Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2020

16 – 18 January 2020. Berlin. Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2020 Food for all! Trade for
Secure, Diverse and Sustainable Nutrition.

18/01 Global Forum for Food and AgricultureCommuniqué 2020

The GFFA is an international conference that focuses on crucial questions concerning the future of the global agri-food industry. This year, the GFFA was for the twelfth time during the International Green Week in Berlin. The conference gave representatives from the worlds of politics, business and civil society an opportunity to share ideas and enhance political understanding on topics of current agricultural policy within the context of food security. The Forum was organised and hosted by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with the Berlin Senate, Messe Berlin GmbH and the GFFA Berlin e.V.

Food for all! Trade for Secure, Diverse and Sustainable Nutrition

  • Tereza Cristina Corrêa da Costa Dias Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of the Federative Republic of Brazil 
  • Jan Bock Head of Purchasing at Lidl Germany 
  • Joachim von BraunDirector at the Center for Development Research of the University of Bonn (ZEF), President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Vice-President of the Welthungerhilfe 
  • Ertharin CousinDistinguished Fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and former Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP)

FAO Side Event Digital Council

16/01 An international Digital Council for Food and Agriculture (refer as Digital Council) will:

  • advise governments and other relevant actors;
  • drive the exchange of ideas and experiences and
  • help everyone harness the opportunities presented by digitalization.

In this side event, the Concept Note for establishing an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture (28 pages) was presented and discussed. The specific areas and functions of the Council were developed through an open and inclusive consultation with multi-stakeholders and organisations. What should be the role and task of the Council? Which legal form will the Council take? How will it be governed? What working approach will it take? What impact will it have? 
In the communiqué of the GFFA 2019, FAO was asked by the ministers of agriculture from 74 nations to work out a concept note for considering the establishment of an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture, in cooperation with international organisations. This Digital Council should advise governments and other relevant actors on digital solutions in the food and agriculture sectors, promote the exchange of ideas and experiences, and thus help make opportunities of digitalisation more accessible to all.

EU reporter: There is an urgently need for a global leadership that will chart a path towards greater digitalization for agriculture that helps produce more food for more people with ever fewer resources. This is especially critical for developing countries, as demonstrated in last year’s flagship report on the opportunity of digitalisation for African agriculture. There may currently be more than 400 different digital agriculture solutions, services and platforms with 33 million registered farmers across sub-Saharan Africa, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, with 90 per cent of the estimated market still untapped.

See also: RDA Webinar Series in Agriculture: Mobilizing Capacity Development for Bridging the Digital Divide in Agriculture, 12 December 2019

Trade agreements for food security and sustainable development?

Organiser: Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG

16/01. WFO President Theo de Jager joined the discussion on trade and sustainable development in agriculture, addressing the audience of the Expert Panel Discussion. The event, organised by the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) within the framework of the 12th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA 2020), aimed to analyse the role played by trade and an integrated trading system to increase agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner and ensure global food security.

Putting on the table the farmers’ needs and expectations, de Jager highlighted that farmers could benefit from open markets, but they need international trade standards to protect human, animal and plant life so that food security and sustainable development are not threatened. Farmers can experience fair competition and receive a fair share of value-added from global value chains.
He also noted that trade rules should permit domestic policy measures which promote stability of supplies, such as safety nets, orderly marketing and supply management.

The panelists who joined the debate included representatives of governments, multilateral and international organisations, research centres and academia, private sector entities: 

  • Thomas Cottier, Professor emeritus, World Trade Insitute, University of Berne, Switzerland; 
  • Martina Fleckenstein, Global Policy Manager Food, WWF International; 
  • Martin Schüller, Referent for Development Policy, Standards and MEL, Fairtrade, Germany; 
  • Jürg Maurer, Deputy Head of Economic Policy Department, Migros, Schweiz.

High-level international conference “The Future of global pork production under the threat of African swine fever” 

17/01 The aim of this event was to foster coordinated global actions to reduce the impact of ASF on pork production and international trade.It was organised by the European Commission 

The Development Potential of Agri-Food Trade: A win-win Opportunity for Africa, EU and the World

19/01. The aim was to discuss the importance of international agricultural trade and an integrated trade system for global food security in order to archive major relevance in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations, in particular SDG 2 – end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture – and SDG 12 – ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The focus of this panel will be on agri-food trade with African countries, the importance trade has for agricultural development and the role of
food security within African countries.

Agri-food trade is increasing for most African countries, driven by population growth, a changing consumption pattern and limited growth in national and regional production. In most Sub-Saharan countries, because of insufficient infrastructure it is often cheaper to import from global markets than to import from the remote hinterland or from neighbouring countries. Still 31 African countries continue to need external food aid (FAO 2019). Most forecasts now estimate that crop yields will decline in much of Africa and the developing world as a result of the effects of climate change. The hardest hit areas coincide with the regions that are also expected to produce the highest population growth rates in the coming decades. In this context, it is particularly important to explore the future sustainability and resilience of agri-food production in Africa.

The food trade balance has worsened in most African Countries over the last decades (FAO) and in particular basic food commodities such as cereals, dairy products,


edible oils and fats as well as meat products are increasingly imported. With the African Union Malabo Declaration from June 2014, African countries committed to triple intra African trade by 2025. The African Free Trade Area is an ambitious project of the African Union. If achieved, this may help to improve food security and contribute to the achievement of SDG 2 in Africa. Panel discussions points were:

  1. Agri-trade
  2. SPS/AU Food Safety Agency: During the 3rd AU-EU Agriculture Ministerial Conference on 21 June 2019 in Rome, AU ministers welcome the efforts around setting up appropriate food safety governance structures across Africa and agreed to cooperate on SPS issues.
  3. Improving a responsible food supply chain
  4. Promoting agricultural development and investment in Africa
  5. GIs! What can we do to speed up the process?

Other Expert Panels

Organiser: GFFA Berlin e.V.
  • Klaus Josef Lutz, CEO Baywa, Munich, 
  • Jo Swinnen, Director General IFPRI, Washington D.C.
  • Joe Healy, Farmer and President of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Dublin
  • Gustavo Idígoras, President Chairman Argentine Edible Oil Association & Grains Exporters, Buenos Aires
  • Andrea Dreifke-Pieper, Director International Economy, WWF International, Berlin
Food waste reloaded for inclusive agri-trade supply chains 
Organiser: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Organiser: 
Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
  • Alan Matthews Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy, Department of Economics
  • Trinity College, Dublin
  • Johannes Sauer Professor of Agricultural Production and Resource Economics, Centre of Life and Food Sciences, Technical University of Munich
  • Koen Deconinck, Economist, Trade and Agriculture Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Shivani Kannabhiran, Lead, Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organiser: Bread for the World, German Forum on Environment and Development
  • Francisco Mari Referent for world nutrition, agricultural trade and marine policy – Bread for the world
  • Leonard Mizzi Acting Director Devco C, Planet and Prosperity and Head of Unit Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, Europeaid, European Commission
  • Karin Ulmer Referent food security (trade) – ACT Alliance EU
  • Yvonne Takang Consultant on agricultural and trade issues – Freelance consultant
  • Antônio Inácio Andrioli Vice Chancellor of the Universidade Federal da Fronteira Sul (UFFS)
  • Ken Ukaoha Secretariat President National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS)
See also: “World Bank. 2020. World Development Report 2020 : Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/32437 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Free and Fair Agricultural Trade in and with Africa: The Role of the AfCFTA for Food SecurityOrganiser: German-African Business Association, German Agribusiness Alliance, Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Bank Group
Addressing food security successfully in global supply chains:The Food Security Standard
Organiser: Welthungerhilfe, WWF Germany, Center for Development Research of the University of Bonn (ZEF)

Tropical agriculture: Innovation for inclusive, sustainableand safe value chains
Organiser: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Contribution of cooperatives to fair value creation ininternational trade
Organiser: Deutscher Raiffeisenverband e.V. (DRV), Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e.V. (DRGV)

Trading safely: protecting health, promoting development
Organiser: Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)

  • Moderation Melvin Spreij Head Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF)
  • Loraine Ronchi Loraine Ronchi is a Practice Manager for South Asia in the Food and Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank Group (WBG) where she manages a large team and portfolio in food and agriculture sectors.
  • Martha Byanyima Chief of Party Land O’Lakes. A food technologist with vast experience in SPS, market access and industry agro development. Currently serving as Chief of Party, Land O’Lakes, Kenya.
  • Suresh Ellawala Chairman – Lanka Fruit and Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters Association (LFVPPEA) Sri Lanka
  • Jean-Philippe DOP Deputy Director General – World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

Decent Work in Agricultural Value Chains – Precondition forSustainability and Development
Organizer: Catholic Movement of the Rural People, International Rural Development Service, German Commission Justitia et Pax

  • Andreas Lob-Hüdepohl Professor – Theological ethics, KHSB, Berlin
  • Lali Naidoo Director East Cape Agricultural Research Project, RSA
  • Leonard Mizzi Head of unit – DG DEVCO – European Commission
  • Nicole Podlinski Federal Chairwoman – Catholic Movement of the Rural People, International Rural Development Service
  • Maria Flachsbarth Parliamentary State Secretary – Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Ambition and Reality: Solutions for a Fair, Inclusive, Safe andSustainable Soy Supply ChainOrganiser: Economic Committee on Foreign-Trade Issues at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Grain Club

Women’s empowerment in international trade – Anagricultural perspective 
Organiser: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL)

Digital Acceleration of Agriculture and Food Transformation 
Organiser: World Bank Group, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

  • Luis Basterra Minister of Agriculture, Argentina
  • Ken Ash Director for Trade and Agriculture – Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
  • Aziz Akhannouch Minister of Agriculture, Marine Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests, Morocco
  • Ann Tutwiler Senior Advisor SYSTEMIQ – Currently, Ms. Tutwiler is a Senior Advisor with SystemIQ and a Senior Fellow with The Meridian Institute.
  • Christian Forwick (TBC) Deputy Director-General for External Economic Relations, Trade Policy, America – German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Trading, delivering trust: Quality and transparency in international agricultural trade with Eastern Europe and Asia 
Organiser: German Agribusiness Alliance, Leibnitz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), German Eastern Business Association

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