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Food Sovereignty and International Trade Negotiations

Negotiations on agricultural products within the WTO have led to deepening inequalities between the North and the South. This Proposal Paper thus suggests, without for all that refusing trade of food products, solutions that take into account sustainable forms of production in favor of small-scale farming in order to establish fair trading.

July 2004

To download : PDF (780 KiB)

Summary :

The negotiations on agriculture within the World Trade Organization have led to increasing inequalities between the countries of the North and those of the South. The agreement favors intensive agriculture at the costs of small-scale farming because it does not take forms of production into account (sustainable or not), because it does not take farmers into account, because it encourages agricultural exports. It is special and differentiated treatment to the benefit of industrial agricultures and exporters. Yet agricultural activity cannot, like other activities, be reduced to economic activity, whether from the producer’s or the consumer’s point of view. Food security, environmental security, economic security are necessary to protect the different kinds of farmers. This does not imply for all that rejecting food trade. Trade is acceptable and desirable provided that it is fair. This document therefore presents a set of proposals for an effective application of the principle of food sovereignty in the rules of international trade, which implies two general conditions: the recognition of food sovereignty as a human right and a change in the the way the WTO works.