Agri-Food Business DayVirtual 08-09/12/2022
All youtube links to the various sessions of Agri-Food Business Day can be found below.
For Speakers' Bio-Book Click here
Video Highlights of Agri-Food Business Day
This year the Annual Symposium of the WTO Agriculture and Commodities Division (AGCD) will take the form of an Agri-Food Business Day, to be held virtually. The aim of Agri‑Food Business Day is to promote dialogue between WTO Members and the agri-food industry on topical issues in international trade in food and agricultural commodities, and the specific barriers to trade facing the industry across different geographic locations. Agri-Food Business Day will build on the recently convened WTO Global Supply Chains Forum.
International trade plays a vital role in ensuring global food security, and is essential to the fulfilment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the United Nations Secretary General stated at the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) on 23 September 2021, “Open, non‑discriminatory, transparent, rules-based trade is essential for building more inclusive and resilient food systems. Despite challenges to global supply chains, COVID-19 has shown the resilience of local and regional food systems.”
Agri-Food Business Day consists of five roundtables that have been carefully curated to ensure that all sectors of the agri-food industry, from across all geographical regions, are represented. The event will allow WTO Members from all regions, including small and medium-sized economies, vulnerable economies, and least-developed Members, to interact with chambers of commerce, industry representatives, and farmers.
The Secretariat-organized event is open to all WTO Members and Observers and the public and will be livestreamed on the WTO YouTube channel, with the possibility of viewers interacting with speakers. Agri-Food Business Day will be archived on the WTO website to allow for viewership past the event date.
The resilience of agricultural trade
International trade plays a crucial role in delivering food to consumers worldwide. It helps expand consumer choice, and plays a critical role in reducing food insecurity across the globe. According to conservative estimates, international trade feeds one in every six people around the globe. Over the past decade, international agricultural and food markets have witnessed a number of changes which have brought domestic and international markets closer together, expanding economic opportunities for all.
Since 1995, international trade in food and agriculture has more than doubled in real terms, rising to $1.5 trillion in 2018, in response to a more rules-based trading environment, falling tariffs, and reductions in trade-distorting producer support. Global agricultural production has also continued to increase, driven by rapid growth in a number of developing regions, in particular in Asia and South America.
Today Global Value Chains (GVCs) form an integral part of the international food and agricultural trade landscape, a trend that is expected to grow. Nevertheless, agri-food systems need to be made more resilient to shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and political turmoil. While these last few years have shown the agriculture sector’s surprising capacity to withstand shocks and stresses, the extended nature of current crises calls for a better understanding on how to promote its continued resiliency. The Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) State of the Food and Agriculture (SOFA) 2021, Making Agri-food Systems More Resilient to Shocks and Stresses, provides guidance on how governments can promote the resilience of their agri-food systems.
Given the critical role of international trade in ensuring global food security, and the role that it will increasingly be called upon to play in climate adaptation through just and equitable food redistribution across the globe, value chains need to be reinforced and made more resilient to crises as well as more environmentally sustainable. How then can international trade in food and agricultural commodities be further strengthened, and what are the obstacles that farmers and agri-food businesses see? This year's Agri-Food Business Day will seek to respond to this complex nexus of issues through the following five roundtables.
PROGRAM OF AGRI-FOOD BUSINESS DAY
Quotes from Agri-Food Executives
Jaine Chisholm Caunt, Director General
Grain and Feed Trade Association
The ability of international trade to keep agri-commodities flowing throughout the pandemic has been a testament to its vital role in enabling global food security. As the Director General Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala recently noted "Trade has been and will remain a critical means of adaptation to the mounting global shocks that the world is currently experiencing. This is not the time to retreat inward".
Valerie Picard, Deputy Director
Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation
Trade facilitation must be front and centre of international agri-food policy. Reducing the time and cost of trade through digitalisation and other proven techniques improves market access for small producers in particular, enhancing food security while minimising needless waste.
Rebecca Lee, Executive Director, Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada
International Federation of Produce Standards
Our sector relies on global supply chain standards in addition to science-based regulations to ensure that consumers worldwide can enjoy accessible, safe and nutritious fruits and vegetables. The WTO Agri-Food Business Day is a unique opportunity to showcase and increase understanding of the high level of integration of the fruit and vegetable sector, including the global interdependence of the supply chain, from the sourcing of inputs all the way to production and distribution.
Donald Moore, Executive Director
Global Dairy Platform
Global food security is of paramount importance and can only be ensured through a stable and resilient multilateral trading system. If we want children to have the milk they need to be healthy and to grow, our exporters and importers must have a functional trading system that prioritizes food.
Juliana Lopes, Chief Sustainability Officer
Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development
Brazil is a major contributor to food and climate security, with its agricultural sector representing 30% of the country's GDP. Amid growing consumer awareness, international entities are raising the bar for sustainability standards across agricultural value chains, with Brazil being a key player to watch in this space. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the agriculture trade and sustainability nexus at the WTO's Agri-Food Business Day.
Reg Clause, Chairman of the Board
Global Farmer Network
Throughout history, people have aspired to make their world a greater place. The Global Farmer Network, which unites farmers from 60 countries, aims to take these aspirations forward. To do so, it is imperative that farmers be included in all dialogues on markets and trade, in both global and regional platforms. We welcome the WTO's Agri-Food Business Day.
Lucy Muchoki, CEO
Pan African Agribusiness & Agroindustry Consortium
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a critical role in the African economy, as key contributors to job creation. For sustainable agricultural production in Africa, the participation of MSMEs in markets and international trade must be boosted and the challenges they face addressed. We welcome the opportunity to explore these issues in the WTO’s Agri-Food Business Day.
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