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Section E Cross-cutting issues

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    Section E Questions trans-sectorielles 2009
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    Dans cette section de ce kit outil, nous rendons disponible les ressources d’informations qui pourront assister les pays en voie de développement à renforcer les infrastructures nationales de gestion des produits chimiques, y compris les informations pouvant aider les pays pour l’évaluation des substances chimiques. Ce kit n’a pas pour objectif d’être une compilation compréhensive, mais simplement fournir un aperçu des informations disponibles. Il sera mis à jour et évoluera au fur et à me sure des expériences acquises au cours de la mise en oeuvre de la Convention et à mesure que d’autres sources d’informations seront identifiées. Les premiers utilisateurs visés par cette publication sont les Autorités Nationales Désignées (AND) et les autorités gouvernementales impliquées dans la gestion des produits chimiques.
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    Packaging in fresh produce supply chains in Southeast Asia 2011
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    Packaging is very often critical to the success or failure of horticultural supply chains. Improved packaging can greatly contribute to improving efficiency in supply chain management and can increase returns for producers and retailers while delivering top quality fresh produce to consumers. Bulk packaging of fresh produce in Southeast Asian countries ranges from traditional bamboo baskets and wooden crates to plastic crates and corrugated fibreboard boxes used for export. This publication docu ments the results of surveys commissioned by FAO in three countries – the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam – to provide comprehensive, up-to-date reviews on fresh produce packaging in the region’s supply chains. Information presented in the publication is based on field surveys, interviews with supply chain stakeholders and experts, and references from available sources. The information and recommendations provided in this publication are intended to stimulate action on measures to sustainabl y reduce losses and enhance marketability across fresh produce chains in the region through improved packaging practices.
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    Comparative Analysis of Organic and Non-Organic Farming Systems: A Critical Assessment of Farm Profitability 2009
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    Organic agriculture has triggered a controversial debate in the last decades, most importantly because it shed light on the darker sides of chemical-intensive conventional farming by offering an alternative. By now, there is a strong body of evidence showing that organic farming is more environmentally friendly: potential benefits from organic production arise from improved soil fertility, organic matter content and biological activity; better soil structure and reduced susceptibility to erosion; reduced pollution from nutrient leaching and pesticides; and improved plant and animal biodiversity (Kasperczyk and Knickel, 2006). As more and more attention has been put on determining whether organic systems are environmentally better or not, it is not clear whether organic agriculture could be economically attractive enough to trigger wide spread adoption. If organic farming offered a better environmental quality, and potentially healthier foods, but not sufficient econ omic returns to the majority of farmers, it would obviously remain a luxury way of food production available to a very tiny fraction of farmers. However, the continued growth of organically managed lands worldwide, especially in developing countries, does not support this hypothesis. The number of studies devoted to the question of how profitable organic agriculture is when compared to non-organic management is over hundred; however long-term studies analyzing the development of prof its in comparative studies are much less numerous. Regrettably, the geographical distribution of these studies is very much biased towards developed countries (mainly U.S.A) and certain cash crops (e.g. corn, soy, wheat). Still, a general trend can be identified when considering economic comparisons made in the last three decades. The aim of this paper is to analyze existing literature on the economic performance of organic versus conventional (defined as non-organic) farms, to determi ne the critical factors for success in the evaluation of organic agriculture in different socio-political settings, and to offer some critical insights into how comparative studies differ. Only studies using data from certified organic farms have been considered, covering a minimum of three years (for developed countries) after conversion and undertaken after 1980 (see Appendix). Due to the lack of availability of long-term economic studies in developing countries, the minimum length r equirement was not taken rigidly and studies covering one and two years have also been included from these countries. Studies evaluating yields and certain production costs, but not analyzing profits were not considered. Although an effort was made to compile as many available economic studies as possible, the list in the Appendix is not exhaustive.

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