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This Directory contains the Draft Definition and Classification ofCommodites as used in FAO. In the Annex we report the link between theFAO codes and the two international classifications SITCRev. 3 and theHarmonized System (HS).
For any further information please refer to:

Chief, Basic Data Branch, Statistics Division

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100
Rome, Italy
Fax (6)52255615
E-Mail: Chief, Basic Data Branch


One aspect of FAO's responsibilities in the field of statistics is topromote consistency and comparability of information at the worldlevel. One of the ways in which FAO seeks to further this objectiveis to provide national statistical offices with documentationcontaining internationally recognized definitions, concepts andclassifications so that data collected using national standards can beconverted to international standards before being submitted to FAO.It is hoped that, in addition to providing governments with a basisfor comparing national statistics within an internationally recognizedsystem, this effort will, over time, encourage a wider adoption ofinternational standards at the national level.

In spite of efforts to standardize reporting of food and agriculturalstatistics, external users of FAO statistics have continued to face anumber of difficulties in using the resulting data. The main problemshave centred on the lack of certainty over the coverage of commodityheadings in FAO databases, confusion over the relationship betweenprocessed products and the primary, or "parent", commodities, anduncertainty over the degree of comparability of the FAO commoditycodes with other major international classification systems, such asthe Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) and theHarmonized System (HS).

This publication attempts to address these problems by defining theFAO commodity headings, grouping processed products together withtheir parent commodities and linking the FAO commodity codes withother major classification systems. Being a first effort, this workis unlikely to satisfy entirely the needs of every user. Userstherefore are encouraged to provide FAO with their comments as to howthis publication can be modified to better meet their needs. Thesecomments will be taken into consideration in preparing future versionsof this publication.


Notes on the tables

The names of primary agricultural commodities appear in capitalletters in the tables (e.g.WHEAT), while the derived, processedproducts are written with both upper and lower case letters (e.g.Flour of Wheat). In a few cases, because of the availability ofinformation, FAO treats derived products as primary crops. An examplewould be:[OIL OF PALM FRUIT]. In this instance, the heading is setin brackets to indicate that the commodity itself is not used, andthus the derived products - which appear as PALM KERNELS and OIL OFPALM - are identified as primary products.

FAO Commodity Groups