WP10: Improving transparency

WP10: Improving transparency and utility of trade-related information

Co-ordinator: The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)


  1. Information asymmetries relating to trade-related values evaluated for different actors in global value chains (GVCs) and implications for market access (e.g. relating to food safety, trade agreements, certification and labelling issues etc).
  2. Training and capacity building targeted at relevant GVC actors to develop practicable knowledge and associated policy from available data with view to improving market access; especially for MSMES.

Description of work and role of participants

Participation in international trade requires information on market requirements with respect to aspects of food safety, trade agreements, certification and labelling requirements. These vary considerably depending on country of origin, type of fish/ shellfish species and their source (aquaculture systems). For example there are guidelines and criteria adopted by EU, but major retailers in EU have their own certification requirements and there are multiple agencies providing certifications. Requirements need to be accessible and transparent to different food chain actors, e.g. hatchery operators, feed manufacturers, farmers, transporters, processors and traders. FAO is attempting to produce publications that improve access to information, but there is also a need to evaluate information accessibility and to study impacts on market access.

T10.1 Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and existing/ prospective Market Information Systems (MIS) review. For major food chains (T5.1), provide overview and analysis of the role of ICT and MIS as factors hindering / assisting market entry (standards/ certification, trade regulations, commodity trends indices etc). Scope and opportunities for ICT & MIS to improve understanding of market dynamics especially by upstream but also downstream channel members and potential for smoothing information asymmetry. This would include scope for more qualitative data to help to reduce limitations of aggregated statistics (which often have insufficient levels of micro intelligence for the market segments some producers might best serve). Activity will incorporate needs analysis of GVC stakeholders and associated interest groups, with emphasis on MSMEs. Principle methods; secondary literature, in-depth key informant surveys and systems reviews to evaluate type, form, quality, relevance, overlap/ redundancy and user-specific accessibility.

T10.2 Assess the critical points and channels of communication for food standards to end-user groups within the EU foodservice and retail sectors and their perceptions of values added. Identify the critical stages which determine dialogue within the foodservice and retailing sectors. Investigate the potentials for compromise between established standards and those set within different organisations according to internal strategic goals. Interviews with key buyers will explore the perceived importance of values added to products attaining critical standards.

T10.3 Capacity building for improved ICT/ MIS utilisation by targeted end-users, especially MSMEs. Appropriate systems identified and developed where necessary to meet needs of targeted end-users (T10.1 and T10.2) e.g. face to face training through regional workshops, relevant national training institutions (training of trainers) and distance learning approaches inc. e-mentoring processes etc. Constituencies for specific training activities contingent on scoping in prior activities (e.g. species, country, actor-type, scale of enterprise). This would involve not only partner countries, but also other countries in the region practicing aquaculture of the four major species in the project. EU partners, Asian country partners and as necessary sub-contractors with requisite skills will be involved as resource persons.

T10.4 Develop and integrate web-portals for dissemination of data accessibility advice targeting needs of strategic GVC stakeholders (T10.1) also inc. project recommendations, key partner and other secondary publications in this arena. Primary platform to be project website/wiki building linkage and integration to partner sites (i.e. FAO, SCA, InfoFish) and identified key external websites to ensure widest sustained impact. This activity will be closely integrated with WP12 (dissemination).


D10.1 (month 10) Report on overview of ICT/ MIS utility for targeted GVC end-users and recommendations for improved access to useful web-based information.

D10.2 (month 10) Report on critical points and channels of communications for standards end-users

D10.3 (month 36) Report on ICT/ MIS capacity building methods and outcomes for targeted end-users

D10.4 (month 36) Web development/ integrated portals implemented for improved advice on data accessibility for targeted end-users

Photo © Loni Hensler