The stability of food supplies in the Asia-Pacific region was a prominent issue during the 1980’s. There was a need for urgent attention to a wide range of agri-business development activities, such as improving storage and warehousing, grading and standardization, transportation, processing and conversion and preservation. This would require regional cooperation in educating the issues and factors involved to the various stakeholders within the market.
In response to this issue, FAO sponsored a regional Group Consultation on Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries for Food Marketing Systems Improvement. In addition, it was recommended by the group of governments and food marketing institutions of 12 countries and a representative from UNESCAP that a voluntary association of food marketing institutions should be established. As a result, the Association of Food and Agricultural Marketing Agencies in Asia and the Pacific (name of AFMA at that time) began to operate in 1983 using financial and technical support of the FAO, as well as contributions from governmental member agencies. In 2006, the Association of Food and Agricultural Marketing Agencies in Asia and the Pacific changed their name to the Agricultural and Food Marketing Association for Asia and the Pacific to relate to its new aim of being the association for all marketers instead of the association of only marketing agencies.
AFMA operates under membership contributions, its own activities and financial support from the international agencies.
Food Industry Asia (FIA) is a non-profit organisation that was formed in 2010 to enable major food manufacturers to speak with one voice on complex issues such as health & nutrition, food safety and the harmonisation of standards. From its base in Singapore, FIA seeks to enhance the industry's role as a trusted partner and collaborator in the development of science-based policy throughout Asia. To do so means acting as a knowledge hub for Asia’s national industry associations and affiliated groups to support with their engagement of public bodies and other stakeholders across the region.
The Asian Food Safety and Security Association (AFSA) is a voluntary, non-profit, professional organization established in 2010. The 5th annual general meeting of Bangladesh-Japan Association for Science and Technology (BJAST) at Dhaka in 2010 decided to establish the Asian Food Safety and Security Association (AFSA). Its main focus is to develop cooperation among its member countries in areas including food safety and security, to conduct research in the field, to help build the Asian Food Safety and Security Professional Network, to exchange views and ideas through seminars and conferences and to publish studies in academic journals with a special focus on the industry’s current trends and needs within Asia.