From January 16th to 18th, 2020, Theo De Jager, in his capacity of President of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO), attended the 12th Global Forum on Food and Agriculture (GFFA 2020) in Berlin, Germany.

On the first day, he joined the discussion on trade and sustainable development in agriculture, addressing the audience of the Expert Panel Discussion “Trade agreements for food security and sustainable development?”.
The event, organised by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) aimed to analyse the role played by trade and an integrated trading system to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner and ensure global food security.

Putting on the table the farmers’ needs and expectations, de Jager highlighted that farmers could benefit from open markets. Still, they need international trade standards to protect human, animal and plant life so that food security and sustainable development are not threatened. Farmers can experience fair competition and receive a fair share of value-added from global value chains.
He also noted that trade rules should permit domestic policy measures which promote stability of supplies, such as safety nets, orderly marketing and supply management.

The panellists who joined the debate included representatives of governments, multilateral and international organisations, research centres and academia, private sector entities: Thomas Cottier, Professor emeritus, World Trade Insitute, University of Berne, Switzerland;  Martina Fleckenstein, Global Policy Manager Food, WWF International; Martin Schüller, Referent for Development Policy, Standards & MEL, Fairtrade, Germany; Jürg Maurer, Deputy Head of Economic Policy Department, Migros, Schweiz.

On Saturday, January 18th, on behalf of the farming community worldwide, the WFO President seated at the table of the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference together with national delegations and international organisations.

Overall, this year GFFA was an excellent opportunity for networking with politics, industry, science and civil society on crucial agri-food policy issues, as well as capacity building.

Listen to Theo de Jager speaking out on behalf of farmers!