Recent increases in the price of food and concerns over its availability and access to it have focused attention on overcoming problems related to the transport of agricultural food products. Rising transport costs
can account for up to two thirds of food prices. In addition, spoilage between farm and market as a result of inadequate transport, storage and processing render a large share of perishable food unusable, which is having a major impact on the poorer segment of communities in the region.
While food trades are increasingly complex and some countries have put in place advanced logistics solutions, the majority of the countries in Asia and the Pacific have yet to establish the infrastructure and institutional frameworks needed to ensure the efficient, seamless transport of foods from farm to market.
This document contains a preliminary investigation of the way transport and logistics impact the sustainable development of the food industry and identifies issues that need to be further addressed at the national and
regional levels. Delegations may wish to share their experiences and progress and discuss challenges concerning food transport and logistics. The Committee may also wish to propose further research that could be presented to the Forum of Asian Ministers of Transport in 2009 as the basis of a regional exchange of experiences to enhance the availability of and access to food through improved transport and logistics.