Committees

Approach to trade policy

Gafta's policy is to ensure free, open and predictable trade and to achieve a market and regulatory environment that supports our members interests and avoids disruption to the flow of goods. With a long history since 1878, Gafta is well known to international organisations and with its observer status provides for effective and timely representation in many international fora including WTO; FAO; IPPC, Codex, UNCTAD and other UN agencies and to engage in dialogue with governments worldwide. Our main aim is to promote free trade of agricultural commodities and to encourage open, predictable trade environment to avoid trade disruption and to promote international standards based on sound science to facilitate trade; to raise awareness on the instrumental role played by the international trade in transporting safe, sustainable, nutritious and affordable food and feed from areas of surplus to areas of deficit to feed a growing world population and ensure global food security. With a global membership in over 90 countries and growing, Gafta is well placed to access information and to develop effective and timely policy positions and successfully influencing outcomes.

Global Trade Policy Committee (GTPC)
Gafta's Global Trade Policy Committee has 17 representatives from 9 regions of the world and meets virtually four times a year, to consider international trade policy matters relating to Gafta's work on a global level. GTPC formally approves all Gafta policy positions and reports to Gafta Council.

The aim of the committee is:

  • to identify and prioritise market access and phytosanitary issues in real time which are potentially trade disruptive and which are to be reviewed quarterly by the committee and in collaboration with regional and local associations to promote trade facilitation,
  • to promote the use of international standards where they exist ie Codex, ISO (UN FAO, WTO; IPPC, Codex, ..) and support sound science-based policy decisions in all fields which takes a risk-based approach to regulatory decision making on food and feed safety to ensure supply of safe, sustainable and nutritious food and feed materials globally.
  • to act as an information exchange on market access issues notifying the global membership and give technical advice to the wider membership;
  • to provide an advisory role raising awareness on current trade issues globally, provide alignment around Gafta policy and technical standards and to amplify advocacy opportunity at regional and international levels to voice concerns with Gafta's global remit.
  • to assist in shaping Gafta positions on agreed policies together with advocacy strategies and to keep under review all association policy statements to ensure they are aligned with other international associations eg IGTC and IAFN.

The Trade Policy department collaborates with many associations at international and regional level and this committee will also contribute to inputting Gafta's international perspective in various stakeholder groups including international associations such as IGTC and IAFN, to strengthen cooperation across the supply chain.

Gafta's internal committees (China, Black Sea, Ukraine, UK, South East Asia Pacific) all report policy issues to GTPC and contractual issues to Gafta's International Contracts Committee (ICC) for consideration, which are in turn reported to Gafta Council.

International Pulses Committee
The International Pulses Committee has 18 members representing the international pulses trade which meets once a year during the Global Pulses Convention.

The aim of the committee is to consider aspects relating to trade and market access and contractual issues with regard to peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas, coloured beans and pulses and to make representation to the relevant international authorities.

Regional committees

The Black Sea committee has 10 representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. The main issues include import and export trends, contract terms and problems, arbitration matters, transportation, training courses.

The China Trade Committee has 14 representatives and meets twice a year. It aims to consider all matters relating to the Chinese grain and feed trade, to discuss matters of common concern, to promote the exchange of information and to discuss issues of common concern. The main issues include import and export trends, contract terms and problems, arbitration matters, transportation, training courses.

The South East Asia and Pacific Committee has 13 representatives and meets virtually to address the specific trade needs of the South East Asia Pacific region. The main issues include import and export trends, contract terms and problems, arbitration matters, transportation, training courses. The committee raises and discusses trade policy matters effecting the region, and passes recommendations and requests up to the Global Trade Policy Committee.

The Ukraine Trade committee has 10 representatives and meets three times a year. It aims to consider all matters relating to Ukrainian grain market development, including production and export aimimg at the free trade inviroment, discussing the matters of common concern and promoting the exchange of information; to agree common positions based on free trade and sound science and make representation to the Ukrainian authorities. The main issues include import and export trends, contract terms and problems, arbitration matters, transportation, training courses.

The UK Trade Committee has 17 members representatives involved in importing and exporting agricultural commodities from UK and Northern Ireland. It aims to deal with all matters pertaining to UK grain exports, imports, Trade agreements, relevant contractual legislation, customs and phyto issues in the raw materials supply chain. This committee meets twice a year and virtually on an ad hoc basis. It develops policy positions, advocacy strategies and makes representation to UK regulatory authorities.

Ad hoc working groups include UK Malting Barley Working Group, UK Tariffs group, UK phytosanitary working group.
The UK malting barley working group decides the test method and testing time for germination of malting barley as required by UK contracts. It also considers quality trials and recommendations by NIAB and to consider contractual and legitimate matters affecting malting barley, and provides these decisions and recommendations to the UK Trade Committee. The UK tariffs and phytosanitary working groups are examining trade issues in relation to EU exit.