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OMC symposium - Septembre, 30 2009

REGULATING AGRICULTURAL MARKETS: A NECESSITY MADE CLEAR BY CRISES

Julie Flament, 7 September 2009

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

The crises (food, financial, economic, and environmental) that we are currently experiencing all plead in favour of new governance in agriculture and the exchange of agri-food products. Moreover, in these times of intense reflections on the establishment of regulations in numerous economic sectors, in particular the banking sector, the need to establish new solutions for trade in the agri-foods sector is becoming increasingly clear.

This observation, based on the point of view of agricultural producers and researchers from various continents, tends to provide an answer to the following questions::

- How should international rules be established in order to develop local and regional agriculture production and food markets, reducing the dependence on, and negative impact of, the volatile world markets?

- Is the use of regulatory and security instruments compatible with the directions of the Agreement on Agriculture and the terms and conditions currently being negotiated?

- Wouldn’t everyone’s food security be better assured through a multilateral governance process that recognizes market power imbalance in the agri-food chain (farmers, agribusiness, supermarket distribution, etc.)?

- Shouldn’t the regulation of the agricultural and food markets crucial to ensuring access to food rest on the establishment of a hierarchy of international treaties and agreements reflecting the primacy of human rights, in particular the right to food?

The reorientation of the agricultural agenda to a renewed and reengineered cooperation would give new meaning to multilateralism, more in line with the right to food and food sovereignty. The goal is not to minimize the importance of trade but to create trade rules that are compatible with people’s right to food and countries’ right to exercise their food sovereignty. In return, countries must increase their coordination of the regulation of international agricultural markets.

The following panel will participate to this event, the 30th of september, from 9.00 to 11.00, room W

• Altemir Tortelli, General Secretary of FETRAF, Brasil

• Ndiogou Fall, President of ROPPA, Senegal (West Africa)

• Michel Jacquot, lawyer, France (Canada)

• Olivier de Schutter, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food

• Jacques Carles, General delegate of Momagri , France.

• Philip Kiriro, President of EAFF, Kenya (East Africa)

• Estrella Penunia, General secretary of AFA, Philippines (East Asia)

The regulator will be Alex Danau, CSA, Belgium

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