Declaration and summary
Agriculture Minsters issued a joint declaration at the conclusion of their meeting at OECD. The co-chairs also provided a comprehensive summary of the discussions and outcomes of the meeting.
Below you can find individual statements by agriculture ministers from different participants:
On December 10, 2015 Mr. Mauricio Macri took office as President of Argentina. The 3 main components of this new administration were made clear from the very begining: drug trafficking combat, the union of the Argentine people, and zero poverty. These policies are accompanied by a new vision of the world, which does not pose a threat to Argentina but, on the contrary, is a great opportunity to strengthen bonds with historical and new partners.
This new stage of international insertion is based on: (i) a mature, open and transparent dialogue, (ii) the full use of the potential and opportunities that the world gives us, and (iii) the rebuilding of confidence and stability in our relations with other countries and international organizations. We pursue new and deeper integration among nations based on three cornerstones:
- The promotion of international cooperation. Argentina has a great track record in South-South and triangular cooperation, particularly in the agro-industrial sector. Our commitment to cooperation aims to share knowledge and technology with other countries in pursuit of food security.
- Supply of safe and quality food produced sustainably: Argentina has the capabilities to respond to the new challenges that the world presents to us in terms of food. To this end, we have adopted a wide range of measures allowing producers to recover their competitiveness, accompanied by the promotion of technological innovation, new technologies, value addition at origin, and an ambitious infrastructure plan (especially concerning routes, roads, storage, transportation, etc.).
We produce food for 441 million people and, by 2020, we will be able to do so for 632 million. This increase needs to be achieved respecting the sustainability pillars related to economic, social and environmental viability.
Food supply is increased according to our tradition of suppliers of safe and quality food, making products that meet the most demanding standards available to local and international consumers.
- The promotion of international trade. To expand our insertion in foreign markets, fairer and more open international trade is essential and, to this end, it is fundamental that current WTO rules on agriculture be revised. Our commitment is not limited to this negotiation. We reiterate our decision to comply with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are fundamental to the achievement of food security as well as economic, social and environmental progress.
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
As Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, I understand the importance of policies to ensure all farmers are productive, sustainable and resilient. The best way to achieve this aim is to make sure we have the settings right to allow our farmers to contribute to their community, to trade domestically and internationally and contribute to our nations’ wealth.
This is a challenge all agriculture ministers share as we strive to create even greater prosperity in our rural sectors.
Food security is a global issue and critically important to us all. Achieving food security for a global population of more than nine billion by 2050 will require a concerted and joint effort from us all. One country exporting alone won’t solve the problems.
And we recognise that within every challenge lies opportunity—for our nations, farmers and rural communities.
Australia believes in free, transparent and open trade that is rules based and works through fora like the OECD to build an evidence base to solve problems, to promote collaboration and cooperation on important issues like trade, productivity and food security. Australia also recognises that farming is an essential but risky business and governments should be ensuring farmers have access to the tools they need to be resilient in the face of change.
As policy makers we need to create the right environment for our farm businesses to prosper—by boosting agricultural productivity through targeted research, development and adoption and through maintaining our productive base through appropriate biosecurity measures. All this while also encouraging private investment in the sector.
By better enabling trade we can help farm businesses of all sizes and in all locations sell their produce to the area of greatest need at the best price.
As we work together to meet this challenge, governments can and should build on their common interests for the global good.
With the right policies, grounded on evidence and expert analysis, we can create rural prosperity and global food security. Australia greatly appreciates the OECD’s important and active role in this ongoing effort and wishes you all the best in progressing this meeting’s theme Better Policies to Achieve a Productive, Sustainable and Resilient Global Food System.
BIAC Statement to Meeting of OECD Committee for Agriculture at Ministerial Level
7-8 April 2016, Paris
In contribution to discussions by Ministers on 7-8 April, this statement synthesizes business priorities for future OECD activities on the global food system. Drawing on recent BIAC papers, this statement focuses on the key pillars of trade, innovation, green growth, and nutrition.
- Deepen the OECD’s evaluation and measurement activities of agricultural policies – including in emerging markets. Particular attention should be paid to those economies where higher levels of agricultural support are being provided and trade-distorting support measures are being adopted.
- Examine the political economy of reform surrounding policymakers’ actions on trade and agricultural policies. This analysis should examine the correspondence between international trade and achieving national food security goals.
- Provide analysis and promote frameworks that support international regulatory cooperation. This becomes more important as the spread of bilateral and regional trade agreements, with their differing regulatory requirements, threaten to make international trade more challenging.
- Undertake detailed analysis on the costs and benefits of new technologies for agriculture.
- Analyze the impacts of measures for the protection of intellectual property on agricultural innovation and productivity.
- Enhance the enabling conditions for increased private investment for innovation in the agri-food chain, by undertaking further OECD work on opportunities for efficiency improvements in the agri-food sector, promotion of intellectual property rights, and the benefits of trade and investment liberalization.
- Improve public perception of innovation, by undertaking further OECD work that defends a science-based regulatory approach and strengthens the communications of OECD findings.
- Promote cooperation with the private sector to seize innovation opportunities.
- Deepen OECD work on the enabling conditions for green growth in the agri-food chain, with focus on private sector-led and collaborative investment and innovation initiatives, as well as public-private partnerships.
- Promote greater awareness-raising and knowledge sharing throughout the agri-food chain, particularly measures for training and extension services for farmers.
- Examine ways in which industry-led voluntary and collaborative programs can help to encourage an accelerated adoption of green growth innovations.
- Continue to generate data, share good policy practices, and encourage international cooperation with the private sector.
- Foster close cooperation between the OECD Committees for Agriculture and Health, as well as other OECD bodies dealing with nutrition-related issues.
- Improve the evidence base through a systematic and internationally-consistent process to determine appropriate policy responses to support healthy diets and lifestyles.
- Encourage the development of policies that take a holistic approach to food, food chains, and diets.
- Examine the linkages between consumer behaviour, sustainability, and nutrition.
- Encourage policies that enable multi-sector initiatives to support healthy diets and lifestyles, by recognizing the role of businesses as an indispensable partner for change.
BIAC (2016) “Nutrition: BIAC Considerations for OECD Work”
BIAC (2015) “Innovation in the Agri-Food Chain: BIAC Priorities for the OECD”
BIAC (2014) “Trade and Agriculture: BIAC Priorities for the OECD”
BIAC (2013) “Green Growth in the Agro-food Chain: What Role for the Private Sector?”
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the OECD Agricultural Ministers Meeting. The global agricultural community must work together to build a sustainable, productive and resilient food system. Agricultural sustainability is a key priority for the Government of Canada.
Canadian farmers and food processors are leaders in producing high-quality food sustainably. Our farmers are reducing their environmental footprint through practices like no-till, which captures carbon in the soil. Through precision farming, they are targeting their inputs, helping both the environment and the bottom line. The Canadian beef industry has reduced its environmental footprint by 15 per cent over the past three decades, while increasing production by over 30 per cent through enhanced production and feed efficiencies, crop yields and management practices. As well, our farmers and processors are delivering on customers’ demand for traceability and animal welfare. Canada is proud to share these innovative practices with our global neighbours.
Science is a critical tool in helping the world’s farmers feed the world sustainably. In fact, investments in science and innovation are the foundation of Canada’s success in agriculture. Canadian scientists at Agriculture and Agriculture-Food Canada are developing crops that can resist pests and disease to help farmers safeguard the environment, save on input costs, and boost production. Building on this great work, the Government of Canada has committed to investing in agricultural science and innovation.
As a world leader in agriculture, the Government of Canada is pursuing ambitious policies and processes that will strengthen market access and international trade, using science-based approaches that will ensure a high-quality and safe food supply for a growing global population, while creating more jobs in the agri-food sector. The Government has a strong innovation agenda, including agriculture. Investments in the recent federal budget in agricultural research, innovation and science infrastructure will help Canadian farmers continue to create jobs and growth and feed the world.
The OECD has been an important organization in favour of open markets and freer trade. Increased market liberalization and a rules-based trading system facilitate better access to food worldwide and result in greater price stability, improving incomes, economic well-being, and food security for increasing global populations, including Canadians.
I look forward to exploring solutions to the challenges and opportunities in feeding a growing global population, while protecting natural resources and supporting sustainable agricultural practices.
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Government of Chile
Ministerial Meeting, Committee of Agriculture, OCDE
April 7-8, 2016
There is no doubt that our sector is facing global changes which have been entailing to shift the policy paradigm from a new point of view. Increasing demand for more and better food implies high levels of requirements that are compelling us to look at our sector from the demand perspective and not only from the supply side. We have to produce more, better and longer.
This implies the integration of primary production into global food supply chains where characteristics of functionality, differentiation, quality and safety become touchstones allowing to reach down the supply chain from the consumer towards the food producer. Consumption patterns are evolving very fast, requirements for quality products and processes are increasing more and more, being the reason why we have been working very hard to permanently elevate our already high sanitary, phytosanitary, quality and safety standards.
Nonetheless, we are conscious that intangible attributes contributing to higher value of production (such as labor conditions, environmental impacts or cultural identity) have become increasingly weighty in the differentiation and competitiveness of agricultural products. Additional to these market conditions, we also have to cope with limited natural resources (especially water that we have to share with other productive sectors), multiple uncertainties resulting from climate change and declining commodity prices. All these global changes obviously consist in a big challenge for our farmers. Although we also see it as a great opportunity for our sector to produce differently. Our main focus today is to work towards a competitive agriculture based on environmental and social sustainability.
However we are aware that all these changes become a barrier to remain competitive. These barriers are obviously much harder to be overcome by family farming rather than by big export companies. Our main challenge is how to get the right policy mix that would allow generating suitable opportunities for farmers – including smallholders, women and indigenous communities – to contribute to the process of building an even more sustainable, productive and resilient global food system.
Finally, producing more and better is not sufficient to reach food security at global level. Well-functioning and competitive national and international markets, which allow to get food from producing to consuming places at lowest transaction costs, are essential. We encourage OECD to support our countries to enable further integration of the sector into the multilateral trading system, focusing on facilitating trade, investment and regulatory cooperation as a motor for agricultural development.
Carlos Furche Guajardo
Meeting of the OECD Committee for Agriculture at Ministerial Level
Better Policies to achieve a Productive, Sustainable and Resilient Global Food System
OECD Conference Centre, Paris, 7-8 April 2016
The Czech Republic wishes to draw attention to the current threats and promote relevant problem-solving efforts. All countries of the world should act responsibly and adapt their agricultural policies to the growing population of the planet Earth. Currently, one billion people worldwide suffer from hunger and the population growth forecasts estimate that by 2050 the world will be having to feed around ten billion people. Agricultural policy must offer efficient solutions to this problem and react properly to climate changes and environmental degradation. The ever growing pressure on food production, soil deterioration, reduction of the acreage of the arable land and loss of natural habitats have resulted, on one hand, in decreasing biodiversity and, on the other hand, in increasing greenhouse gas production. In the coming years, these adverse effects will become stronger and we must stand ready to face them. It is positive that we managed, at a meeting in Paris, to reach a historic agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Now, it´s time to turn our words into action and enforce the agreement worldwide.
The EU is currently facing increased migratory pressures, partially caused by the lack of water and food. The developed countries should provide more support to the developing world to facilitate distribution of water and food. Many developing countries have good conditions for their own agricultural production, but for various reasons, they have not been able of making full use of their potential. International development projects should definitely be better coordinated. The developing countries, however, shall make more efficient use of financing provided to them by the developed countries. There are sufficient resources available, but the financial means must be properly targeted. Financial aid for those projects which really make sense can be increased.
Mr. Marian Jure?ka
Minister of Agriculture of the Czech Republic
The agribusiness competitiveness of Hungary has evolved significantly over the past years, and managed to catch up to the standards of production of the leading countries. It is an important result that we enshrined the GMO-free status of Hungary in the Constitution. Our efforts in this direction represent clear economic advantages, because we sell a substantial part of our agricultural products abroad and our export markets demand GMO-free products.
The current Hungarian agricultural policy is determined by two main directions: knowledge-based economy and risk mitigation. We are convinced that we are only able to achieve a breakthrough in food security and in sustainable and added value based development if we place enough emphasis on knowledge-based development and on the practical use of innovations.
A significant amount of knowledge is at our disposal in the complex system of agriculture; its distribution among farmers – the end users – is a vital factor in retaining competitiveness. Thus Hungary is developing a new system which ensures a transparent opportunity for the mediation of knowledge accumulated in research, development and consulting services. Farmers, researchers and consultants cooperate in this system, and involve other stakeholders through sharing their experiences. Knowledge-based economy is not only a viable solution for the sustainable, stable increase of productivity, but it also provides a response to 21st century agricultural challenges such as the mitigation of the impacts of climate change, or the questions of food security and food loss. Hungary is especially committed to the latter one. Inadequate agrotechnology, harvesting practices and storage, as well as inefficient processing or strict trading deadlines result in an ever-growing quantity of food waste and loss. We must change this bad practise mainly in the interest of food security for the growing population of the world.
Another key pre-condition of food security is predictable, stable income for the farmers. However, in the past few years we have experienced major ups and downs in agricultural incomes caused partly by extreme weather occurrences and partly by increased price volatility. Current agricultural policies are unable to tackle income volatility adequately, thus a new policy approach is needed. Hungary has recognised that increased emphasis needs to be put on risk prevention and risk management, therefore it has been operating a two pillar agricultural risk management system since 2012 (a damage mitigation scheme covering weather risks in crop farming and an insurance premium support scheme), which is foreseen to be accompanied by a third pillar, an agricultural income stabilization tool intended both to minimize the risks of animal husbandry and to handle market risks (such as price, exchange rate or costs).
WTO has a fundamental role in achieving sustainable agricultural productivity growth and in strengthening international trade cooperation. However, we consider it important, firstly, to differentiate on the basis of the level of development thus allowing emerging countries to undertake obligations in line with their level of development during trade negotiations; secondly, that only such agreements are signed that keep the balance between and within the pillars. Exploration and analysis of non-tariff barriers, such as hidden import protection measures, would be helpful in achieving transparency of the markets.
When discussing sustainable agriculture, we cannot avoid emphasizing the role of water. Concerning the implementation of water-related sustainable development measures of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement, we would like to highlight the Budapest Water Summit to be held for the second time in Hungary between 28 and 30 of November 2016. The objective of the summit is to facilitate the reform of international institutional architecture supporting cooperation on water, and to promote pragmatic, solution-driven approaches, as well as innovative and cost-efficient technologies and methods.
Statement by Shenggen Fan, Director General, IFPRI
The global food system is at a crossroads. On the one hand, it currently feeds more than 6 billion people—more than many would have imagined possible. On the other hand, it leaves nearly 800 million people hungry and about two billion people deficient in essential vitamins and minerals, which are components of healthy diets. At the same time, emerging and persistent challenges—such as changing food demand and diets; climate change; and conflicts—contribute to the vulnerability of the global food system and deter the attainment of various development goals.
As the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) anchor the global development agenda over the next few years, they provide a platform for action. Over half of the SDGs are associated to global food security and nutrition, including the goals that relate to poverty, gender equality, water and sanitation, responsible production and consumption, and climate change. Reshaping the food system, therefore, is critical to achieve these goals. A new global food system should be efficient, inclusive, climate-resilient, sustainable, nutrition- and health-driven, and business-friendly in order to deliver many of the SDGs.
We need a food system that produces more food using the fewest resources possible, and value chains, markets, and trade systems that work efficiently. This new food system must provide opportunities for growth that reach poor and marginalized people, such as smallholders, women, and youth, who have important roles in ending hunger and malnutrition. We must push for a climate-smart food system that would integrate agricultural development and responsiveness to climate, while aiming to reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience. In order to be sustainable, the food system must efficiently meet current and emerging demand for food without jeopardizing the availability of scarce natural resources. This new food system must also make it easier for people to consume safe, nutritious, and diverse diets in appropriate amounts, while limiting processed foods of inadequate nutritional value. Lastly, we must support global, national, and local food systems by promoting an environment that allows entrepreneurs to promote long-term, market-based solutions.
The OECD has a critical role to play in achieving this new food system. The OECD must continue to provide leadership by expanding agricultural R&D for multiple wins, supporting inclusive policies, and strengthening country capacity for policymaking. Improving data, monitoring, and tracking of progress is key to ensure accountability throughout the global food system and the OECD has an important role to play in supporting a data revolution. North-South and South-South learning through broader innovative partnerships should also be promoted.
Transforming the global food system in these ways will not be easy, but having a vision of where we want to be is a vital first step. Ultimately, this vision must reflect a food system that supports a healthy, well-nourished population that can be sustained for generations.
Better Policies to Achieve a Productive, Sustainable and Resilient Global Food System
Statement by the International Fund for Agricultural Development
In a world that needs to feed more than 7.3 billion people daily, where almost 800 million do not have enough food to lead healthy and productive lives, and where climate change is already affecting agriculture, it is clear that we must create a global food system that is more productive, sustainable and resilient. Doing this requires using natural resources more efficiently while lowering the carbon footprint of food production, processing and distribution. At the same time, food systems must do a better job in meeting the nutritional requirements of everyone, including the world’s hungriest and poorest people.
The challenge for policymakers and development partners is to design and implement policies that shape food systems towards these multiple objectives.
Every food system, at every scale and in any location, results from the sum of the choices made by a host of participants – including farmers, processors, marketing companies, consumers, and many more. A particularly important role is played by those who decide how and where to invest, and what and how to produce. The role of policy is, then, to create the right incentives so that these investors make choices that contribute to making food systems more productive, sustainable, resilient -- and also more inclusive and more nutrition-sensitive.
IFAD's business is investing in those whose work lies at the heart of food systems across the developing world: rural women and men, smallholder family farmers, pastoralists. We also invest in the micro, small and medium enterprises that provide inputs, technology, and equipment to farmers, processors and traders, among others.
Every day, the work we do shows us that the policies that create sound and stable incentives for all rural women and men, including those living in poverty, to invest more and better are policies that also foster the food systems we need. They are policies that help poor rural people broaden and secure their asset base, to achieve economies of scale through organization and collective action, to access finance, services and markets on fair terms, and to reduce or better manage the many types of risks they face as investors – as well as clients – in local and national food system.
Underlying these policies is the need for stable governance, and policies that encourage transparent and inclusive business relations, fair access and tenure to land and natural resources, and the empowerment of rural women and men.
There is no magic recipe or blueprint for productive, sustainable and resilientfood systems. But with the right policy mix, the 3 billion people who live in the rural areas of developing countries will be able to make better investment choices and grow more and better food in ways that are sustainable for many years to come.
As an International Financial Institution and a United Nations agency dedicated to combatting rural poverty and hunger, IFAD stands ready to do its part, but the success of our work on the ground depends on the policy environment. The OECD can help developing countries put in place the necessary public policies and investments. It can facilitate the production and dissemination of research and technology to make smallholder agriculture more sustainable and resilient. And it has an important role to play in promoting policy coordination between nations.
By working together towards long-term solutions, we can create the conditions for productive, sustainable, and resilient smallholder agriculture which is critical for food and nutrition security in the developing world and beyond.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan
at the OECD Agricultural Ministerial Meeting,
Paris, 7-8 April 2016
Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen,
I am Hiroshi Moriyama, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the OECD Secretariat for organizing the Agricultural Ministerial Meeting. I find it opportune that this meeting is held for the first time in six years and that we are discussing new policy changes to achieve a productive, sustainable and resilient global food system.
A new era of agricultural policy
The basic agreement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership finalized in October 2015 presents a huge challenge for Japan’s agricultural policy. For Japan, it is the most critical negotiation since the Uruguay Round. Taking this opportunity, we are working on developing “robust, rich agriculture, forestry and fisheries” and “resplendent, vigorous rural areas” with a great deal of consideration for the people actually making efforts on the ground against the background of a new international environment.
First, Japan will intensively implement measures to strengthen the agricultural structure toward a “conversion to aggressive agriculture, forestry and fisheries” in order to remove uncertainty about the future for workers in those sectors and support private investment in business development.
More specifically, Japan promotes the development of the next generation of commercial farmers with excellent business acumen, further expansion of farmland partitions, and internationally competitive innovation that leverages the advantages of production areas. We are also exploring the demand frontier, including exports of Japan’s high-quality agricultural, forestry and fishery products and enhancing the profitability and production base of livestock and dairy industries. In addition, we promote consolidation of farmland through “farmland banks” which are public corporations to consolidate farmland to core farmers through renting and subleasing.
We will continuously employ ourselves in pushing forward agricultural policy reform with expanding farming opportunities for developing agriculture and food industries into a growth sector as well as revitalizing rural communities for promoting the maintenance and implementation of the multifunctional roles of agriculture, thereby achieving a productive, sustainable and resilient global food system.
G7 Niigata Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting
Japan will host the “G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting” in Niigata, one of our prominent agricultural regions, right after the OECD Agricultural Ministerial Meeting. During this meeting, we will discuss with the G7 member countries, the FAO and the OECD the topic of strengthening global food security, taking account of the discussion at the OECD Agricultural Ministerial Meeting. Japan would like to contribute to global food security through the discussion at the G7 Niigata Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting and through our efforts for agricultural policy reform.
Thank you for your kind attention.
The debate on international food policy has brought us to a crossroads, and we find ourselves facing major challenges: an expanding global population crying out for more, a planet Earth crying out for less, farmers demanding a fair price, and consumers demanding more transparent, animal-friendly and healthy products.
The Netherlands believes innovative and more sustainable agriculture can meet these justified but seemingly conflicting demands. At European level, the Dutch EU Presidency wants to work towards a modern, simplified Common Agricultural Policy – one that provides scope for innovation, instead of putting up obstacles in the form of unnecessary rules. If we allow innovators to lose out because they cannot comply with legislation, we will ultimately all lose out. Innovation is crucial in tackling the challenges of our time.
Currently the member states of the EU are implementing the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This is proving to be a challenge. The next revision of the CAP is already on the horizon; soon we will start discussions on our common policies beyond 2020. A central theme in the debate should be boosting the sustainability of our food chain and thus of the CAP.
To address the challenges of our time, we need a comprehensive food policy that is fair for farmers, transparent for consumers and good for animals and our environment. Wise food and agriculture policies are also conditional on international cooperation, and on sound research and policy advice. I believe the OECD provides both an effective platform for international cooperation and outstanding knowledge for evidence-based policies. I expect our ministerial meeting will give new impetus and guidance to the Committee for Agriculture. I am pleased to play a role in it.
Statement by Mr. Achim Irimescu
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Romania
Meeting of the OECD Committee for Agriculture at Ministerial Level, Paris, 7-8 April 2016
Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, Excellences, Ministers, Deputy ministers, Ambassadors and Heads of Delegations from OECD countries and partner economies around the world
It is my greatest honor to represent the Romanian Government as Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development at this special and historical meeting dedicated to agriculture, farmers and industry. Romania welcomes this dialogue meant to build mutual understanding and trust amongst countries as well as to emphasize the importance of enhanced international cooperation, in the areas of agriculture, trade, investment, innovation and climate change, food security and sustainable development of global agriculture and food systems.
Romania recognizes the important role played by the OECD in support of policy reform efforts in its members and increasingly, in partner countries, with the view of addressing challenges related to the agriculture sector and food systems. Therefore, I would like to express our commitment, strong and high priority support, and implication in the work conducted by this organization, for further elaborating concrete common actions, both individual and collective, to achieve a productive, sustainable and resilient global food system. These are key priorities for the Government of Romania.
The Romanian Government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recognize, support and agree with the OECD and its members in that we must accelerate our efforts for building a solid base in order to have: the best evidence-based tools for agricultural policy monitoring and market outlook; the best policies addressing current global challenges, with an appropriate balance between private, market and public actions; the best policies to promote the development of competitive and transparent food systems and responsible business conduct; the best policies to promote farmers, plant and animal health throughout the food supply chain; but always taking into account the diversity of economic, environmental, social, and food security contexts across and within countries.
On the 7th and 8th of April 2016, during this Ministerial Meeting, we need to work and explore together the new policies needed to achieve this widely shared interest regarding trade and domestic policies, with practical actions to foster increased international cooperation, in particular through regulatory cooperation, trade, investment, open data, knowledge and technology sharing for productive and sustainable agricultural development and global food security. Food security is a global issue and critically important to us all. Achieving food security for a global population of more than nine billion by 2050, while protecting natural resources and promoting sustainable farming practices, will require a concerted and joint effort from us all.
Dear Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, Excellences, Ministers, Heads of Delegations, Colleagues, this Ministerial Meeting is a real challenge for all Ministers of Agriculture to foster even greater prosperity in our rural sectors and countries. Since 2004 onwards, Romania sees its accession to the OECD as a major goal on our path to inclusive and sustainable growth of our economy. As one of the few EU member states today experiencing no economic imbalances, and the second largest GDP growth in Europe, as a relevant and stable regional actor, we feel closer today to reaching that goal. Enhanced cooperation on agricultural policies with OECD is a key building block of this process and we look forward to continuing to contribute substantially to your work.
Achim Irimescu, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Romania
Statement on behalf of the Republic of Slovenia
Slovenia welcomes opening a discussion about opportunities and challenges for the global agriculture and food sector. The European agriculture markets have been facing for some time with a global crisis situation and appropriate instruments and actions are urgently needed to enable farmers to be more resilient and to cope with the market instability and in this regard price volatility. In this respect, Slovenia would like to highlight the role and position of producers in the food supply chain in particular in the context of unfair trading practices (UTPs) in the business-to-business food supply chain.
Since 2010 this has become an important issue also in Slovenia. The main reason for this is a significant imbalance in the Slovenian food chain where on the one hand we have a large number of small food producers with a low bargaining power and a high concentration of trading companies on the other hand. This situation has resulted in a high degree of UTPs. UTPs practices, which have been also in the focus in EU for many years now as they deviate grossly from good commercial conduct, are recognised to cause direct damage to operators with low bargaining power. The Slovenian government responded to this situation by mixed approach, which includes voluntary stakeholder initiative followed by special legislation. In 2010 a Code of good business practices of stakeholders in the agri-food chain was adopted. The Code is a voluntary commitment by all signatories and provides for a platform for discussion among all parties concerned but without any mechanism for sanctions in the event of failure to respect good business practices. To this reason in 2014 the Slovenian government adopted a special act designed to eliminate certain unfair trade practices and shorten excessively long payment periods. Moreover, the act introduces the institution of the Ombudsman.
Against this background, Slovenia is prepared to share its past experience and exchange ideas on this very complex issue with other Member and non-Member Countries. We believe that it is urgent to design measures that will enable a fairer distribution of the added value along the agri-food supply chain. We are also aware of the past activities within the OECD “Food Chain Analysis Network” (FCAN) that have been carried out in this context. Unfortunately it was found that issue of concentration along the food supply chain and the possible existence of market power at various stages of the supply chain is a complex subject, but due to lack of empirical evidence and not conclusive data, it was not possible to make any broad conclusions. To that end, Slovenia would like to call upon the OECD and its Member Countries to continue this work on analysis of relations of different operators.
We ask this Declaration to be added to the Minutes of the COAG Ministerial meeting.
Statement by General Bheki Cele, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and fisheries
His Excellency, Mr Stephane Le Foll, Minister of Agriculture, AgriFood and Forestry in France,
Honourable Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Excellencies, Ambassadors and Heads of Delegations
Mr. Jose Angel Gurria, OECD Secretary-General and your team
Representatives of various International Organizations,
Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Honourable Ministers and esteemed guests, let me first and foremost take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency Mr Stephane Le Foll, Minister of Agriculture, AgriFood and Forestry in France and the OECD team of experts for the kind invitation extended to South Africa to participate in this very important meeting of the OECD Committee for Agriculture at Ministerial level. This meeting is taking place at a time when a significant part of the global population is unfortunately falling into the poverty trap at an alarming rate. This scary development therefore requires an urgent need for a globally coordinated action to implement focussed policies geared towards achieving a productive, sustainable and resilient global food system to guarantee global food security and extermination of poverty in its different forms.
Honourable Ministers and distinguished guests, while we expect the global food system to guarantee global food security, we need to appreciate the complex challenges it experiences right through the different stages of its value chain, stretching from production, harvesting, storage, processing, distribution, consumption and finally disposal of food commonly classified as waste.
Honourable Ministers and distinguished guests, we are all aware that climate change is already a practical reality that is confronting agriculture and by extension the national and global food system. This discussion is also taking place at a time when my country, South Africa is currently experiencing a severe drought that has a devastating impact on national food security and to the economy as a whole. In the face of changing climatic patterns, we are therefore required to develop and implement mixtures of policies to improve the sector’s productivity in a sustainable through sharing and exchange of knowledge of successful policies, technologies and practices and encouraging their adoption by producers, with a particular bias to smallholder farmers. This also bring to the fore a need to engage in discussions on strategic ways to ensure water security which seem to have a direct effect on food security. A case in point is the current El Nino (drought) which affected mainly the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region. Water development is at the heart of food security. There can never be any food security without water security. Investment in water infrastructure such as boreholes, dams and irrigation support infrastructure for smallholders could assist in building resilience of producers and stave off food insecurity.
Poor countries and communities are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and have low adaptive abilities and capacities though they are least responsible for the problem of global climate change; adaptation is therefore a global responsibility and concern. In the face of a changing climate, agriculture urgently has to strengthen its resilience to climate change impacts and has to develop and implement mix of policies improve its productivity, sustainability, and resilience and deliver on the ambition of the UN SDGs and COP 21.
All Parties to the UNFCCC were called on to intensify their national efforts to deal with climate change by submitting Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC's) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015. South Africa submitted its own INDC to the UNFCCC and encompasses three distinct components namely mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation.
Honourable Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I have observed that beyond the farm gate, the global food system has over time become structurally and operationally complex to a point where some food marketing systems are in certain instances suspected not to be operating in pursuit of promoting the global ideal of ensuring food security. The global food supply system has on a number of occasions been negatively impacted on by bouts of food price volatility and I know extensive work has been carried out in the past to understand the problem and thereafter generate policy responses to address the whole challenge of unexplained food price volatility. The work carried under AMIS is therefore greatly supported to ensure that our global food markets are as far as possible transparent and operate in an efficient and competitive manner. A discussion on proper governance system for global food markets is therefore recommended.
The efficiency of the global food system is predicated on its ability to move food from surplus producers to deficit areas in a transparent and competitive way. It therefore becomes important for the global trading system under the WTO to assist us in realising the ideals of fair trade along the food system. I therefore hope that the WTO Doha Development Round will soon be successfully concluded to allow nations to be able to produce food based on their comparative advantage, and not through the strength of government support and competitively trade with food without any measure of support that unfortunately distort trade flows. Ladies and gentlemen, it must be noted that no food system can be sustainable, profitable and resilient if producers are not profitable and sustainable.
Honourable Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, one of the critical challenges impacting negatively on our global food system is the extent of food losses and waste along the food system. It is estimated that globally, about one third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted throughout the food chains due to lack of proper harvesting techniques, storage including cold chain support systems, processing facilities, transportation, inefficient marketing systems as well as during food preparation. The challenge of high post harvest food losses and waste is even more serious for smallholder farmers in developing countries due to their limited or no access to support infrastructure, thus leading to food security and threatened livelihoods. I therefore call upon all of us as a collective to rally the private sector and allied international organizations to develop appropriate interventions to reduce the extent of food waste and losses on our global food systems.
In response to this challenge, South Africa fully supports the establishment of sustainable food systems that are based on increased agricultural production and productivity; more efficient, sustainable and responsible in its use of natural resources; ensures food security, inclusive of smallholder farmers and create economic and social opportunities through decent employment, especially for rural women, youth and the disabled. The need for increasing production and productivity is an ideal that is also supported by the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), an African program designed to support the development and growth of agriculture in the continent. South Africa therefore appreciate and support the mainstreaming of food security and nutrition issues in the Development Working Group (DWG) agenda as captured in the Food Security and Nutrition Framework already endorsed by the G20 leaders in 2014.
Honourable Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I have noted that my message to you has only conveyed challenges faced by the global food system and no reflection was made on the opportunities. Until recently, the number of global investors in the food chains has been increasing exponentially. This confidence in the food system is informed by the stark fact that the demand for food, feed and fiber whose demand is ever increasing to meet the global appetite. The need to meet the food security needs of the ever expanding global population is a key driver for agriculture growth and development and exuberance of the food system. A number of less developed economies still have adequate natural resource base to expand the production of raw materials from which to establish downstream agrifood industries to drive rural industrialization. Investment in this space will therefore create opportunities for the countries to become key traders of processed products instead of being perennial net food importers.
In pursuit of efforts to achieving a productive, sustainable and resilient global food system, South Africa supports the development and implementation of policy mixes that will promote responsible investment in agriculture and food systems; promote global market transparency and fair trade; supports sustainable production and productivity growth with emphasis given on water security discussions; reduce food waste and losses along the food chains; disaster and risk mitigating tools to cushion farmers against shocks and supports human resource development in areas such as extension and entrepreneurship along the different nodes of the food value chain.
In closing, Honourable Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, South Africa is fully aware of the huge challenges facing the global food sector in meeting the food security needs of the ever expanding population. I am however convinced that our collective strengths fuelled by our vision will eventually drive us to our desired destination, a world that is food secure and meeting all the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr Bucht was appointed as Minister for Rural Affairs after the election in September 2014. Promoting regional growth and creating jobs through development of the green sectors and rural areas is one of the top priorities of the Swedish government.
To support these objectives Minister Bucht launched a national forestry programme in 2015 and is about to launch a national food strategy that will be presented in mid-2016. Other priorities are rural development and the increasing role for the bio-economy.
“The forest creates jobs and is one of the building blocks for a sustainable society, not least in the mitigation and adaptation to climate change through the development of the growing bio-economy including wood construction. The forest also gives room for outdoor activity and recreation and provides many with peace and tranquillity. It hosts a broad range of biodiversity and important ecosystem services. As such – and for the sake of our future generation – we must use our forests wisely and with care.”
“The food strategy will cover the whole food chain from primary production to food industry, exports, trade, consumer, public sector consumption, restaurants and culinary experiences. Sweden has a growing and innovative food industry that can contribute to the increasing global demand in high-quality food products. Environmental consideration is far-reaching with regard to sustainable food production in cultivated as well as in wild areas and in the sea. Sweden also has a strong tradition of good animal welfare. There is a clear the link between Swedish animal welfare standards, good animal health and low use of antibiotics in Swedish animal production. Healthy animals need no drugs and prevention is always better than cure!”
“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest global challenges, for the society as well as for the agricultural sector. Antimicrobials are a finite resource and must be used in a responsible way. All sectors need to work together and participate in finding solutions in a one health-approach. Antibiotic resistance knows no border and we politicians need to act together and take the right actions! To tackle this challenge and others more international cooperation is needed. Exchanges of information and international collaborations are paramount.”
“On the global arena Sweden also attaches great importance to open markets and the values to trade. An open and fair trade contributes to employment and growth worldwide as well as global food security. I and the Swedish government are pushing for progressive trade agreements where workers, the environment and human and animal health are promoted.”
Statement by Bernard Lehmann at the OECD agriculture ministers meeting
Switzerland is pleased to share its views on a vision for 21st century agricultural policies in the 2016 Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture.
Switzerland believes that the recently adopted UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an important framework to mainstream sustainability in all policies and practices, including in agriculture policy. Key to meet the 2030 Agenda targets will be, in our view, not only effective policies and implementation mechanisms but also strong partnerships between public and private institutions, the civil society and research. We need to involve all relevant stakeholders in the efforts to identify pragmatic and practice-oriented solutions.
Spatial aggregation in urban areas lead to an increasing demand for intact landscapes, clean water and healthy ecosystems in rural areas. Switzerland has been amongst the forerunners in introducing environmental cross-compliance conditions. Yet, it is both, an important challenge and opportunity for the farming sector to provide sustainable ecosystem services. Striving for a right balance, Switzerland regulates the preservation of ecosystem services and increasingly remunerates farmers for providing services like biodiversity. It can be looked at like another business unit besides the production of food. It is an opportunity to reduce income gaps between urban and rural areas.
A growing population and increased purchasing power are only two of many drivers for an increased demand in urban areas for safe food of high quality. A robust agricultural sector is an important basis for rural transformation as well as economic development. Sustainable production of quality food relies on strong and close connections with urban areas through well-functioning value chains to ensure reliable access to food. In our view, this includes professional training to achieve good agricultural practices, reduction of red tape to improve the business environment and sound international trade policies for efficient trade relations.
Finally, Switzerland attaches high importance to leverage international collaboration and research, stimulate innovation, and design new solutions in an inclusive and participatory way. The OECD with its knowledge, especially its analytical and reviewing competences, is a unique platform allowing experts and decision-makers to exchange views and to explore appropriate policy measures on the world’s most pressing issues in agriculture and food security. In designing and implementing adequate policies, Switzerland sees an important role for future OECD work on agriculture. We encourage the OECD to intensify its efforts to communicate the results and impacts of its food and agriculture related work and to ensure that they reach influential policy-makers and shapers.
Meeting of the OECD Committee for Agriculture at Ministerial Level
Trade Union Statement
7-8 April 2016, Paris
The United States looks forward to the opportunity offered by the upcoming meeting of Ministers and senior policymakers at OECD to consider the challenges facing the global agriculture and food systems. We believe that international cooperation lies at the heart of meeting these challenges, foremost among which is preparing to feed 9 billion people by 2050, while protecting our natural resource base, responding to climate change, and fostering economic opportunities for our rural populations.
Open markets are key to ensuring food and commodities can reach the places they are needed and that producers can get the best price for their products. To capture these benefits, we need policies that are trade liberalizing, not trade-distorting, and consistent with international obligations. We will need regulatory cooperation and policies that open markets to investment and allow shared knowledge and movement of new technologies to build productive and resilient food systems. We must embrace open and transparent data as a global public good that makes possible a policy dialogue based on best available information. International cooperation to develop open data systems, such as the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiatives, promises enhanced market transparency, coordinated research and development efforts, and access to technology that can help build productive and sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Policy makers will need to commit to long-term investments in research and development, funded through international and public-private partnerships, to meet the challenges of improving productivity, resilience, and sustainability. Producers must have access to scientific innovation and a policy environment that offers flexible solutions for conserving our natural resources, even as they are used more intensively, and for adapting to unpredictable weather, disease outbreaks and changing demographics and market conditions.
At the same time, we must ensure that our policy approaches encompass both sector-specific and economy-wide measures that support development of critical infrastructures, including health and education systems. Coherent, integrated policies that promote inclusive growth offer the best prospect for solutions that meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations within each food system and at the same time foster economic opportunities to revitalize rural areas and enable rural families to choose the growth path that offers them the greatest opportunities.
We look forward to working with other Ministers and the OECD to take steps towards building a strong evidence base that will allow us to design the best mix of policies and achieve our shared goals.