Canada's poultry, egg and dairy farmers have joined an international coalition of farm groups endorsing a "Call for Coherence" regarding the balancing of global agricultural trade agreements and country-level food security.
The declaration, made two days before the G20 Ministers of Agriculture meeting being held in Paris, France, calls for both fair and equitable trade rules and policy space for individual countries to meet their own food security objectives. "We are questioning whether the approach of simply opening markets — giving no consideration whatsoever to non-trade issues and how these impact farmers who produce the world's food — is really the best way forward," said David Fuller, chairman of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "Better coherence is needed between any [World Trade Organization] agriculture agreement and those commitments WTO member states must observe in the international treaties they've already signed on issues such as poverty, hunger, climate change and biodiversity."
The farm groups have asked those involved in the meeting to keep in mind that all countries should have the right to produce for domestic consumption in order to improve self-sufficiency and ensure their food security. Trade rules, they said, should allow for policy measures that promote the stability of food supplies and prices, and all countries should have the right to meet the non-trade concerns of their citizens — food safety, the environment, animal welfare and needs of rural areas — to promote sustainable agriculture, help combat climate change and protect biodiversity.