Agricultural liberalisation and its ‘high risks’ for food security (2011)

Agricultural liberalisation has played an important part in preparing the ground for the sustained food crisis we face. The WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture helped increase food trade, but did not alleviate global hunger. Then, with strong food price rises, global hunger increased strongly. What responsibility is there for a process which has argued a ‘food security’ which opposes local production and promotes global exchange? Continue reading “Agricultural liberalisation and its ‘high risks’ for food security (2011)”

Fair trade: The scope of the debate (Tim Anderson and Elisabeth Riedl, 2006)

‘Fair Trade’ has become such a popular term that it now covers a bewildering array of quite different proposals, from protectionist measures through genuine solidary action to new marketing opportunities. While ‘fair trade’ is often seen as a counterpart to the older concept of ‘free trade’, in many ways ‘free trade’ and the associated arguments around the World Trade Organisation’s liberalising processes have also been arguments about fairness – i.e. the right of equal access to markets. Continue reading “Fair trade: The scope of the debate (Tim Anderson and Elisabeth Riedl, 2006)”

Globalization and agricultural trade: The market access and food security dilemmas of developing countries (2006)

Poverty reduction and debt relief programs, fixed by the big powers, have repeated the dogma of globalisation through ‘free trade’ as a means of salvation for poor countries. The Cairns Group, an agricultural export lobby, has reinforced this message in relation to farming. Yet agriculture in developing countries is far too important to be reduced to a function of the latest export opportunity. In poor, rural based communities, there is a huge cost in abandoning subsistence production and domestic markets to the vagaries of global markets. Continue reading “Globalization and agricultural trade: The market access and food security dilemmas of developing countries (2006)”