SLI-Report 2006:1

Food Safety – Barrier or possibility for developing country exports? Example: Fish and seafood

Authors: Lena Fredriksson 

The importance of food exports for the economic growth of developing countries is an area that has attracted attention in recent years. Especially in connection to the negotiations of more extensive trade agreements, i.e. in the WTO, where the issue has occupied a central role in the negotiations. In this context, the impact of food safety measures and standards on the exports of developing countries has gained an importance and has attracted an increased interest.

It has often been claimed that industrialized countries make use of such standards for protectionist purposes. Despite the motives of introducing food safety measures, the effects on developing countries can be both positive and negative. The different conditions in developing countries and the complexity of standards make it difficult to draw any general conclusions based on a quantitative analysis. Therefore, case studies have constituted the most important source of information on how developing countries are affected by different food safety measures in the global food trade. By comparing several case studies, it may be possible to identify general factors of importance to developing countries wishing to export high value food to industrialized markets.

This paper presents a new case study on Moroccan fish- and seafood exports. The results of this study are then compared to previous case studies from other seafood exporting developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America in order to give a more global picture of how developing countries are affected by food safety standards.


Lena Fredriksson