The theme of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization World Food Day, slated for November 2009, will be “Achieving Food Security in Times of Crisis.”

The FAO participates in 24 International Standards Organization  (ISO) technical committees developing standards that are codified as ISO 22,000. The ISO partners with the World Health Organization, the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures to implement regulatory practices.

The ISO is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards beginning its operations in 1947. It encompasses 162 countries with a central secretariat in Geneva. The ISO has issued more than 70,000 international standards encompassing agriculture, construction, manufacturing, distribution, transport, the environment, safety and communication technology.

The significance of ISO lies in a strong international base, and it is critical in harmonizing international trade. It is possible that the SQF system currently being implemented by the FMI will in the future be supplanted by ISO standards. Some egg producers have already complied with ISO standards and have attained certification in the category of environmental management.