Project Title

Enhancing Connectivity of APEC Grain Standards 

Project Year

2016   

Project Number

PPFS 01 2016A 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
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Project No.

PPFS 01 2016A 

Project Title

Enhancing Connectivity of APEC Grain Standards 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Connectivity 

Project Year

2016 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

109,998 

Co-funding Amount

10,320 

Total Project Value

120,318 

Sponsoring Forum

Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS) 

Topics

Food Security 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

China 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Chile; Papua New Guinea; Russia; Chinese Taipei; Thailand 

Expected Start Date

01/05/2016 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2016 

Project Proponent Name 1

Dr Zhang Yan 

Job Title 1

Deputy Division Director 

Organization 1

Standards and Quality Center of the State Administration of Grain 

Postal Address 1

No.11 Baiwanzhuang Street, Xicheng District, Beijing, China 

Telephone 1

86-10 58523777 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

zycereals@163.com; ppfs@chinagrain.gov.cn 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Dr Zhang Yan 

Project Summary

Consistent with APEC 2016 Rank 1 Funding Criteria to implement the Food Security Roadmap Towards 2020 and the Food Security Business Plan, this project aims to provide a research report and the policy recommendations to enhance connectivity of grain standards of APEC Economies and to facilitate regional grain trade. This project includes one research project and one seminar. The research will analyse grain standards of APEC Economies, identify differences in technical factors, such as terms, specifications or testing methods, and make policy recommendations. The report and recommendations will be discussed and finalized on the two-day seminar. Representatives of APEC Economies will also be invited to share their grain standards, food standard system and best practices. 

The research is executed from January 2016 to July by grain experts. The seminar will be held in Beijing in July 2016. The finalized report and recommendations will be submitted to PPFS for endorsement.

Relevance

Grains are basic and vital material foundation for food security. APEC economies believe that facilitating food trade is beneficial for improving food security. It is an important task for APEC to resist protectionism, eliminate trade obstacles, promote harmonization of standards and adherence to internationally recognized, science-based standards. In 2014, APEC Leaders endorsed the “Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance” so as to establish communication platform to exchange information on food quality, safety and nutrition. The PPFS meetings in The Philippines in 2015 have also given full supports for further implementation. 

As the key technical specifications of bulk commodity trade, grain standards define uniform and descriptive terms to facilitate the grain trade, offer users the best possible information to determine end-product quality, and provide market incentive frameworks. Almost every economy has its own grain standards, for example, soybeans are graded in accordance with perfect kernels in the Chinese soybean standard, while the damaged kernels, foreign material, splits and soybeans of other colours are the grade requirements for U. S. soybean. These differences in terms, specifications or testing methods sometimes result in misunderstanding, obstacles and even disputes for trade. Therefore, it is highly recommended that APEC strengthen the joint efforts for promoting food standard information exchange and cooperation among economies, so as to identify existing challenges on grain standards development, improve mutual understanding of technical factors, promote the marketing of sufficient and high-quality grain, and help create an open, fair, transparent and facilitative environment for grain trade, thus promoting regional food security. 

This project falls under Rank 1 of APEC 2016 Funding Criteria -- Food production, processing, supply chain and trade, including food safety and security, sustainable agriculture, sustainability of these activities and rural development, technical cooperation and new technologies, as well as implementation of the Food Security Roadmap Towards 2020 and the Food security Business Plan, which include Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance. It is also linked to Rank 1 -- Connectivity, including the implementation of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint on enhancing physical, institutional and people‐to‐people connectivity and Rank 1 -- Standards, conformity assessment, technical regulations, regulatory cooperation. The research project and the seminar on APEC grain standards will be the important activities to implement action plan and promote cooperation, information sharing and connectivity on food quality/safety standards in APEC.

Objectives

1) To promote the information/experiences/best practices sharing and exchange on grain standards and food standard system of APEC member economies, build up primary APEC grain standards database.

2) To strengthen mutual understanding of technical standards through experts’ studies, analysis and reports.

3) To develop the recommendations to enhance connectivity of grain standards of APEC economies, and the recommendations for PPFS to collaborate positively with CTI and SCSC to create a framework for grain standards harmonization and collaboration.

Alignment

Food security has become an increasing concern among many APEC economies. The Kazan Declaration in 2012 called economies to facilitate trade, develop food markets, and enhance food safety and quality. In 2014, the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders’ Declaration called economies to strengthen APEC agricultural science and technology innovation and cooperation, and endorsed the Beijing Declaration on APEC Food Security, the APEC Food Security Business Plan, the APEC Food Security Roadmap toward 2020, and the Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance. This project will directly contribute to these initiatives and serve as the concrete action to facilitate food trade and improve food security, through the standards information sharing and technical cooperation. 

In 2014, the Action Plan to Enhance Connectivity of APEC Food Standards and Safety Assurance was endorsed by PPFS to facilitate the implementation of the APEC Food Security Road Map Towards 2020 through the attainment of universally accepted standards across the region. This project will continue to implement this action plan to enhance mutual understanding and promote the harmonization of grain standards and adherence to internationally recognized, science-based standards. PPFS workplan for 2016 lists this project as the endorsed activity in response to APEC 2016 “Enhancing the Regional Food Market” priority.

TILF/ASF Justification

APEC developing economies, such as China, Peru, The Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam, are the important grain production, trade and consumption economies. Their grain standards will be incorporated and analysed in the research report, and their experiences and perspectives on grain standard system will be shared in the seminar, which will foster a greater understanding from other economies and boost their access to international grain markets. Besides, developing economies will be beneficiated with the information and best practices exchanged in the seminar and with the recommendations on enhancing connectivity of grain standards and food security. The project final report and recommendations will be conducive to enhancing capacity of conducting grain trade of developing economies, for the discrepancies between standards and the guidance for connectivity are within reach for checking.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: The key outputs of the project include:

1) Research: Research on APEC grain standards have been initiated in the early 2016. Grain quality standards of APEC Economies have be collected through PPFS platform, which  ensures the validity and scope of the standard, and will naturally generated APEC grain standards database. Considering that grain standard is a professional and specialized topic, APEC economies are invited to nominate experts to participate the research. Four Chinese-expert groups (wheat, maize, rice, and soybean)  are entrusted to do study, analysis, comparison and testing for the technical items in the APEC economies’ grain standards, draft the research report, and propose recommendations for enhancing connectivity. Grain experts nominated from APEC economies will be invited to guide the project, review and comment on the report, and provide suggestions for enhancing connectivity of grain standards.

2) Seminar: The two-day seminar will be held in Beijing in July 2016. This seminar will fully discuss the research report, seek consensus on recommendations for enhancing connectivity and harmonization of APEC grain standards. The participants are project experts and government representatives of APEC member economies, representatives from related APEC fora CTI and SCSC, and interested stakeholders. Meantime, Experts of APEC economies will be invited as speakers to share their grain standards system and best practices. Representatives of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) will be also invited to present international grain standards system and share the knowledge for standardization and harmonization.

3) Final report and recommendations: the final reports and recommendations will be presented by experts and submitted to the PPFS Peru meeting in September for endorsement. The recommendations will focus on the policy suggestions to promote connectivity and cooperation of food standards, including the suggestion for PPFS to collaborate positively with CTI and SCSC to create the framework to support the food standardization of APEC standards The outputs will be also reported to food security ministerial meeting and related fora. 

Outcomes:  

1) Research report will provide a full review and comparison on grain standards of APEC Economies, which will be the important inputs for explaining the differences and establishing the conversion of technical terms. And the research report will be served as the reference material for grain international trade, which requires to better understanding of grain standards and how to implement them.

2) The recommendations will focus on the initiatives of harmonization of internationally recognized, science-based grain standards from ISO and CAC, and to engage all the APEC Economies to play a full part, within the limits of their resources, in the development of international grain standards.

3) The project is based on collaboration and information exchange to establish communication platform for all APEC Economies. In a longer term, the communication platform will contribute to further technical exchange and cooperation on APEC grain standard system, for example, sampling plans, analysis methods and state-of-art technology on food quality, safety and nutrition.

4) The final report and recommendations will help APEC economies understand easily the differences between different economies’ standards, well understanding grain standards of APEC economies will make grain trade more efficient and effective, promote open international trade by reducing technical barriers, codify international agreements, and provide common ground for understanding and agreement on difficult issues.

5) Some trade policies of APEC economies will be led to be more fair, transparent and efficient. 

Beneficiaries: The direct project participants and users of the outputs would be:

1) Experts, who are responsible for or directly involved in drafting grain standards of APEC developed and developing Economies. They are from industry and academia, and are specialized in grain standards. Some of the experts are women.

2) Government officials and policy makers, who are directly or indirectly involved in grain standards development, maintenance and implementation.

3) Representatives from farmers’ associations who could be identified and nominated by interested economies. Farmers are the producers and suppliers of raw grains. Their income will be increased by cultivating and producing high quality grains that meet the standards of the importing economies or grain trader.

4) Grain trader and other stakeholders who use and implement these standards. The knowledge can be acquired efficiently and make grain trade open and fair.

5) CTI and SCSC fora, which are to help reduce the negative effects that differing standards and conformance arrangements have on trade and investment flows in the Asia-Pacific region, to achieve APEC's trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation agenda. 

The participants of the project will directly benefit from research report and a better understanding of the grain standards.. The harmonization and connectivity of APEC grain standards will definitely increase food grain trade efficiency and then improve the food security of the region. The vulnerable people of hunger and poverty including old, children and women are indirectly beneficial from the project.

Dissemination

Presentations of speakers in the Seminar will be disseminated to each participant in soft copies. The research report including the recommendations will be presented and disseminated to all APEC delegates in the PPFS Peru meeting this September. Participants are expected to disseminate the project outputs in each economy and push forward the attainment of universally accepted standards across the region. Project Overseer will periodically communicate and exchange with the participants about the progress or work on international grain standardization.

The final reports will be submitted to APEC project database for public view. The final report and recommendation will be also disseminated to ABAC related members, and some companies engaged in grain trade businesses.

Gender

Taking into account the tasks that APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) provides as a mechanism to integrate gender considerations into APEC activities, this project will incorporate women to participate and  will have a positive impact on women in APEC economies.

Gender equality will be strongly promoted through engaging women in the different activities throughout the development of the project, including women engaged in the research, meeting, policy recommendation, and ensuring equitable participation by men and women and their equal rights. Detailed, it is highlighted that the Project Overseer of this project and two key experts entrusted for the research are female. The rules of gender equality to invite both men and women as speakers will be fully respected and followed. The percentage of female participants of the Seminar are expected up to 50%.

Women are vulnerable group for food security problem. This project will improve food security level of the region. In the macro arena, the project will benefit women.

Work Plan

Timeline

Key activity

Outputs

January to April

1) Invite APEC Economies to fill out the Questionnaire on Grain standards in APEC Economies;

2) Collect grain standards from APEC Economies and invite Economies to nominate experts.

1) Grain standards of APEC Economies;

2) Nominated Experts List

May to June

1) Draft research report of the APEC grain standards;

2) Circulate the draft reports to experts for comments and revision;

3) Develop the tentative agenda of the seminar and send invitation letter

1) Report and Recommendations draft

2) Compilation of APEC grain standards (for reference)

July

1) Develop the agenda of the seminar with inputs of APEC economies and invite speakers and participants

2) Hire contractors and Book venues

3) Host the Seminar in Beijing (July 27-28)

1) Agenda

2) Speaker and Participant list 3) Minor contract

4) Seminar

5) Report and Recommendations

6) Initiative consensus

September

The experts will present research reports including recommendations to all APEC delegates in the PPFS Peru meeting for PPFS endorsement, and the project outputs will be also reported to FSMM and related fora

Report and Recommendations

December

Final report of the project to APEC secretariat

Final report

Risks

1) Low interest in participation of collecting grain standards. APEC Economies may not be interested in or have difficulty in providing grain standards. To avoid this situation, Project Overseer will actively contact the representatives of PPFS and figure out their difficulties. Project Overseer will invite APEC Secretariat to assist with circulating Questionnaire. The experts nominated by APEC economies could help APEC economies to fill in the questionnaire and provide the grain standards which meet the requests. 

2) Low interest in attending the seminar. Participants may not attend the seminar due to lack of funding. If possible, request APEC travel-eligible economies to designate delegates and provide the advance payment. 

3) Selection of suitable and qualified speakers. To ensure the qualification and attendance of speaker, Project Overseer will consult with APEC economies or international organizations to recommend and identify speakers, and contact speakers as early as possible.

Monitoring and Evaluation

1) At the end of the project, an assessment survey will be distributed to project participants to evaluate the relevance of the outputs for APEC Economies.

2) The number of APEC Economies that made available information about grain standards and the number of participants or delegates from different APEC Economies will be an indicator of interest in this project. 8 of APEC economies, including the top grain production economies and the top grain trade economies in APEC region, are expected to provide grain standards information. 80 participants are expected to attend the seminar, in which 70% of the participants are expected from developing economies and 50% are expected to be women.

3) A post-project survey, two years after the project completion, will be sent to APEC Economies and participants to collect their feedbacks on whether this project promoted their grain trade, whether this project provided useful reference to their grain standards, whether this project offered the best possible quality information for grain exporters and food manufacturers, and how this project influenced the grain producers.

4) Non-scheduled interview will be conducted with the grain trader who shared the project fruit and recommendation. Two to five interviews are expected.

Linkages

Food security has become an increasing concern among many APEC economies. All food-related APEC fora should jointly work to face challenges. The two-day seminar will invite representatives from CTI, SCSC, FSCF, APEC Study Centers, and academia, industry and other international organizations, such as grain research institutes, grain traders, food processors, ISO and CAC, etc. Their comments and inputs will be highly valued and incorporated into the final report and recommendations. This project is based on the grain standards that we have collected from APEC Economies. So far as we know, there are no previous or ongoing APEC initiatives, or those of other organizations workings grain standards of APEC Economies. 

APEC PPFS provides the platform for facilitating effective sharing of information for government, private sector, research and academic institutions, NGOs and APEC Sub fora and multilateral organizations. Hence, PPFS is the best platform to implement this project. Majority of grain trade has been occurring in APEC region, there are big grain exporters as well as big importers. Enhancing connectivity of grain standards is conducive to facilitating grain trade in APEC region.

Sustainability

One of the key outputs is the research report on the connectivity of grain standards. This report provides useful comparisons and explanation of the technical differences in grain standards of APEC economies, which will be an important reference to economies, and to participants who are involved in grain trade and requires to better understanding of grain standards and to implement them. The organization of project overseer will continue to support dissemination of the research reports and collecting feedbacks. A post-project survey, two years after the project completion, will be sent to APEC Economies and participants to collect their feedbacks on whether this project promoted their grain trade, whether this project provided useful reference to their standards, whether this project offered the best possible quality information for grain exporters and food manufacturers, and how this project influenced the grain producers. 

Another key output is the recommendations delivered in this project. The recommendations will focus on initiatives about harmonization of internationally recognized, science-based grain standards from ISO and CAC, engagement of all the APEC Economies to actively participate the international standard development and revision, and initiative PPFS to collaborate positively with CTI and SCSC to create framework to support the food standardization in APEC standards. This expected outcome and impact will be measured by consulting the secretariat of ISO and CAC on the adoption of international grain standard as domestic standards and on the participation of APEC economies in the international standard project. 

The information exchange and communication platform will provide further endeavours, collaboration, dialogue and capacity building projects on APEC grain standard system, for example, sampling plans, analysis methods and state-of-art technology on food quality, safety and nutrition.

Project Overseers

PO: Ms. ZHANG Yan, Ph.D. of Analytical Chemistry, Deputy Division Director of Department of International Standards, Standards and Quality Center of the State Administration of Grain of China, in charge of foreign exchange and cooperation in grain and oil standards. She previously worked as the associate research follow in the Academy of State Administration of Grain of China. She was the project leader of two research projects of grain safety funded by National Natural Science Fund and national 863 Fund of China. She has been participating and directly involved in several projects of the international and national standards development on grains and oils.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

To encourage participation in the project, the waiver is seeked to provide advance payment of travel air fare and per diem for speakers, experts, researchers and active participants.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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