FAO in Geneva

FAO Geneva Agriculture Trade Talks -18 March 2021 - Presentations and Webcast



"Agri-food Global Value Chains (GVCs) & Sustainability Certification"

Thursday, 18 March 2021.  15:00 – 17:00 CEST | 10:00 – 12:00 EST


WATCH THE WEBCAST HERE: FAO Geneva Agriculture Trade Talks -18 March 2021


FAO supports Member Countries’ effective engagement in the formulation of trade agreements that are conducive to improved food security by strengthening evidence on the implications of changes in trade policies, providing capacity development in the use of this evidence, and facilitating neutral dialogue away from the negotiating table. In this spirit, the FAO started, in 2018, a dialogue series titled “FAO Geneva Agriculture Trade Talks (FTT)” based on 3i;

  • Informal: exchanging information, ideas and views without any attributions and reporting.
  • Interactive: providing a neutral platform for dialogue and engagement among stakeholders.
  • Inspirational: sharing knowledge and ideas for use in policy and negotiations accordingly.

This session of the FTT bewould serve as an opportunity to survey key issues related to sustainability standards from various perspectives and with different stakeholders, discuss their potential effects, and identify ways to address the challenges and opportunities in the context of agricultural trade.

Topics for discussion would include:

  • The contribution of sustainability standards in economic, environmental and social outcomes (evidence on impacts and sustainable benefits, challenges and potential equity and efficiency trade-offs at the farm level; commodity and value chain coverage).
  • The evolution of, and the emerging trends in the trade of sustainability-certified agricultural products and consumer attitudes; challenges in the application of sustainability standards on global value chains (multiple safety/quality/sustainability standards’ regimes, public and private standards, and their potential impacts as non-tariff barriers).
  • Harmonizing sustainability standards and certification across countries to facilitate their application to agri-food global value chains and achieve significant sustainable development gains; the potential of blockchain technology to facilitate traceability of food products and trade of sustainability-certified food products.



(Thursday, 18 March 2021, 15:00 – 17:00 CEST | 10:00 – 12:00 EST)


15:00     Opening remarks by Mr. Boubaker Ben Belhassen, Director FAO Markets and Trade Division, Rome 


15:05.    Mr. George Rapsomanikis, Senior Economist, FAO

             “GVCs and Sustainability Certification: presentation of relevant analysis from The State of Agricultural 

              Commodity Markets”


15:15.    Dr. Jorge Saller, Senior Researchers, Center for Development Research (ZEF) Bonn

             “How sustainability standards impact smallholder farmers in the developing world?”


15:25     Mr. Peter Kettler, Senior Global Product Manager,    Coffee, Fairtrade International

             “Current market trends and coffee supply chain dynamics that impact participation in GVC’s”


15:35.    Ms. Elisabeth Tuerk, Director, Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, United Nations Economic

              Commission for Europe (UNECE) 

             “How standards, technologies and certification can advance responsible production  and consumption?”


15:45      Perspective by Member Countries

               Mr. Gong Xifeng, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of China to the WTO

              Ms. Rebecca Barton, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Australia to the WTO

              Ms. Michèle Däppen, Head of Unit Trade Relations, FOAG, Switzerland

             "Sustainability on Cross-Border Trade Relations. The Swiss Approach for Agriculture"


16:15     Interactive Discussion, Questions & Answers Session  

16:55     Concluding Remarks by Mr. Dominique Burgeon, Director FAO Liaison Office with the United Nation in Geneva


THe webcast of the FAO Geneva Agriculture Trade Talks is available here.  


Click here for the Speakers bio


Background Documents:

FAO Flagship Report - The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets 2020


For further information please contact Ahmad Mukhtar: [email protected] - Tel: 022 917 27 77