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      FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
      ?FAO/Anatolii Stepanov

      Agrifood systems in Europe and Central Asia are still deeply affected by the process of political and economic transition. 

      The transformation of agrifood production and markets has coincided with the process of globalization and deepening trade integration both within the region and worldwide. 

      With greater participation in global agrifood trade, the region plays an increasingly important role as a supplier of agricultural commodities and food products to international markets.

      Transforming food systems and facilitating market access and integration

      FAO Regional Initiative

      This Regional Initiative, implemented since 2016, consists of three main interrelated components:

      Trade agreements

      Global standards

      Market access

      Photo: ?/Envato

      Photo: ?/Envato


      The primary goal of the Regional Initiative on Transforming food systems and facilitating market access and integration is to support member countries in enhancing the agrifood trade policy environment for small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises in pursuit of more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems. A better trade policy environment for modern agrifood markets requires the development of capacity for trade agreements and domestic, regional and international sanitary and phytosanitary rules. Knowledge of trading partners’ requirements is essential. 

      While international trade policy is usually implemented at the border, adherence to food safety, quality standards, and controls for animal and plant diseases requires the support of national systems for disease prevention and control to facilitate the safe transfer and movement of food and agricultural commodities across borders. This means that a supportive policy environment for agrifood trade encompasses not only border policies, but also policies and institutions at national and enterprise levels. Effective markets and efficient, sustainable value chains will help all actors in the production chain play their part in a cohesive food system.

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      Photo: ?FAO/Vyacheslav Oseledko

      Photo: ?FAO/Nozim Kalandarov

      Photo: ?FAO/Genya Savilov

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