Report: International Trade Integral to Global Food Security

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Report: International Trade Integral to Global Food Security

WASHINGTON/January 28, 2014 – A new report released today by the Global Harvest Initiative highlights the need for more effective, holistic trade policies in order to meet the food demand of a global population projected to exceed 9.7 billion by 2050 while becoming increasingly urban and affluent.

“GHI’s latest report underscores the critical need to reduce barriers to moving agricultural products, equipment, and information technology from producers to consumers,” said Dr. Margaret Zeigler, Global Harvest Initiative executive director. “What is now required is great political will, an open dialogue with public, private and NGO stakeholders, and the recognition that we can only move forward by enabling effective global trade, transparent enabling environments for business, and outward looking trade policies.”

The report, International Trade and Agriculture: Supporting Value Chains to Deliver Development and Food Security, was developed by GHI in collaboration with trade experts from the New Markets Lab, TransFarm Africa, and the International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council. The report is released as policy makers and trade negotiators around the globe are developing and working to finalize major trade agreements.

“Trade policy vehicles, such as the WTO, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the U.S.-East African Community Trade and Investment Partnership, along with the legal and regulatory reform they encourage, present practical, holistic approaches to improving trade and facilitating agricultural sector development,” said Katrin Kuhlmann, president of the New Markets Lab and TransFarm Africa. “Open national, regional and international markets could make a critical difference in improving food security, economic opportunities, and livelihoods worldwide.”

At an event sponsored today by GHI and New Markets Lab held at the Corporate Council on Africa in Washington, DC, Ambassador Islam Siddiqui, the USTR Agriculture Negotiator, and Ms. Darci Vetter, the USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services, commented on the paper and provided updates on the current status of a number of global and regional trade agreements.

The report also details priorities for trade negotiations and continuing discussions at the WTO, including:

  • Reduction of export restrictions, high tariffs, restrictive tariff-rate quotas, and trade-limiting non-tariff measures on agricultural products, equipment, and modern technology that could improve agricultural productivity, particularly in less development countries.
  • Establishment of consistent, transparent, and science-based frameworks for regulating food safety.
  • Increased dialogue around adequate and effective intellectual rights protection and enforcement, as technology, information sharing, and communication play an even larger role in value chain development.
  • Market-driven development assistance and capacity building programs in which the private sector is engaged from the beginning.

The full report and more information about GHI are available at


The Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) is a private-sector voice for productivity growth throughout the agricultural value chain to sustainably meet the demands of a growing world. GHI believes the right policies can improve global food and nutrition security by accelerating agricultural productivity gains while conserving natural resources. Every year GHI releases its signature GAP Report®, an annual benchmark of the global rate of agricultural productivity. Established in 2009, GHI’s membership includes Accenture, DuPont, Elanco, IBM, John Deere, and Monsanto. Visit us at, Twitter @Harvest2050, and Facebook