exchanging experience on best practices on disaster risk management and risk coping tools for smallholders.
  37. We commit to developing an enabling environment to leverage the role of multiple stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society, research institutes and producers, in advancing research, development and innovation (RDI) as well as extension programs and the adoption of better technologies to boost productivity and enhance resource efficiency. We encourage public agencies, academia and the private sector to carry out joint RDI and share laboratories and other facilities, knowledge and information, whenever possible, to advance food security in APEC.
  38. We value the work undertaken by ATCWG, HLPDAB, OFWG, CTI, SCSC, FSCF/PTIN and WRF within APEC, and their role in sharing information and expertise in food innovation and technology and improving the capacity of food related industries, which helps to enhance food productivity. We encourage these sub-fora to foster coordinated innovation and joint research and the promotion of exchanges and sharing of know-how across the food system. In accordance with circumstances of economies, we should also facilitate the application of information and communications technologies (ICT) to better integrate agricultural and aquatic products in the food supply and value chains
  39. We acknowledge that agricultural biotechnology can help address the challenge of food security and promote climate resilient agriculture. We acknowledge that agricultural biotechnology should be applied in accordance with domestic laws and regulations. We confirm that the new breeding technologies are significantly increasing the efficiency and precision of plant and animal breeding and are additional tools for the breeder. We commit to harnessing scientific innovations that address common challenges for smallholder farmers and we recognize that access to these technologies will benefit them. We encourage economies to share information, practices, experiences, resources and lessons regarding innovation, regulatory frameworks, risk-benefit assessments and science communication. We recognize the crucial role of science communication as one of the means to engage the public in informed decision-making in order to maximize the benefits of biotechnology for improved resiliency, inclusive and sustainable growth and food security.
  40. We value the work carried out within APEC by the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG), serving as forum to share information and best practices, to build capacity in the area of agriculture and its related industries, and to promote science and technology innovation in agriculture adapted to the regional context. We welcome initiatives from ATCWG.
  41. Given global population growth, we commit to improving food availability, to meet the demand for a safe, nutritious and varied food supply in the region. We support research on food supply and nutrition, as well as exchanging best practices and exploring cooperative opportunities among APEC member economies and international organizations. In particular, we will enhance efforts to ensure the availability of safe, nutritious and varied food for vulnerable groups.

    Rural-Urban Development

  42. In response to demographic changes, rapid urbanization, diet change and food system transformation, and conscious of the importance of socio-economic sustainability of both rural, urban, peri-urban communities to achieve food security, we commit to adopt a comprehensive policy approach towards rural-urban development, focusing on linking rural and peri-urban communities to urban centers. We also welcome efforts to share best practices and experiences of APEC economies in this matter.
  43. Family and small-scale producers play a central role in food systems, managing the majority of agricultural land and fisheries, producing significant amounts of food. Urbanization is also leading to growth in the volume of food moving through rural-urban value chains, creating important opportunities and challenges for economic growth and food security. Therefore, we will pursue empowering smallholders and MSMEs in agriculture and food systems, and value chains through enabling policy and regulatory environments, extension programs, improved laws and regulations conducive to food system growth, human capital development, access to finance, investment in physical infrastructure and stimulating public-private partnerships to promote their integration into domestic and global food value chains. We acknowledge that connecting smallholders to local, regional and global markets has the potential to reduce poverty, raise incomes, improve food security and expand livelihood options.
  44. Conscious that gender equality and the participation of young adults are essential to increase productivity and incomes in agriculture, we should favor targeted interventions to empower them to overcome barriers that inhibit their ability to participate in the food system, as an attractive livelihood option for these groups. We recognize the reinforced efforts by APEC economies to better qualify women and young adults in the profession of farming.
  45. We continue to support the work carried out by relevant APEC sub-fora to promote welfare of communities and employment creation.  We should take care that this protection and employment opportunities reach workers along the food system and may involve complementary activities, such as rural tourism and handicrafts production, especially for smallholders, women and youth.
  46. Bearing in mind that urban areas receive benefits from the positive externalities of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture in rural areas, including conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems and prevention of floods, we should promote farmland maintenance by smallholders and local communities, in a non-trade distorting way. We also acknowledge the valuable role of smallholders and family farming in protecting and enhancing agri-food heritage and locally adapted farming practices.
  47. We will also join efforts to contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources in rural agricultural systems, including outstanding landscapes and remarkable local knowledge and experience, with special emphasis on land and water management, which provide social, cultural, economic, and environmental goods and services to small holders, family farmers, indigenous peoples and local communities. In this regard, we take note of FAO’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) initiative.
  48. We recognize that ICT have the potential to facilitate knowledge sharing, information dissemination and serve as monitoring platforms to support smallholder and family farmers’ activities and connect them to suppliers, producers, traders and consumers. Effective application of these technologies will result in better integration and significant efficiency gains across the food system.
  49. Recalling the 2014 and the 2015 Leaders’ Declarations encouragement to further rural development and poverty alleviation, we welcome progress that could contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth as part of our concrete commitment to rural development and poverty alleviation. In this regard, we take note of activities implemented in 2016 on inclusive business for rural development and poverty alleviation.
  50. We welcome the establishment of the APEC Strategic Framework on Rural-Urban Development to Strengthen Food Security and Quality Growth and look forward to the preparation of its action plan in 2017, under the leadership of PPFS, in coordination with relevant sub-fora.

    Infrastructure, Investment and Services for Food Security

  51. We recognize the critical role of investment and infrastructure development for food access and availability. Therefore, we will take steps to promote an enabling environment for investment in transport, connectivity, logistics and other enabling services to improve farming and the linkage of retailing markets, especially in rural and secondary cities and within the APEC region. We acknowledge the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). We welcome initiatives for capacity building and dissemination of information on planned investment projects in the region. We recognize the importance of providing effective means and procedures with respect to investment under laws and regulations of each economy.
  52. Considering the unprecedented pressure on freshwater resources, critical for human consumption, development and food production, we encourage public-private partnerships to foster investment in quality infrastructure, technologies and services, for integrated water resources management, in order to ensure the availability, affordability and access, and appropriate use of water.
  53. Furthermore, we should take further actions and implement innovative technologies, and proper infrastructure to reduce post-harvest food loss and waste, including better storage and cold chain facilities. We welcome the launch of a web-based APEC Cold Chain Forum in cooperation with APEC and the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), and encourage them to discuss issues regarding food loss and waste across the food value chain in the context of processing, storage, cold chains and packaging, including policy and technology. We also call on the PPFS to develop and implement an action plan for facilitation on investment and infrastructure for food security in the coming years.
  54. We call on economies to put in place robust policy settings and foster infrastructure development to minimize food loss and waste and to seek sustainable food production and trade, including through the use of effective cold chain and other technologies, as well as through public-private partnerships and cross-border cooperation. Most importantly, we call for economies to continue to advance the implementation of the APEC Action Plan for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and value the progress of the APEC Food Losses Multi-Year Project. We encourage member economies to strengthen communication and cooperation on food loss and waste reduction strategies, share best practices and call on all stakeholders to make significant efforts to reduce food waste, improve its management and educate consumers to avoid waste. We also acknowledge the Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste coordinated by FAO and IFPRI.

    Toward an APEC Food System 2020

  55. We commit to strengthen the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) through a review of its results, process improvement and governance in order to ensure that it remains effective and relevant. We also instruct the PPFS to continue cooperating with other relevant APEC sub fora, and international fora.
  56. We emphasize that enhanced and more effective participation from the private sector with all other stakeholders, is crucial in the PPFS process.  We urge all APEC economies to encourage and enable such participation and encourage the PPFS to foster private sector engagement for food security by taking due account and to seek to address the concerns and priorities of the private sector in establishing and deepening the APEC food system. In particular, we will continue to focus on addressing concerns related to sustainable development of the agricultural and fishery sectors, facilitation of investment and infrastructure development, enhancing trade and markets, reducing food loss and waste, adopting and applying effective, science-based and transparent food regulatory systems and improving food safety and nutrition.
  57. We should also consider ways and means to help member economies build better policies and institutional capacity and extension programs, to assist the development of human capital along all the components of the food system.
  58. We emphasize that production, infrastructure, investment and trade are key elements in promoting sustainability and advancing domestic, regional and global food security.
  59. We welcome the success of the Fourth APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security and express our sincere gratitude to Peru for its kind hospitality. 
  60. We also welcome Vietnam to host the next Food Security Week in 2017, including a High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security; and look forward to the next APEC FSMM5 in 2018 to make further progress in our common endeavors.