Why Food Security is Important to APEC

The benefits of free and open trade throughout the region are best felt through the quality, availability and cost of food. APEC is well-positioned to address current and emerging food security challenges in the region a vehicle for cooperation on food and agricultural issues.

How APEC Addresses Food Security

APEC promotes productivity and growth in the agricultural sector, encourages the development and adoption of new agricultural technologies and enables regional food trade.

  • Initiatives for agricultural productivity and growth
    • Strengthening farmer cooperation and the resilience of small holders
    • Ensuring sustainable management of natural resources
    • Creating enabling policy and regulatory environments to facilitate investment in rural infrastructure, food supply chain logistics and the agro-industry
    • Promote better nutrition in APEC food system
    • Promote regional cooperation on the connectivity of food standards;
    • Encourage investment in infrastructure in the green food supply chain
    • Enhance the capacity of the food sector workforce to adapt to the digital economy
    • Support the internationalisation of agricultural and food sector MSMEs;
    • Enhance the capacities of members to address the food security – climate change relationship in the short, medium, and long term
    • Enhance rural–urban linkages.
  • Food trade
    • Facilitate trade in food and agricultural products
    • Ensure that all trade-related measures need to be in consistent with current WTO regulations on the trade of agricultural products
    • Promote harmonization of standards and adherence to international, science-based universally accepted standards
    • Establish effective systems of collecting, disseminating, and analysing food market information
    • Improve effective global data standards for the connectivity of the food supply chain
    • Address the emergence of barriers to food trade because of nontariff barriers and clarifying the differences between nontariff barriers and nontariff measures;
    • Enhance entry of micro, small and medium enterprises into local, regional and international food markets through capacity building and promotion of traditional, indigenous and novel foods
  • Development and adoption of new agricultural technologies:
    • Improve farmers' income and productive capacities through agricultural technology transfer and training
    • Create an environment conducive to agricultural research and development as well as improvement in agricultural information sharing and cooperation in the region regarding agricultural technology
    • Strengthen communications and capacity building in agricultural technology; promote transparent, science-based and functioning regulatory systems to support development, application and trade of innovative agricultural technologies and biotechnologies (including the development of regulatory frameworks and strengthening public confidence in innovative agricultural technologies).
  • Reducing Food Losses and Waste
    • Implement the APEC Action Plan for Reducing Food Loss and Waste (FLW) to strengthen food supply chains through public-private partnerships
    • Identify major sources of food loss and waste in the distribution channel and aspire to develop unified methodologies to estimate food losses and waste in APEC region
    • Identify food loss and waste reduction targets, share best-practices, and foster investment in infrastructure, education, and training for farmers, suppliers as well as consumers.

Groups through which APEC achieves these goals

APEC advances regional dialogue and cooperation on a range of food and agriculture related issues through several groups and initiatives within the APEC structure, including:

  • Agriculture Technical Cooperation Working Group: This group facilitates cooperation to enhance agriculture's contribution to the region's economic growth and social well-being. This is achieved through the sharing of technical expertise and experience in issues ranging from finance and investment to pest and disease control.
  • High-Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology: This forum brings together representatives from public and private sectors to discuss biotechnology policy issues and to promote the use of crops developed through biotechnology.
  • Sub-committee on Standards and Conformance     : A subgroup of the Committee on Trade and Investment, the SCSC is the focal point for efforts to harmonise regional standards regarding the safety of food and consumer products. It oversees the Food Safety Cooperation Forum which manages food safety work among various APEC groups.
  • Ocean and Fisheries Group (OFWG): APEC economies account for 70 per cent of global consumption of fish products and 90 per cent of global aquaculture production. The OFWG facilitates cooperation to promote the sustainability and vitality of the fishing aquaculture industries, including the implementation of best practices and the expansion of the seafood trade.
  • APEC Food System: Originally proposed by the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), this initiative seeks to establish a comprehensive strategy to address food issues in APEC, based on principles of fostering development and growth of the rural sector, increasing trade in agriculture and promoting the development and dissemination of technological advances.
  • Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS): Formed in 2011 as the primary forum for discussing issues related to food security, the partnership brings together individuals from the private and public sector to help facilitate investment, liberalize trade and market access and support sustainable development.