Establishment of definitions and standards for milk and milk products
202. In view of the unique position of milk and milk products in human nutrition - particularly in child nutrition - the International Dairy Federation (IDF) has for some time considered the need for recommended rules concerning the use of designations, definitions and standards for milk and milk products, with a view to protecting the consumer on both national and international levels. The International Dairy Federation has requested the assistance of FAO for the development and use of such definitions and standards on an international basis. This request was essentially a suggestion for the establishment of recommended rules to be set out in such a manner that they can be accepted by governments so wishing without recourse to Treaty procedure.
203. There was full agreement on the need for recommended rules concerning the use of designations, definitions and standards for milk and milk products, both to assist the industry and to protect the consumer. In particular, early action was requested on the establishment of an expert committee to assist in formulating such recommended rules and on procedures for their application. Many delegations expressed an interest in participating in such a committee.
204. The IDF was congratulated on its initiative and on the work it had done to bring this matter to its present stage.
205. The Conference endorsed the action already taken in consulting other international bodies, in particular the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Permanent Office of Analytical Chemistry, and requested that such consultations be continued.
206. The Conference unanimously endorsed the proposal submitted, and adopted the following Resolution:
Resolution No. 16/57
Standards for Milk and Milk Products
Having considered the request of the Governments of Belgium, Denmark Sweden and Switzerland for the establishment of recommendations concerning the use of designations, definitions and standards for milk and milk products,
Being aware of the value of the draft Protocol on Milk and Milk Products prepared by the International Dairy Federation, and
Believing that it is desirable to further the establishment of such recommendations;
Requests the Director-General of the Organization, in consultation with the International Dairy Federation and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in this field, to invite interested governments at the appropriate time to designate experts to serve on a committee to formulate recommendations concerning the use of designations, definitions, minimum standards of composition, marking and labelling, and standard methods of analysis of milk and milk products, and
Recommends to the committee of government experts so formed that it set out its recommendations concerning the use of designations, definitions and standards in such a manner and with such documentation as will enable governments so wishing to accept them without having recourse to Treaty procedure, and that it advise on the formulation of procedures under which national government.) might provide for effective application and reporting.
The regional approach to the control of diseases and pests of plants and animals
207. The Conference noted with satisfaction the effective work for the control of diseases and pests of plants and animals which has been carried out a regional basis under the guidance and assistance e of the Organization. It considered that the co-ordination of activities on a regional basis was especially a field of work for which the Organization was established, and that such regional approach resulted in very effective work; at low cost. It considered that the Organization should lay stress on the importance of this part of its activities, and that it should expand such work wherever possible.
208. The Conference regretted that the effectiveness of FAO's work on regional projects under the Technical Assistance Program was seriously handicapped by the limit set by the Technical Assistance Committee on appropriation for these projects. Taking into consideration Resolution No. 15/55 adopted at the Eighth Session of the FAO Conference and also Resolution No. 5/26 of the Twenty-Sixth Session of the Council, which stressed the value of regional projects in the Expanded Technical Assistance Program it was of the opinion that a greater percentage of the Technical Assistance funds should be made available for regional projects. The Conference very strongly endorsed the principle of the establishment of Special Funds made up of voluntary cash contributions from Member Governments interested in a common problem to ensure the successful development of further regional projects.
209. The Conference therefore adopted the following Resolution:
Resolution No. 17/57
Regional Control of Diseases and Pests of Plants and Animals
Re-affirming Resolution No. 15/55 adopted at its Eighth Session regarding the benefits which Member Governments can derive through regional rather than purely national projects;
Emphasizing the serious drain on world agricultural and human resources caused by diseases and pests of plants and animals;
Recognizing that the control of many such diseases and pests can be achieved only through regional action;
Authorizes the Director-General:
(i) to continue to press for additional ETAP funds for the expansion of regional projects;
(ii) to take whatever steps he deems necessary to supplement such ETAP allocations by extending the practice of establishing special funds made up of voluntary cash contributions from Member Governments and other sources to regional projects in which they are particularly interested.
Requests Member Governments to express their views on the value of the regional approach to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and its Technical Assistance Committee.
Desert locust control
210. The Conference directed particular attention to the Desert Locust Inter-Regional Projects under the Expanded Technical Assistance Program, which it recognized as one of the most important regional projects undertaken by the Organization and one which had forcibly demonstrated the value of the regional approach. The Conference was assured that the Director-General continued to attach high priority to this Project and that he wished to give it the maximum possible support within the limited resources available to the Organization.
211. In conformity with the views of the Fourth Session of the FAO Desert Locust Control Committee on the importance of Western Africa in locust control, the Conference reiterated the request that FAO in liaison with the interested countries should examine the possibility of establishing a Western African Desert Locust Sub-Committee and foster the development of anti-locust measures in Western Africa.
212. The Conference noted that the Government of Somalia would be unable to finance full scale anti-locust measures in Somalia after independence and owing to the importance of this area to over-all locust control the Italian Delegate requested the Organization to acquaint Member Governments of the assistance required and to facilitate the provision of contributions,
213. As it was considered that all possible steps should be taken to pursue this project for the benefit of all countries threatened by the desert locust the Conference adopted the following Resolution:
Resolution No. 18/57
Recognizing that the continuing threat of the desert locust to food production of many countries in Africa, Asia and the Near East, including 26 Member Countries of FAO, will persist until fully effective locust control can be achieved throughout all infested areas;
Believing that locust control and investigations leading to any preventive policy can succeed only if co-ordinated internationally;
Appreciating the outstanding services rendered by FAO in stimulating and supporting during six years the international approach to the desert locust problem in the Arabian Peninsula and latterly in eastern Africa and also throughout the invasion area;
Noting that during this period expenditure by FAO on locust control amounted to about $1.5 million in comparison with an estimated expenditure of $100 million by governments and that no foreseeable increase in FAO's allocations could appreciably reduce direct governmental expenditure on existing types of anti-locust campaigns;
Requests the Director-General:
i) To use future ETAP regional allocations to:
(a) ensure the continuity of the international desert locust control campaign in the Arabian Peninsula and in other areas as may be recommended by the FAO Desert Locust Control Committee;
(b) strengthen the Organization's anti-locust control activities including the training of personnel, and as an exceptional case, the supply and mobilization equipment and insecticides, in accordance with the recommendations of the FAO Desert Locust Control Committee; and
(c) to pursue long-term investigations with a view to developing a policy of prevention of desert locust plagues and new locust control techniques in accordance with the recommendations of the FAO Technical Advisory Committee on Desert Locust Control.
ii) To bring to the attention of Member Governments the facilities available under their country ETAP programs for the provision by FAO of equipment and supplies, experts and fellowships, for the strengthening of national anti-locust services; it being understood that any such requests within a country's ceiling should be considered in relation to other projects within the country program.
iii) To procure in advance annual voluntary pledges from interested governments financial contributions to special funds operated by FAO for strengthening cooperative action against the desert locust wherever it may be considered necessary by the FAO Desert Locust Control Committee, giving the highest priority to the campaign in the Arabian Peninsula, and for supporting in association with such interested international agencies as UNESCO and WMO and in accordance with the recommendations of the FAO Technical Advisory Committee on Desert Locust Control such measures as:
(a) the co-ordination of information on the desert locust and weather;
(b) a general ecological survey of the main breeding grounds of the desert locust.
iv) To utilize the FAO Regional Offices for the dissemination of locust information within their regions.
214. The Conference, having discussed the problem of the sunn pest in the Near East, adopted the following Resolution:
Resolution No. 19/57
Reaffirming Resolution No. 18/55 of its Eighth Session which recognized the important losses caused to growing cereals by the sunn pest (Eurygaster integriceps);
Considering that other species of the genus Eurygaster and of other related genera also cause similar damage to cereals in the Near Africa and Europe;
Recognizing that as economic control of the sunn pest cannot be achieved without fuller knowledge of the biological and ecological factors affecting the development of the insects concerned, the problem of their control is primarily one of co-operative research;
Noting with satisfaction the steps taken by FAO, under both the ETAP and Regular Program Budgets, to implement the previous Resolution;
Regretting that existing restrictions on regional projects has prevented FAO so far from expanding its activities related to the control of the sunn pest as recommended by the First FAO Meeting on the Control of the Sunn Pest;
Requests the Director-General
i) To provide within the limits of the Regular Program Budget
(a) for the establishment of a standing Working Party and
(b) for the services of a consultative institution to advise the Director-General and serve as center of documentation, with the objective of supporting and co-ordinating national investigations in all areas affected by the sunn pest.
ii) To encourage affected governments to allocate provisions for experts and fellowships within their respective annual ETAP country programs in order to establish and strengthen national research institutions and to intensify their investigations against this pest.
iii) To give the sunn pest project the highest practicable priority within the regional project ceiling by allocating funds under ETAP for regional experts, fellowships, and equipment and supplies for scientific investigations.
215. Attention was directed to the economic importance of birds which caused extensive damage to grain and other crops in many parts of the world. The Conference believed that, subject to the availability of funds, FAO could play an important role in co-ordinating the study and control of these widespread pests. Initiating such activities, the Conference adopted the following Resolution:
Resolution No. 20/57
Recalling its Resolution No. 17/57 (Regional Projects) authorizing the Director-General to establish Special Funds to support specific regional projects;
Recognizing the extensive loss of crops caused by weaver birds in many territories particularly in tropical Africa;
Believing that no effective methods 107- the prevention of such damage can be devised before acquiring further information on the biology of the birds concerned;
Noting that under the existing ETAP allocations for regional projects FAO is unable able to establish a regional project on this important subject;
Requests the Member Governments concerned to contribute cash contributions to a Special Fund to be administered by the Director-General for initiating in co-operation with other agencies, particularly the CCTA, an over-all survey and study of the problem with particular emphasis upon the taxonomy, biology, migratory habits and ecology of the weaver birds concerned.
C. Agriculture and forest land uses in watershed management
216. The Conference reviewed the work of FAO in the field of watershed management, commended the results already obtained and stressed the importance of continued collaboration between the Agriculture and Forestry Divisions on this subject as well as on the subject of shifting cultivation which constitutes a major problem in catchment area protection.
217. The Conference also examined d the Program of Work of both divisions in this field for 1958-59, and, in view of the crucial nature of the above mentioned problems in many parts of the world, recognized that this program must be given high priority.
218. The Conference endorsed, in particular, the following projects:
a) organization of a study tour in the USA for the study of what has been accomplished d in that country and of the research work being carried out. Member countries should include requests for fellowships for this study tour in their 1959 programs of Technical Assistance:
b) reinforcement of the co-operation between agriculturists and foresters e in Europe and the Far Fast through the organization of joint meetings of regional FAO bodies interested d in watershed management and over-all land-use planning. It was indicated that there is a need, in particular, for an improved definition of the scope of the work of those bodies and of their interrelations;
c) organization of regional center on watershed management utilizing the opportunity afforded by the Technical Assistance Program;
d) preparation of a Technical Manual on Watershed Management, giving due recognition to the different problems faced under widely varying physical and economic conditions.
219. The Conference urged again that special attention be given to co-ordination of watershed management work between national authorities and technicians where the catchment area is shared by two or more countries.
220. It was pointed out that the practice of shifting cultivation raises very numerous problems due to the variety of environment conditions. A large amount of scientific research is still needed for solving this problem, especially in the field of pedologic studies.
221. The Conference felt that work undertaken by FAO in the field of shifting cultivation should be further pursued, the chief aim being to encourage research and accumulation of knowledge on this subject.
222. The Conference reviewed the work of the Organization in the field of economics and statistics in 1956-57 and the general lines of program developments in 1958-59.
223. The Conference acknowledged the improvements achieved in the past two years on the basis of suggestions made by the Eighth Session of the Conference, in the work concerned with subject matters coming under the Economics Division. It noted, in particular, the successful integration of ETAP work with the regular program work, recognizing the considerable increase in the work load of the regular staff serving an ever increasing number of experts in tire field, the expanding importance of intergovernmental consultation on problems of particular commodities in panel and study groups established by the CCP, the greater emphasis on work in the field of internal marketing, and the growing request for services in connection with national and regional agricultural planning, both from ETAP experts, as well as from Headquarters and Regional Officers The Conference underlined the great value of the work on surplus disposal particularly as carried out by the Washington Sub-Committee of the CCP and heard with interest of tentative plans to expand the studies on the use of surpluses for economic development along the lines suggested in the Indian Pilot Project. The assistance rendered to regional schemes for economic integration as in the case of Central America was appreciated, and it was noted that more work along these lines may become necessary, particularly in connection with the European Common Market.
224. All these and other continuing activities of the Organization contribute to economic development and stability. This holds true for such basic work as statistics, studies on price policies, analysis and intergovernmental consultation on price supports and their international effects, preparation of Regional Conferences, development and trends in international trade as well as the general fact-finding work of the Organization. The annual publication on The State of Food and Agriculture continues to provide governments with a valuable review of the world's agricultural conditions as well as with a reliable analysis of likely developments in the near future both of which are of great help particularly to smaller countries in deciding on their agricultural policies.
225. The Conference considered whether the Program of Work and Budget for 1958-59 of the Economics Division would make a material contribution to the general objectives of the Organization, whether it was likely to achieve the optimum utilization of the limited staff and the financial resources requested for the Division, and whether the program took cognizance of the likely development in world agriculture as well as in the over-all activities of the Organization. In discussing these aspects of the l958-59 program the Conference found the program well balanced, but stressed the particular importance of statistics and economic intelligence, of work on prices and on the terms of trade without, however, underrating other basic work in the fields of commodities and economic analysis; it was suggested that more and better statistics on farm income and consumers' purchasing power may prove useful. The Conference emphasized the need of flexibility in the use of experienced staff members on the various projects of the Division.
226. The Conference noted with appreciation the growth of technical assistance in the fields of agricultural statistics, agricultural economics (including planning for agricultural development) and marketing by about 15 per cent from 1956 to 1957 as well as the expected increase in 1958. It recognized the value of the training centers held in 1956-57. The Conference once more recognized the difficulties in finding qualified experts as well as in providing the experts with the necessary facilities; on the other hand it was emphasized that experts should be well acquainted with the socio-economic conditions of the country they are to serve.
227. The Conference appreciated the report on the Organization's close co-operation and good working relation in the field of economics with other international, governmental and non-governmental organizations working in related fields and the reduction in duplication of work thus achieved.
228. The Conference expressed its approval of the work on statistics performed by the Economics Division in 1956-57 at Headquarters, in the regions and in the field. It noted with satisfaction the steady improvement in the scope and quality of the statistics collected by many countries, largely through the efforts of FAO Technical Assistance experts, guided by supervision from Headquarters; the valuable flow of information from FAO to Member Governments through publications and other documents on the application of sampling and other modern statistical techniques for the improvement of agricultural statistics; and the growing v volume and improved international comparability of the statistics on production, trade, prices and consumption published in the Monthly Bulletin, The Production Yearbook and The State of Food and Agriculture.
229. In reviewing the Program of Work on statistics in 1958-59, the Conference reaffirmed the view it expressed at its Eighth Session that the work on statistics was basic to the activities of the Organization. It accordingly assigned a high priority to all aspects of work on statistics, particularly the world census of agriculture and basic statistics on production, trade, prices and consumption. It expressed the view that the Trade Yearbook was too important a publication to be suspended in any year and noted with approval FAO's intention to resume annual publication next year. It noted also that The Calendar of Harvests to be published next year would serve as a basic document for a meeting of experts on time reference of harvests in international tabulations, and recommended that governments send FAO their views on time reference in preparation for this meeting.
230. The Conference welcomed the proposed extension of the work on the improvement of agricultural price statistics to the less developed areas and noted that this would be done in collaboration with the UN statistical bodies in the regions. It expressed the hope that FAO might, in the near future, be able to include within its statistics program, work on farm income and farm costs anti inputs. While recognizing that work on the food balance sheet folder might be reduced by publishing 3-year averages in future, the Conference felt that the publication of annual summary food balance sheet data in the Production Yearbook should be maintained and that countries should continue to scud their annual food balance sheets to FAO. The Conference stressed, however, the importance of intensifying work in collaboration with the Nutrition Division, on the promotion of household surveys and on reviewing and publishing information on the methods used in different countries for conducting such surveys and on the statistical techniques for analyzing the results.
231. The Conference noted the work done by FAO in reviewing the status of experimental designs in agricultural research, the assistance given in promoting experimental designs through the working king parties on breeding and fertilizers of the International Rice Commission and the help given to countries in promoting their statistical services in agricultural research.
232. It noted the increasing help that the statistical services of FAO were called upon to perform in this field, both to governments and to the Agriculture Division, and expressed the hope that suitable arrangements would be made to enable this work to be carried out effectively.
233. The Conference gave high priority to most of the work under this heading, but some delegations thought that there were some minor sections to which somewhat lower priorities might be accorded. It approved the increasing emphasis being given in the work of Economic Analysis towards aiding governments in formulating policies of agricultural development, and in certain aspects of their implementation, notably marketing. It noted that considerable progress had been made in these directions, which had been facilitated by the increased integration of the regular and technical assistance programs. The increasingly well-informed reviews of the current situation and outlook, as exemplified in such publications as the annual report on The State of Food and Agriculture was of particular value to the smaller and less-developed countries which were unable to maintain economic intelligence services on a scale adequate to their needs.
234. The Conference gave high priority to the work on agricultural development and noted with interest the successful meeting on the methods and techniques of agricultural planning which had been held in the Far Eastern region in co-operation with ECAFE in September 1957. The usefulness of Technical Assistance in this field was being increasingly recognized. It noted further that much of the work of economic analysis in other fields, for example, on factors influencing the growth of international trade in agricultural products, and of levels of food consumption, had been largely planned to bring out some of the basic data required in drawing up agricultural policies. 'Fine close cooperation with other sections of the organization in this development work, which was particularly evident in the regional conferences and consultations, was of value in assuring a balanced and integrated approach. It was noted that fuller outlook reports were in future to be prepared for regional conferences as a further means of aiding Member Countries in assessing the world supply situation in relation to their own domestic circumstances. Emphasis was laid on the importance of taking full account of social factors in the rural sector in devising agricultural plans and programs.
235. Appreciation was expressed to the Division for the contribution rendered to the work of the Expert Working Party on Agricultural Supports, held at Rome in late 1956, and a number of delegations stressed the need for further work in this field. In particular it was considered that greater attention should be given to the more positive and constructive possibilities of support policies, particularly in less-developed countries, and it was noted with satisfaction that this aspect would receive much attention at the Seminar on Support Policies in Far Eastern countries, to be held in 1958 in co-operation with ECAFE.
236. The Conference noted the progress of studies on agricultural investment and credit, and took note also of the close working relations with the Agriculture Division and with the UN Regional Commissions in this field. The assistance given to a member country in establishing a scheme for crop insurance was commended.
237. The Conference stressed that high priority should be given to work on broad price movements and on trends in agricultural trade. The emphasis should be placed on long term perspectives which might be overlooked by those considering only national and short term trends. By such means valuable guidance could be obtained for future action.
238. The Conference expressed its satisfaction at the growth of the technical assistance work on marketing, and attached high priority to improving marketing practices and organization for agricultural products, especially in less-developed countries. The guides on the marketing of important commodities, now nearing completion, were designed to deal specifically with conditions in such countries. A world bibliography of marketing, now nearing completion with outside financial and professional help, should be of value, particularly if kept up-to-date.
239. The Conference recognized that the continuing process of systematic
collection and analysis of information regarding the progress of food and agriculture
would remain haste to the work of economic analysis. The increasing volume and improved
quality of the data becoming available were reflected in the annual report on The State of
Food and Agriculture which continues as one of the most valuable publications of the
Organization. It was necessary in an organization of the size and type of FAO to maintain
a continuous review of the changing economic situation and its relation to the food and
agricultural situation, and it was important that the staff concerned should be in a
position to take up new problems
as they arose
240. The Conference commended the work done on commodity intelligence and outlook analysis, studies of commodity policies, and the servicing of intergovernmental consultations on these matters.
241. It was noted that there was not anywhere in the United Nations family a department specialized by commodities and commodity groups on the same lines as the FAO Commodities Branch and that adequate facilities should continue to be made available, therefore, not only for servicing the work of FAO but also for assisting other agencies in response to requests for specialized work on agricultural products. A fair degree of specialization by commodities was required to meet all these services but, at the same time, the Conference was informed that work undertaken on specific commodities had to be planned on a selective basis, to stretch available resources in line with special needs. and also that as much flexibility as possible was being maintained to enable the Director-General to provide expert service on special problems which arise or on any particular crisis. It was felt that emphasis should continue to be placed on those commodities facing special problems raised by Member Governments, particularly in the Committee on Commodity Problems or its commodity groups.
242. It was suggested by some delegations that more detailed attention should be given, if possible, to analyzing problems affecting the production, consumption and international trade in citrus fruit, with a view to the possibility of the Committee on Commodity Problems considering a study group on these products at a later stage, and that studies on dairy products should take special account of the special economic factors influencing the substitution in consumption of margarine for butter which was of interest to all dairy producing countries.
243. Stress was laid on the importance of commodity intelligence work and on the usefulness of the monthly Commodity Notes and other commodity situation and outlook reports. It was also found of merit to devote a series of Commodity Notes from time to time to a special topic, as had been done in the Commodity Notes published in recent months on questions relating to the Common Market.
244. With the extension of the commodity work through specialized intergovernmental groups, these was an increasingly active participation by government representatives in FAO studies. These close contacts were regarded by the Director-General as extremely valuable and stimulating to the work on commodities, and should make it possible to expand the coverage of special studies, though it was recognized that staff work also was required in the expansion of such activities.
245. Interest was expressed in the further studies to be undertaken on National Food Reserves and, more generally, on special use of surpluses in aid of development, and on other special aspects of international commodity trade.
246. Satisfaction as expressed with the servicing provided for the work of the CCP, of its Washington Sub-Committee on Surplus Disposal, and of the specialized commodity groups. The Conference noted the heavy workload in the fled of commodities which had resulted from the intergovernmental consultations in the specialized groups which had been set up on rice, grains, cocoa, coconut and coconut products. In view of this additional work, the Director-General had proposed some posts for additional junior staff, to help in servicing the groups and documentation, and to strengthen the commodity sections by providing for a high degree of vertical delegation in the interests of economy and efficiency. Some additional funds were also required for meetings, consultants, and contractual services, and to provide for new requests that were likely to be made during the period ahead.
247. The Conference stressed the importance of work on commodities. Some delegations suggested that if the Director-General is tillable to provide servicing for the Committee on Commodity Problems and its existing subsidiary bodies and for the existing work on the major commodities without additional staff, this additional staff could be found, if the budgetary situation so requires by postponement and reduction of some of the less essential work in the Economic Analysis Branch or in some other sections of the Commodities Branch. Other delegations held, however, that no such savings could be made and that there was need for adequate financial provisions to ensure satisfactory progress of work in this field.
248. The importance and high priority assigned by the Conference to the Director-General's plans and proposals for promoting the 1960 World Census of Agriculture is referred to elsewhere in this Report (see paragraphs 126135).