26 April 2021. Evolving factors shaping trade in agriculture and food. Co-organized by IFPRI’s Strategy & Program Council
Agricultural trade is shaped by geopolitical, geo-economic, social, and cultural trends. These can lead to more or less globalization, but which is better for agriculture and food security? International trade in food favors production in the most efficient regions, a factor of growing importance as we tackle the escalating impacts of climate change. Recent experiences during the food price spikes of 2007/08 and 2010/11, and more recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, have encouraged some countries to promote self-sufficiency measures or institute export restrictions.
Some governments have enacted domestic measures to promote healthier, safer, and/or more sustainable food through consumer safety standards, carbon pricing, and product labeling, all of which have implications for border measures and trade and risk hurting the most vulnerable economies and fragmenting the regulatory field. Meanwhile, governments continue to subsidize agriculture with measures that distort production and trade and WTO negotiations are stalled.