Key takeaway from the Andean Community Sustainable Trade workshop

The 2-day intensive workshop held in Lima, Peru between 5th-6th June 2018, on ‘Sustainable Trade between Peru and the EU‘ was organized at the request of the Andean Community to support mainly the Peruvian SMEs exporters and policy makers to be able to gain deeper knowledge and the potentiality of accessing the lucrative European Sustainable Development’s “Green” market. Details and agenda of the workshop can be found here.

There were over 50 participants at the workshop, of which the majority of them were exporters of cacao, coffee, quinoa, andean camloids as well as, the trending “novel” and “superfoods” (sacha inchi, yuca, maca, etc.) exporters, all of which have purported a significant interest to access the European market. Therefore, the EU Novel Food legislation and the relevant certification schemes have brought their attention in this regard. There were also participants from Pro Ecuador, Prom Perú and the Andean Community Secretariat.

Presentations include:

  • ITC on Sustainability Map database
  • CBI on European market trends and value creation
  • UNCTAD on VSS and Trade, renewable energy and regulatory barriers to trade

Discussions on the challenges of the implementation cost and the multiplicity of standards for the same type of product, especially impacting small-scale producers were also covered. Substantiating the implementation practicalities, a research on “Sustainable Trade between the Andean Community and the European Union” that looks into VSS and Andean Community exports to the EU under its Renewable Energy Directive and the implications of renewable energy in the production of exportable agri-food products were also presented during this workshop. In addition, the workshop explored renewable energy production and it’s impact on agricultural production efficiency. Analysis has shown that there is a strong case for introducing alternative means of electric production in agricultural production. These include Solar, Wind, Hydro and Bio energy production. 

Moving forward, the study on sustainable trade from Colombia and Peru will seek to expand covering also Ecuador and Bolivia. This was a request from the Andean Community derived from this workshop, looking into planning similar activities spread over a larger geographical scale.

UNFSS is determined to provide continuous assistance and coordination to upscale trainings of the same breadth in Colombia and Equador, should funding permits.

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The United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards (UNFSS) is a joint initiative of 5 UN Agencies (FAO, ITC, UNCTAD, UN Environment and UNIDO) that seeks to address these challenges. It is a demand-driven forum for intergovernmental actors to communicate among each other and engage with key target groups (producers, traders, consumers, standard-setters, certification-bodies, trade diplomats, relevant NGOs and researchers) to address their information needs and influence concerned stakeholders. It aims to provide impartial information, analysis, and discussions on VSS and their potential contribution to facilitate market access, strengthen public goods and achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most importantly, the UNFSS focuses on potential trade or development obstacles VSS may create, with particular emphasis on their impact on SMEs and less developed countries.