FAO Members Gateway

New partnership focuses on plant health as a key step towards food security

Both parties have pledged to improve global food security and sustainable agricultural production by protecting the environment


Rome – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), on behalf of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) has joined forces with the Comité de Liaison Europe-Afrique-Caraïbe-Pacifique (COLEACP), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing inclusive, sustainable trade in fruit, vegetables and food products. Under a new partnership agreement, both parties have pledged to improve global food security and sustainable agricultural production by protecting the environment from the impacts of plant pests and facilitating safe trade, development and economic growth.

COLEACP works through a network of companies, professional organizations and experts to strengthen the agri-food sector in 50 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. COLEACP helps to foster sustainable and inclusive development in the countries they work in by helping smallholders, farmer organizations and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) comply with sanitary and phytosanitary requirements which will allow them to access domestic, regional and international markets.

With an estimated 40% of food crops lost annually due to plant pests and diseases, guaranteeing plant health can contribute to ending hunger and boosting economic development. The private sector has a key role to play in helping to implement global plant health standards and promoting environmentally friendly products and practices for preventing and managing pests.

FAO and COLEACP will work to improve plant health at both national and global levels, working directly with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to protect local environments from the introduction and spread of plant pests, while also developing a suite of advocacy and educational materials, including e-learning courses for use by phytosanitary practitioners anywhere in the world.

Signing on behalf of FAO, Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol hailed the partnership as a continuation of the legacy of the International Year of Plant Health, which was led by FAO and concluded in July 2021. “Plant health is essential for environmental, animal, and human health. We look forward to working with COLEACP on strengthening phytosanitary systems and to support our aspirations of better production, better nutrition, better environment and a better life."

COLEACP also welcomed the collaboration. “We are very enthusiastic and committed this partnership with the IPPC Secretariat,” said Jeremy Knops, COLEACP General Delegate. “We are already seeing the fruits of our collaboration through the joint development of new distance-learning tools, as well our contribution to working groups and the translation of selected IPPC Guides.  From the perspective of COLEACP, we see that this is strengthening and upscaling the impact of our EU/OACPS-funded Fit For Market Sanitary and Phytosanitary (FFM SPS) Programme, enabling us to have a wider outreach among ACP countries and beyond, while at the same time ensuring that our new training offer is recognized to be fully aligned with the internationally agreed norms.”

For more information on FAO’s work with the private sector, please visit the CONNECT portal for private sector engagement.

Share this page