Canada is extending its partnership with the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) by committing CAD 700,000 (approximately CHF 485,000) to help agricultural producers from developing and least developed countries (LDCs) meet international food safety, animal and plant health standards.
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said: “I thank Canada for this contribution and its long-standing partnership with the STDF. The funds received will continue to support the STDF’s pioneering work in food safety, animal and plant health by equipping farmers, traders, and producers with the tools needed to access global food markets more easily. Compliance with international standards enhances food security in both importing and exporting countries by facilitating trade in agricultural products and by raising incomes and reducing poverty in farming communities.”
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, said: “The Government of Canada is committed to helping our partners in developing countries to comply with international standards for food safety, and animal and plant health. Our commitment today to the STDF to improve sanitary and phytosanitary systems will benefit farmers around the world, including Canadian farmers. If developing countries use the same global standards, it will help them meet the United Nations goals of better feeding the world.”
The new contribution from Canada will support the implementation of innovative and collaborative capacity-building projects, based on international standards referenced in the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures and established by the Codex Alimentarius, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the International Plant Protection Convention.
By convening and connecting diverse stakeholders from agriculture, health, trade and development, and drawing on their technical expertise and knowledge, the STDF is identifying and promoting good practices to influence and catalyse SPS improvements more widely. This includes recent work on Good Regulatory Practices to ensure SPS measures are fit for purpose, do not impose unnecessary costs or administrative burden, and are more easily enforced.
Canada, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the government department responsible for the federal regulation of agriculture, has contributed around CHF 13.3 million to various WTO trust funds since 2002, including more than CHF 6.6 million to the STDF, not including this latest disbursement.
Developing and least developed countries from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean are encouraged to apply to the STDF for SPS project and project preparation grants. The next deadline for submission of funding proposals is 11 August 2023. Information on how to apply is available here.
To date, the STDF has funded more than 240 projects benefiting LDCs and other developing countries.
The STDF is a global multi-stakeholder partnership to facilitate safe and inclusive trade, established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WTO, which houses and manages the partnership.
The STDF responds to evolving needs, drives inclusive trade and contributes to sustainable economic growth, food security and poverty reduction, in support of the United Nations Global Goals.