Trade in processed food

Access to safe and nutritious food is essential for good health and is linked to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 2: Zero Hunger and SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being. Recognizing the pivotal role of access to adequate, safe, and nutritious food in achieving these goals highlights the critical interconnectedness between food access, health, and international development objectives.

To understand the complex environment around the question of health, food, and nutrient intake, UNCTAD paired with WHO to undertake the study on trade in healthy food.

The food supply chain, from origin to consumer, encompasses a complex journey involving harvest, farming, production, transportation, storage, processing, packaging, wholesaling, retailing, and eventual consumption. It also extends to international trade.

This technical paper aims to quantify and elucidate trends in the imports and exports of whole or unprocessed foods and more processed alternatives.

The primary objective of this work is to augment available information by creating a global dataset of bilateral food trade flows, building on UNCTAD’s expertise in the field.

This matrix will facilitate new analyses on processed food consumption, supporting the WHO and other entities in understanding and addressing nutrition-related diseases.

It serves as a valuable policy tool for member States, by contributing to a comprehensive understanding of food markets and nutritional access and informing nutrition-related trade policies.

Trade in processed food (UNCTAD/STAT/2023/4)
12 Jan 2024