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Cairns Group Farm Leaders' Food Security Platform

8 September 2011

Farm Leaders participating in the Cairns Group Meetings in Saskatoon, Canada, today began a dialogue on global food security and what issues Cairns Group Ministers need to address in dealing with the problem.

The Farm Leaders' communiqué delivered to Ministers yesterday highlighted the specific role that trade and functioning markets will need to play in ensuring that food is produced and distributed in an open, efficient and transparent manner. Farm Leaders recognize that this will be a focal point for the Cairns Group Ministers through their deliberations and efforts to regenerate the Doha Development Round and in doing so, make a vital contribution to the global food security effort. An open, stable and secure trading environment is recognized by Cairns Group Farm Leaders as a critical component of the global food security challenge and a vital component in managing food price risk, particularly for developing countries.

However, Farm Leaders today highlighted that global food security is a broader issue than trade alone. Other factors that have been highlighted by Farm Leaders today on the issue include the following:

Productivity growth

  • The vital role that research and development (R&D) will continue to play in building the productivity of agricultural production around the globe.
  • The importance of investing in new technologies including bio‐technology and GM as a part of the solution.
  • Encouraging the adoption of R&D and new technology.
  • The need to reduce approval timeframes for new food based technologies.
  • The need to provide certainty of input access to farmers, particularly to natural resource inputs such as land and water.
  • The need to invest in enhanced storage and transport for food.
  • The need to minimize wastage of food.

Regulation and enforcement

  • The need for international regulatory bodies to adopt science based standards.
  • The need for governments to adopt and enforce science based standards.
  • The need for international coordination wherever possible to streamline the approval processes for new food technologies.
  • The need to coordinate the communication of new agricultural production technologies to be based more on the solutions rather than the potential problems surrounding the use of new technologies.
  • The need to ensure that international food standard setting bodies and processes do not convolute the multilateral trade negotiation framework.
  • Ensuring that duplication in standard setting frameworks is avoided.

Farm Leaders participating in today's dialogue recognize that the issue of global food security is a large and complex one that has many dimensions. The above feedback should not be seen as a comprehensive outline of the issues involved and Cairns Group Farm Leaders will continue its dialogue through the broader membership to further inform Ministers' deliberations in this area of policy.

Next Media Releas:
2/12/2013 Cairns Group Farm Leaders' Bali Communique

Previous Media Releas:
7/9/2011 Cairns Group Farm Leaders Saskatoon Communique