FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
©FAO/Anatolii Stepanov

Agrifood systems in Europe and Central Asia are still deeply affected by the process of political and economic transition. 

The transformation of agrifood production and markets has coincided with the process of globalization and deepening trade integration both within the region and worldwide. 

With greater participation in global agrifood trade, the region plays an increasingly important role as a supplier of agricultural commodities and food products to international markets.

Transforming food systems and facilitating market access and integration

FAO Regional Initiative

This Regional Initiative, implemented since 2016, consists of three main interrelated components:

Trade agreements

Global standards

Market access

Photo: ©/Envato

Photo: ©/Envato


The primary goal of the Regional Initiative on Transforming food systems and facilitating market access and integration is to support member countries in enhancing the agrifood trade policy environment for small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises in pursuit of more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems. A better trade policy environment for modern agrifood markets requires the development of capacity for trade agreements and domestic, regional and international sanitary and phytosanitary rules. Knowledge of trading partners’ requirements is essential. 

While international trade policy is usually implemented at the border, adherence to food safety, quality standards, and controls for animal and plant diseases requires the support of national systems for disease prevention and control to facilitate the safe transfer and movement of food and agricultural commodities across borders. This means that a supportive policy environment for agrifood trade encompasses not only border policies, but also policies and institutions at national and enterprise levels. Effective markets and efficient, sustainable value chains will help all actors in the production chain play their part in a cohesive food system.

Featured news:

Reducing food waste in households

Workshop for aquaculture value chain actors

Boosting trade in agricultural produce


Photo: ©FAO/Vyacheslav Oseledko

Photo: © FAO/Victor Sokolowicz

Photo: ©FAO/Genya Savilov

Related news and events 2022

News and events in 2021

Previous initiatives

  • Agrifood Trade and Regional Integration (2014-2015)
  • Agrarian Structures Initiative (2013)

Sustainable Development Goals


Mary Kenny
Food safety and quality officer
Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 8141-251