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Monitoring the impact of trade agreements on national food environments: trade imports and population nutrition risks in Fiji

Ravuvu, Amerita, Friel, Sharon, Thow, Anne-Marie, Snowdon, Wendy and Wate, Jillian 2017, Monitoring the impact of trade agreements on national food environments: trade imports and population nutrition risks in Fiji, Globalization and health, vol. 13, pp. 1-17, doi: 10.1186/s12992-017-0257-1.

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Title Monitoring the impact of trade agreements on national food environments: trade imports and population nutrition risks in Fiji
Author(s) Ravuvu, Amerita
Friel, Sharon
Thow, Anne-Marie
Snowdon, Wendy
Wate, Jillian
Journal name Globalization and health
Volume number 13
Article ID 33
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-06-13
ISSN 1744-8603
Keyword(s) food environments
food imports
foreign investment
monitoring
trade agreements
commerce
diet
Fiji
food supply
meat
nutritive value
public health
science & technology
life sciences & biomedicine
public, environmental & occupational health
health
transition
diseases
Summary BACKGROUND: Trade agreements are increasingly recognised as playing an influential role in shaping national food environments and the availability and nutritional quality of the food supply. Global monitoring of food environments and trade policies can strengthen the evidence base for the impact of trade policy on nutrition, and support improved policy coherence. Using the INFORMAS trade monitoring protocol, we reviewed available food supply data to understand associations between Fiji's commitments under WTO trade agreements and food import volume trends.

METHODS: First, a desk review was conducted to map and record in one place Fiji's commitments to relevant existing trade agreements that have implications for Fiji's national food environment under the domains of the INFORMAS trade monitoring protocol. An excel database was developed to document the agreements and their provisions. The second aspect of the research focused on data extraction. We began with identifying food import volumes into Fiji by country of origin, with a particular focus on a select number of 'healthy and unhealthy' foods. We also developed a detailed listing of transnational food corporations currently operating in Fiji.

RESULTS: The study suggests that Fiji's WTO membership, in conjunction with associated economic and agricultural policy changes have contributed to increased availability of both healthy and less healthy imported foods. In systematically monitoring the import volume trends of these two categories of food, the study highlights an increase in healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grain refined cereals. The study also shows that there has been an increase in less healthy foods including fats and oils; meat; processed dairy products; energy-dense beverages; and processed and packaged foods.

CONCLUSION: By monitoring the trends of imported foods at country level from the perspective of trade agreements, we are able to develop appropriate and targeted interventions to improve diets and health. This would enable national health interventions to both identify areas of concern, and to ensure that interventions take into account the trade context.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12992-017-0257-1
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30109442

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.