Food quality standards

In recent years, agrifood exports to developed country markets have emerged as a potentially major new source of dynamic export growth for many developing countries. However, exploiting this potential poses many challenges. In particular, the capacity of developing country exporters to enter these markets depends critically on their ability to meet increasingly more stringent food safety standards imposed in developed countries. Not only are these standards typically much higher than those prevailing in developing countries, and often difficult and costly to meet, but they are also subject to frequent changes. These agrifood standards are of particular concern to developing countries, especially African LDCs, which may bear additional costs in meeting such standards.

To address these problems, the Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodites of UNCTAD, has launched the following study: Costs of agrifood safety and SPS compliance as a component of the project: Selected Commodity Issues in the context of Trade and Development.

This study, prepared by Ana Larcher, identified and quantified the compliance costs for tropical fruits faced by a representative group of African LDCs. It presents a framework that will facilitate estimation of costs of compliance for exporters that are associated with agrifood standards and SPS.

The project results can be accessed at: