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96 PIPPA CHENEVIX TRENCH, CLARE NARROD, DEVESH ROY, AND MARITES TIONGCO Finally, international standards and trade restrictions play an increasingly


important role in food safety. Government activism on food safety, in response to pressure from consumer groups, is a double-edged sword: international sanitary and phytosanitary standards, while useful for enforcement in certain circumstances, have been used as a nontariff trade barrier to control imports from foreign sources, including developing countries.


Challenges for the Poor Food and water safety affects the livelihoods of poor producers and poor consumers through two major channels: (1) health and (2) market access. Poorly considered or rigid policies to improve food safety can perversely increase the vulnerability of both consumers and farmers to exposure from unsafe food or zoonoses. Delivery of safe food will ultimately require a combination of pull from markets and push from public health and regulatory bodies. The problems that arise from food and water safety concerns affect different actors in the value chain in different ways.


Challenges faced by smallholders: Safe food costs more to produce, process, and deliver than food that is not monitored. These costs could affect the poor in the least-developed countries asymmetrically, particularly where there are high fixed costs and especially when the costs are not matched with a commensurate premium for safer food. Studies on aggregate measures of costs of compliance have found the direct costs of compliance in developing countries are substantial in relation to the value of their exports. Against the relatively high costs of compliance, small-scale producers face four distinct problems.


• How to produce safe food: Studies consistently find it is medium and large produc- ers that can access resources to meet international food safety standards, such as cold storage facilities for meat and dairy produce and clean storage facilities for staples. The challenges for smallholders become more pronounced in the face of fast-changing regulatory regimes worldwide.


• How to be recognized as producing safe food: Small- and medium-scale producers have difficulties guaranteeing that the products they produce meet mandated standards due to a number of factors, including stringent requirements (and costs) of recognized standards, lack of capacity to accurately diagnose and certify safe foods, lack of alignment of incentives along the value chain in delivery of food safety, regulatory failures, and the cost of meeting certification requirements.


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