Collaboration with the private sector
The private sector plays a central role in the livestock sector both at a national and global level. Small to medium scale enterprises provide the backbone of the livestock value chains, especially in developing countries, while larger companies have a major role in the provision of goods and services, such as: improved genetic material, veterinary products, animal feed and other agricultural inputs. Likewise, the private sector largely drives animal product processing and retailing.
To respond effectively to the demands of a continuously growing livestock sector, partnership between FAO and the private sector can be of mutual benefit, developing synergies to better address the challenges facing the sector. As a neutral international organization, FAO has a unique facilitating and enabling role that can bridge the gap between the private and public sectors, as well as improve understanding between private sector and civil society.
For the FAO Animal Production and Health Division (AGA), the private sector is a key partner in ensuring an equitable, safe and responsible livestock sector. Areas of common interest include the access to safe and affordable inputs (feed, equipment, drugs); feed and food safety; animal health and welfare; access to value-addition in supply chains; research and development; and institutional and capacity building. Collaboration can be particularly beneficial in areas such as the implementation of international regulations and codes of practice such as those of the Codex Alimentarius.
AGA already has a close relationship with the private sector including the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), the International Dairy Federation (IDF), the International Meat Secretariat (IMS), the International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH), the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) and the International Poultry Council (IPC). These relationships are expected to further develop and mature as new bilateral partnerships will be developed.
Examples of effective collaboration include:
- joint publications such as the Manual of Good Practices for the Meat Industry, developed with the International Carrefour Foundation, the Manual of Good Practices for the Feed Industry, in preparation with IFIF, the Guide to Good Farming Practice published joitly with IDF and the FAO/IDF Dairy Development Newsletter;
- joint events aimed at raising awareness and building capacities, such as at the Global Feed and Food Congresses, the International Feed Regulators meetings and several capacity building workshops that have been organized in collaboration with IFIF; as well as the planned Animal Heath and Welfare Conference to be held during the 2009 World Dairy Summit jointly organized with IDF;
- laboratory analytical methods to test the quality of the most used drugs to combat trypanosomiasis.
The way forward:
- to develop further a constructive AGA, private sector partnership to address the major issues affecting the livestock sector;
- to contribute to the effective development of private sector associations in less economically developed countries and to ensure that small and medium scale enterprises are included.