> African Development Report says Food Regulations Could Boost Exports to EU - The Food Safety Company African Development Report says Food Regulations Could Boost Exports to EU - The Food Safety Company
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    Friday, 16 December 2016

    African Development Report says Food Regulations Could Boost Exports to EU

    According to a paper presented earlier this month to the 11th African Economic Conference in Abuja, Nigeria, Africa’s agricultural exports to the European Union could experience a significant increase if different food standards regulations were adopted by African producers.

    Img source: Kate Holt/AusAID
    A report by the All Africa news website last week claimed that the paper’s author, Shingirirai Mashura (who teaches Economics at the University of Zimbabwe) believes that ‘African nations cannot witness genuine agro-allied industrialization unless they look beyond producing for local consumption.’ The initiative for this move, he suggested, has thus far come from Europe, through the introduction of the EU Zero Tolerance Policy in 2002 and the Harmonisation Policy in 2005. However, Mashura implied that it’s now time for African nations to take matters into their own hands by introducing more stringent food safety measures.

    Perhaps the way in which All Africa has framed the report makes it seem somewhat more patronising than it really is. In actual fact, Shingirirai’s paper was part of the wider context of the conference, which saw heavy emphasis put on the need for African nations to increase their agricultural output in order achieve ‘inclusive growth’ through ‘agro-allied industrialisation’, as TFC reports.

    Meanwhile, The East African reported on Ayodele Odusola’s claims that ‘the continent needs to change the way it viewed farming, and see it as a big-time business.’

    ‘It is not the kind of subsistence farming that you just produce for your own family. No! It is the type that you produce for the market,’ he claimed.  

    Critics, however, have painted this as being yet another example of third-world nations having to change their own norms and practices to suit Western-delineated lines; by virtue, fundamentally, of massive global inequality and the need to uphold national sovereignty through the avoidance of debt accumulation. As the report by All Africa pointed out, for example, the conference at which the paper was presented was ‘organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).’ In other words, its recommendations are underwritten by funding mainly from non-African (and arguably Westward-leaning) organisations.

    Whether there will be much resistance to such changes seems dubious. The facts of globalisation inevitably seem to be entailing greater international conformities of culture, language, politics and, now, food safety standards. Still, it seems certain that if Western powers were more willing to tolerate otherness in general, the building of awareness regarding such cases might not necessarily be so urgent. 


    James Stannard

    James has a Bachelor’s degree in History and wrote his dissertation on beef and protest. His heroes list ranges from Adele to Noam Chomsky: inspirations he’ll be invoking next year when he begins a Master’s degree in London.
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