11 Jun 2018

WFO reminds the World’s Governments to apply a fair Approach to agricultural Trade


Rome, Italy, June 11, 2018 – The World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) today called on the Governments of the World to reconsider their trade tactics in a manner that could foster food security, address climate change issues and grant the viability of the agricultural sector worldwide. WFO says the world should disrupt existing trade practices that harm markets for the farmers and lead to food insecurity in food importing countries.

“International trade helps to even out supply and demand imbalances, thus contributing to food security, promoting resource use efficiency, and encouraging economic growth,” said Theo De Jager, President of WFO. It is also a way of providing farmers with increased market opportunities, thereby helping to improve farmers’ incomes and the prosperity of rural communities. Farmers and consumers alike rely on stable international trade, and therefore they cannot afford the disruption to the markets.

“Trade conflicts like trade wars, embargoes or sanctions often yield outcomes vastly different from what was intended, and globally farmers are amongst the first to suffer” said De Jager.

Dave Velde, Vice President of WFO and Chief Counsel and Vice President of International Relations for the U.S. National Farmers Union, added that it would be in the best interest of the global trade agenda to strengthen international trade standards.  “Farmers in particular would benefit from strong international standards and increased transparency. But we only reach those ends when they are mutually agreed upon at an international level”. Velde said, “International trade agreements should be coherent with other international commitments which have an impact on the agricultural sector, such as those aimed at reducing the instability of the food systems”.

The WFO guiding principles for international trade call for coherent international commitments, respect for domestic food and agriculture policy, improvement of food security in developing nations, and consultation with farmers’ organisations in the international decision-making arena.

“The international community wants fair and open markets for all goods,” Velde said. “These are shared goals that can be achieved through the development of consistent standards and mutual respect for one another.”
The WFO will support proactive, result-driven and transparent negotiating processes in which Governments provide impact assessment of the consequences of trade agreements for the agricultural sector and inform and consult their farmers throughout the negotiating process.

Find out more at www.wfo-oma.org/trade/policy-documents.html


About the World Farmers’ Organisation:

The World Farmers’ Organisation is a member-based organisation, bringing together national farmers’ organisations and agricultural cooperatives, from all over the world. Our aim is to strengthen the voice of food producers on the global scene, enhancing their relevance as economic, social and environmental actors. Currently, WFO represents approximately 1.5 billion farmers from 54 countries all over the world. WFO is the reference organisation representing the farmers’ community in the United Nations processes including, among others, the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development, the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

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Valeria Di Marzo 
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EMAIL valeria.dimarzo@wfo-oma.org