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Report of the regional consultations on advancing end-to-end traceability in fish value chains

Virtual meetings, September 2021 to January 2022











FAO. 2022. Report of the regional consultations on advancing end-to-end traceability in fish value chains – Virtual meetings, September 2021 to January 2022. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Report No. 1378. Rome. 




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    The Guidance document: “Advancing end-to-end traceability along capture fisheries and aquaculture value chains” responds to a critical need for consensus towards establishing end-to-end traceability through globally agreed and standardized understanding of the critical tracking events (CTEs) along the fish value chain, as well as sources of key data elements (KDEs) related to fish production and product identification. In particular, the Guidance aims at developing insights and addressing gaps in developing and implementing traceability systems for both the private sector and government. Supported by deliberations through various consultations between 2021 and 2022, it also provides technical advice in the enforcement and adequate verification of traceability in fish value chains and seeks to act as a benchmark of existing traceability systems to evaluate their efficacy and identify associated gaps. The document addresses these objectives through the identification of CTEs and KDEs along the fish value chain (sections 3 and 4) and, where possible, the identification of supporting standards based on the standards and guidelines of the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST). It includes discussion and recommendation narrative (sections 5 and 6) whereby the overarching takeaways and advice is to: a) identify and define standardized KDEs and CTEs for commercial and regulatory traceability; and b) follow strict due diligence using a holistic and integrated approach involving all stakeholders at legal, commercial and operational level prior to commitment.
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    “Agrifood value chains of small and medium-sized producers in the Near East and North Africa region have the potential to generate more value through improved access to high-value markets. Limited logistics capacity in the region, coupled with lack of access to continuous cold chain, has resulted in weak supply chain management, high level of food loss, lack of compliance with food quality and safety standards; information asymmetries; and unfair value distribution, affecting income and livelihood of small and medium-sized producers. Improving traceability and transparency along the agrifood value chains can help building consumers' trust by better tracking the origin of food, identifying, detecting and mitigating the impact of food safety and quality issues in a timely manner and enhancing price visibility and information sharing on value distribution in each stage of the value chain. Digital technologies can play an important role in enhancing traceability and transparency by ensuring the collection of comprehensive, consistent and reliable data along the supply chain, real-time tracking, easy aggregation, integration, analysis and sharing of data. Despite the recognition of game changing potential, few studies have analysed the feasibility of application of these technologies to improve traceability and transparency of value chains, from farm-gate to market, in the region. To fill this gap in knowledge, this study was conducted to understand the digital landscape in the region, examine barriers and incentives for uptake of these technologies and to propose solutions that can improve the adoption rate and sustainability of digital technologies for small and medium-sized producers.”
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