Mr. Chairman,
Mr. Secretary,
Distinguished AMIS delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

After a few turbulent years and multiple crises, we are proud to welcome you again in Geneva.

It's a real pleasure to host the first in-person meeting of the AMIS Global Food Market Information Group(1) since the outbreak of COVID-19.  Let me extend my greetings to the wider AMIS community who is also on the call today to follow these proceedings.

I'm very happy to recognize many familiar faces, not only from my days as former Director of the WTO Agriculture and Commodities Division, but also from my engagement in the agriculture, trade, research and investment portfolios in some of the international organizations that are represented today.

Let me start by highlighting that, for the last 11 years, AMIS has been instrumental in bringing together governments, international organizations, and the private sector, always championing market transparency and policy coordination to effectively counter instances of extreme food price volatility.

In doing so, the purpose of AMIS has always been clear:

  • Market and trade disruptions affecting food security crops must be anticipated and minimized.
  • And this can only happen if accurate market outlooks are regularly and publicly disseminated to inform policy decisions.

Unsurprisingly therefore, on 17 June, 164 Trade Ministers identified AMIS as an important WTO partner.(2)

This fact alone underscores the emergence of AMIS as a globally recognized collaboration and transparency platform.

AMIS must now consolidate its success.

In fact, expectations are running high.

Increasingly, AMIS is facing calls to extend the scope of its work and activities to areas of critical relevance to mounting global food insecurity.

For these reasons, the rich agenda we have before us today will help us in two ways.  First, it will help us explore many of the trends, challenges and opportunities facing international grain and oilseed trade. Importantly, it may also help us respond to some of these new expectations.

Allow me to briefly pick up on one cross-cutting theme, which is the need to enhance the quality of the information released by AMIS.

The availability, quality, and timeliness of country submissions remains key to building accurate supply and demand balances for vitally important food security crops.    

Access to relevant market and price monitoring systems promotes efficient production, pricing, and marketing decisions. It also allows all supply chain participants to move ahead more confidently.

AMIS stakeholders also rely on such information, including the WTO. 

As you may be aware, the 17 June 2022 Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency Response to Food Insecurity encourages WTO-consistent releases of available surplus stocks on international markets. 

Given the central importance of data on production, consumption, trade, stocks, the agenda will give us ample opportunity to “go back to the basics” and explore ways to strengthen data quality and accuracy. 

And yet, for some time now, a few G20 governments have stopped publishing their trade statistics.

This is regrettable.

Trade statistics constitute the “staple food” of many of the international organizations that are currently supporting AMIS, including FAO, IFPRI, IGC, OECD, UNCTAD, the World Bank Group, and the WTO.

The lack of trade statistics from customs authorities also requires AMIS participants to turn to less than perfect alternative estimation methods to construct supply and demand balances, sometimes with mixed results. 

Finally, multiple and overlapping uncertainties, ranging from economic recession, turmoil in financial markets, extreme climatic conditions, geopolitical conflict, soaring food, energy and input prices, market and supply chain disruptions, as well as trade distorting policies, have all affected agricultural markets. As they unfolded, these dynamic forces also had a bearing on expectations as to what might possibly constitute the future work of AMIS.

I am convinced that this 22nd session of the Global Food Market Information Group will contribute to deepen our understanding of the challenges and opportunities the AMIS initiative is currently facing as it seeks to deliver the best possible response to these new expectations.

Our continued commitment to AMIS may thus require us to work on many fronts in the future. So, I'm particularly looking forward to the outcome of today's conversation regarding:

  • any planned new initiatives, including dedicated webinar series;
  • ways to expand the analytical and modelling capacity of the AMIS initiative;
  • as well as efforts to build bridges with the business community, as many of you just did this week during the Global Grain Geneva Conference.

On this last point, you may also wish to join us during WTO's Agri-Food Business Days on 8-9 December.

This will be a unique opportunity to sound out the agri-food business community, farm leaders, and several grain, feed, and fertilizer associations, on the obstacles to trade, with a focus on the resilience of global agricultural value chains; food standards; trade facilitation, digitalization, e-commerce; as well as environmental sustainability.

In my view, however, the most distinctive feature of AMIS remains its contribution to transparency, and our collective efforts to collect and disseminate high quality market and policy information.

To conclude, I would like to thank you all for your renewed engagement and dedication to AMIS. 

I wish you a very fruitful session.

Thank you.


  1. The Global Food Market Information Group consists of technical representatives from AMIS participating countries. It is responsible for providing data regarding the supply and demand position and short term outlooks and prices for all AMIS crops (wheat, rice, maize, soybeans). back to text
  2. See MC12 Ministerial Declaration on the Emergency Response to Food Insecurity back to text




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