Consumers increasingly want information and assurance about what they eat, but are often overwhelmed by the many different kinds of food standards.
To explain food standards and why they are important for the ASEAN region in a concise and visual manner, the GIZ-supported project Standards in the Southeast Asian Food Trade (SAFT) produced a five-minute infographic video in cooperation with the ASEAN Member States (AMS) to increase awareness among consumes and also other stakeholders along the supply chain including farmers, processors, traders, and retailers.
The video starts by shedding light onto the key role of the agriculture and food sector in Southeast Asia, as it accounts for a significant share of the GDP in many AMS. However, although this region produces a large amount of food that is consumed by people all over the world, only a small percentage is currently certified to assure safety, quality and acceptable production procedures.
To provide some clarity, the video looks at two standards: Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Organic. Whilst food safety lies at the heart of GAP, sustainable farming techniques take center stage in organic agriculture. These two standards are particularly important for the region, as ASEAN is currently adapting these standards specifically to the Southeast Asian context – namely ASEAN Good Agricultural Practices (ASEAN GAP) and ASEAN Standard for Organic Agriculture (ASOA).
Then emphasis is given to the different benefits of the two regional standards. For consumers, ASEAN GAP and ASOA assure that food is safe to eat no matter where it was produced in Southeast Asia. For retailers ASEAN GAP and ASOA will facilitate trade within the region by harmonizing the process of importing and exporting. For farmers, ASEAN GAP and ASOA can improve market access opportunities by expanding their markets. For the environment, ASEAN and ASOA reduce the impact of agricultural practices. The video ends by reminding viewers that their decision matters whether they decide to buy certified or uncertified food.
The video was produced as part of its objective in supporting the ASEAN Secretariat and its AMS in the development and implementation of ASEAN GAP and ASOA. It is hoped that by explaining the many benefits of food standards, the video can inspire food producers, traders and related stakeholders to comply with food standards.
For questions or further information please contact SAFT project at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Lisa Faust and Rwindah Janewatanakul, Standards in the Southeast Asian Food Trade