The APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum (FSCF) was formally established under the APEC Sub-Committee for Standards and Conformance (SCSC) in the Hunter Valley, Australia, April 2007. APEC member economies agreed to work together to accelerate progress on harmonising food standards with international standards. APEC member economies also agreed to work together to strengthen capacity building activities and information sharing.
The FSCF seeks to facilitate trade in food while protecting public health and safety. This is done by strengthening food safety systems in the APEC region that are consistent with the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) of the World Trade Organization.
The Forum is co-chaired by Australia (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) and China (General Administration of Customs of China (GACC). As Co-Chairs, Australia and China:
- lead the FSCF and the FSCF Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN)
- provide Secretariat for the Forum
- organise FSCF meetings, including the biennial FSCF conferences, and associated activities
- review the work and future direction of the Forum
- report on the work of the FSCF to APEC through the SCSC.
The 6th FSCF Conference was held in May 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam. A number of food safety events were held. FSCF members reaffirmed their commitment to work collaboratively to strengthen food safety systems and enhance the harmonization of food standards with international standards across the APEC region.
FSCF's Hanoi Statement can be found on the APEC website.
The work program of the FSCF includes initiatives on:
Since 2007, the agreed goals of the FSCF have been to help APEC member economies achieve:
- Transparent information-sharing and communication networks that provide accurate and timely information to consumers and producers on food safety.
- Food safety regulatory systems in economies, including food inspection/assurance and certification systems that are consistent with members' rights and obligations under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreements of the World Trade Organisation; and are harmonised, to the extent possible, with international standards (such as Codex, OIE, IPPC).
- Enhanced skills and human resource capacities to enable the development of national food safety regulatory frameworks that are harmonised to the extent possible, with international standards.
One of the Forum's key roles has been prioritising the food safety capacity building needs of APEC member economies. Capacity building needs were identified both in technical areas and in areas of organisational management and legislative systems. Capacity building priorities have been grouped into four broad areas and these include:
- food safety regulatory systems
- food inspection and certification systems
- technical skills and human resource capacity
- information and communication networks.
For details on all upcoming APEC FSCF events please visit the APEC website.
Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN)
The Food Safety Cooperation Forum's Partnership Training Institute Network (PTIN) was established with the endorsement of APEC leaders in 2008 to address the need to engage the food industry and academia with the regulators to strengthen capacity building in food safety. The US Trade provides support and Secretariat service to the PTIN.
For more information visit the FSCF/PTIN website.