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"Food stocks, strategic reserves and supply management: which tools for agricultural policy to manage price levels and volatility?" Rome, FAO, Iran Room, Monday 20 of April 2009, 12:30 h - 14:30 h

A side event in the context of the 67th session of the FAO Committee on Commodity Problems

Daniel Van Der Steen, 10 April 2009
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It is urgent to ask the actors of the global agricultural governance that the actual crisis need more regulation of agricultural mrakets and a reinforcement of the supply management. It is wall will do some agricultural producers / peasants and NGOs in the context of the 67th session of the FAO Committee on Commodity Problems.

The 2009 FAO Committee on Commodity Problems

The Committee on Commodity Problems will gather from 20 to 22 of April 2009. The CSA - Collective for Food Strategies (Brussels), in collaboration with International Agriculture and Trade Policies - IATP (Minneapolis), the African networks of farmers organizations (ROPPA, EAFF, PROPAC) and Canadian Dairy Poultry and Eggs Producers (SM-5) will organize a side event during the Committee.

The 67th Session of the FAO Committee on Commodity Problems will start on Monday the 20th of April and will end on Wednesday the 22nd of April in the mrning withe the asoptin of the Report.

It is the second side event at the Committee on Commodity Problems that is organized by the CSA and some of his partners. The information about the 2007 edition is available on the CSA website:
http://www.csa-be.org/spip.php ?article116.

At the agenda, we have the following thematic points:
- the assessment of the current situation and the perspectives for the future, with a focus on the recent events that contributes to the 2007-08 food prices crisis. So the implications of developments in biofuel markets on for food security will be examined;
- the policy developments affecting agricultural commodity markets and trade, with a focus on the Multilateral trade negotiations in the WTO, the policy responses to agricultural price variability and the macroeconomic consequences and management of wide international commodity price movements;
- the international action on agricultural commodities, on the base of the reports received from the various intergovernmental commodity groups and of the report on product and market development activities including those undertaken in collaboration with the Common Fund for Commodities.

Practical information to participate at the 2009 Committee on Commodity Problems
To participate at the 2009 Committee on Commodity Problems as observer (the case of representatives of NGOsn Farmers’ organizations and CSOs), you need to be registerd by the FAO. You should introsuce a demand at the Secretary of the Committee on Commodity Problems, Mr David Hallam, at the following address : David.Hallam@fao.org and give your contact information (the same than the ones you should send me if you want participate at the preparatory Sunday’s meetings (see after).

The Side event onMonday the 20th of April 2009

The title of the Side event of Monday the 20th of April 2009 is « Food stocks, strategic reserves and supply management: which tools for agricultural policy to manage price levels and volatility? »
It is organized by CSA (Collective for Food Strategies), Brussels, in collaboration with International Agriculture and Trade Policies - IATP (Minneapolis), the African networks of farmers organizations (ROPPA, EAFF, PROPAC) and Canadian Dairy Poultry and Eggs Producers (SM-5).
It will happen on Monday the 20th of April 2009, from 12:30 h to 14:30 h, Headquarter of FAO, Iran Room.

The subject addressed during the Side event onMonday the 20th of April 2009
A few months after the outbreak of a food crisis of exceptional scope due to the sudden rise of world agricultural commodity prices, and as the worsening world economic crisis creates new threats to the poorest people’s access to food, the international community is wondering what to do. Discussions on the need to reform the global governance of agriculture and food continue almost non-stop at various levels, but governments are still not taking decisions.
The crisis throws into question recent policy decisions, such as those that abolished the agricultural policy tools and programs that established floor prices for producers and food stocks.
Overall, the crisis has impoverished farmers rather than increased their incomes. The increasing volatility of commodity prices (and volatile prices for farm inputs) on international and regional markets is pushing many policy-makers to consider tools that could stabilize the situation as much for producers as consumers. The crisis is also leading some decision-makers to wonder whether the direction of the Doha negotiations is appropriate given the emerging new understanding of how agriculture and food should be supported in the global economy.

The main question
A few months after the outbreak of a food crisis of exceptional scope due to the sudden rise of
What is required for the possible establishment of food reserves, supply management and other measures aimed at mitigating the impacts of food prices volatility.

The specific questions

In particular, the following questions will be addressed:

- At which level is it useful to implement stocking measures? At the local, national, regional and/or international level?
- What should be the objectives of these stocks? To guarantee food security? To regulate and manage supply? How can this multifunctional tool best be managed?
- What is the cost of maintaining food stocks? Is it prohibitive? How can costs be shared?
- What international support do countries / regions that move in this direction need? Is there a contradiction between these initiatives and some rules (written or not) that currently govern world food markets?
- How can this international support be developed? What role for the FAO? What role for the « task force » on the world food crisis? What role for the G8, the G20, the World Bank and others?

A preparatory meeting for the Civil society organizations that will participatt to the 2009 Committee on Commodity Problems or to the Side event

On Sunday 19 April, the day before the Committee on Commodity Problems and the Side event, will take place a meeting at the FAO to prepare the side event (by the organizers and speakers) and the participation of the Civil Society representatives to the Committee on Commodity Problems (for all intersted Civil society representatives).
The meeting will be held in the FAO buildings, from 15:00 h to 17:00 h.
As the meeting will happen in the FAO’s building, what raises the problem of access to the building on a Sunday, it is necessary to register and to send me your contact information, that will b e transmitted to the FAO to permit you to enter the building.
This information needs to be send before the Thursday 16th of April at noon (absolute death line) at the following address: daniel.vandersteen@csa-be.org

The information to provide is the following :
Family Name, First Name
Organization and its location (city)
The international Organization from which you or your organization are members
Private address (home)
Personal phone (fix and mobile) and from the organization
E-mail

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