National Farmers' Federation

Truly free agricultural trade a requirement for global food security

The National Farmers’ Federation welcomes strong advocacy on agricultural trade reform by the Australian delegation to the 12th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12), led by Trade and Tourism Minister, Senator Don Farrell, which concludes today (June 15) in Geneva.

“If the current food security crisis has shown us anything, it is the dangers of wavering commitments to free trade for agricultural products. Export restrictions by agricultural exporting countries around the world, have caused serious food insecurity issues across the entire world,” Acting NFF CEO Ash Salardini said.

MC12 provides a forum for global leaders ministers from across the world the opportunity to review the rules and frameworks of the WTO to ensure free and fair international trade.

“Minister Farrell’s opening address to the WTO forum was exactly what was called for. The need for urgent agricultural trade reform to meet global challenges of food security, climate change must be at the centre of the MC12 meeting.”

The NFF welcomes Minister Farrell’s emphasis on the importance of creating a level playing field in agricultural trade globally, including the need to recommit to liberalised trade in the face of food security and climate challenges.

“Many world leaders condemning the imposition of export restrictions preside over agricultural policies that thwart free agricultural trade through significant market distorting domestic protections and subsidies for their farming sector. You can’t be for free trade some of the time, it is a full-time commitment.”

The 12th WTO Ministerial Conference is an opportunity to gain global commitment to maintain support for a global rules based system of trade.

The NFF is the secretariat of the Cairns Group Farm Leaders, a coalition of agricultural exporting countries with a vision to create a world with an equitable and enforceable rules-based trading system for agriculture.

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