Small Island Developing States

Developing the national food control system in Tonga

The Kingdom of Tonga is located in the southern Pacific Ocean and comprises more than 170 islands. Food is of central importance for its population, for sociocultural reasons, as a source of income for rural smallholders and in terms of trade flows. The agricultural sector contributes around 30 percent to Tonga’s GDP and agricultural exports make up two-thirds of total exports. Food imports represent approximately 30 percent of all imports (based on value). Given its importance, the Ministry of Agriculture added the specific portfolio of food to its core business. However, until recently no specific national legislation existed to regulate the safety and quality of food. 

With the support of FAO a new Food Act was developed and passed in late 2014 and Codex-based food standards were also developed across the archipelago. At the same time, a national food regulatory system is being built to implement and enforce the Food Act. This regulatory system will include means to enhance inter-agency coordination and cooperation, strengthen food inspection and certification capacity, setting up of food emergency management protocols and strengthen capacity of value chain operators to comply with food safety and quality requirements.


The improved capacity is expected to raise the safety and quality of food and agricultural products and thus safeguard the health of consumers and enhance fair trade opportunities.

03 Apr 2017
 - 03 Apr 2017