Skip to main content
By on

Ensuring no one goes hungry on World Food Day.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), nearly 690 million people are hungry and the COVID-19 pandemic could potentially add a further 83 to 132 million people. What’s more, around 14 % of food produced is lost each year somewhere between farm to market. Yet much can be done to reduce these numbers and improve food distribution worldwide.

ISO has over 1 600 standards for the food production sector designed to create confidence in food products, improve agricultural methods and promote sustainable and ethical purchasing. They also cover a number of other areas including nutritional and safety testing, quality, packaging and traceability.

As we celebrate World Food Day, here are some standards to help put food on everyone’s table:

Empowering smallholder farmers

Family farmers manage some 75 % of the world’s agricultural land and produce a whopping 80 % of the world’s food, meaning we need to look after them and ensure they have fair conditions and a fair price. 

The ISO 34101 series of standards for sustainable and traceable cocoa beans is one example that can help. It provides a set of guidelines for environmentally sound agricultural practices, the enhanced traceability of cocoa beans, and for improving the social conditions and livelihoods of farmers and all those involved in the cocoa supply chain.

In addition, the International Workshop Agreement IWA 29Professional farmer organization – Guidelines, aims to build the professionalism of smallholder farmer organizations in emerging markets, enabling them to trade internationally.

Safety all the way

Keeping food safe at every step from farm to fork is essential to reduce hunger, illness and poverty. The ISO 22000 family of standards addresses food safety management by providing guidelines and best practice for managing risks in all areas of food production.

Within its broad scope, the ISO 22000 family includes standards specific to catering, food manufacturing, farming, packaging, and animal foodstuffs and feed production.

Have a heart

With standards for individual foodstuffs like ISO 20980, Artichokes – Specification and test methods, the quality and safety of food grown and traded around the world is assured. By providing specifications and test methods related to its appearance, quality, safe storage, packaging and transport, they make trade and traceability easier, improving conditions and business for everyone. They also help to encourage the entry of new crops and foodstuffs on the market by providing procedures and recommendations that everyone can understand.

ISO has hundreds of such standards, including those for fruits, vegetables, cereals, grains, meat, dairy products and more.

Safely stored

Poor storage of foodstuffs can generate significant losses, both in terms of quality and quantity, thus contributing to hunger and placing increased pressure on producers.

ISO 6322, Storage of cereals and pulses, is just one example of many ISO food-storage standards that provide the technical guidelines for correct and safe storage, preventing post-harvest loss and improving the quality at the same time.

better social conditions for agricultural workers

ISO 26000 for social responsibility and ISO 20400 for sustainable procurement encourage socially responsible behaviour and promote ethical conditions for agricultural workers and sustainable purchasing practices throughout the entire food production chain.

What’s more, technical specification ISO/TS 26030 – a food-sector application of ISO 26000 – plays a significant role in contributing to zero hunger and better nutrition worldwide.

All these standards, and more, can be purchased from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

Related information

  • Feeding the world
    Learn how ISO standards underpin the foundations of our most fundamental activity.
  • ISO 22000 — Food safety management
    Inspire confidence in your food products with this family of standards.
  • ISO and food
    ISO's solutions for ensuring quality and safety in the food industry are the subject of this brochure which provides a concise overview of International Standards available and how they can help.
  • SDG 2
    Zero Hunger
    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Contact

Clare Naden
Clare Naden

+41 22 749 0474

Standards

Press Contact


Journalist, blogger or editor?

Want to get the inside scoop on standards, or find out more about what we do? Get in touch with our team or check out our media kit

Keep up to date with ISO

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news, views and product information.