Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Food Safety Links With Trade

USAID's Bureau for Food Security recently hosted its second Market Systems Global Learning and Evidence Exchange (GLEE) event in Dakar, Senegal from June 5-10, 2017.

During the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) session on Food Safety and Agricultural Value Chain Development at the GLEE, we used case studies on topics such as horticulture, livestock and market systems to explore life and death questions about how food is contaminated. The discussion grew lively as participants realized that, at each step along the way, they were making life and death decisions about food safety and the potential for contamination. The case studies are included on the GLEE website.

Feed The Future Agricultural Value Chain

Participants focused on identifying the challenges, hazards and risks in the value chains to learn ways to build more food safety work into projects in Africa and generated some approaches:

1) Identify the intersection between food safety and the network of buyers, sellers and others who trade a given product. This is also known as a market system.

2) Address food safety at each step of the supply chain, which becomes a value chain as you make this information available to producers and consumers, use it to improve food quality and safety, and ultimately improve lives and livelihoods.

3) Remember that food has a greater risk of spoiling as more steps are added to a food value chain. For example, damage can occur during production, harvest, storage, preparation or shipping. Risks include weather or temperature changes, energy fluctuations and phytosanitary compliance failures as well as less tangible factors such as political corruption, social unrest or policy constraints, including trade barriers.

4) Finally, an integrated approach is key to ensuring food safety. For example, if aflatoxin in milk comes from contaminated feed, the dairy processors or retailers need to know that they arebuying milk from farmers using safe feed. To ensure this, they must look at feed production supply, milk production on farm, and milk processing of dairy products all along the value chain.

How do you think we can integrate food safety principles into our work? What are the links between food safety and trade? We will be exploring these topics and many others as the Food Safety Network expands, so stay tuned for additional blogs, resources and training materials. Share your thoughts with us at foodsafetynetwork@fas.usda.gov.

And check out this "ask the expert" video from Tracy McCracken, DVM, Agriculture Resource Advisor, USAID/USDA: