Reassessing International Trade Policies Critical To Improving Food Systems, Experts Write In Opinion Piece

Devex: Opinion: Why reshaping trade policies is essential for sustainable food systems, healthy diets
John Beddington, senior adviser to the Oxford Martin School and professor of natural resource management at Oxford University, and John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor, chair of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership and special envoy for the Partnership on Neglected Tropical Diseases

“…[R]econfiguring our food systems cannot happen without a reassessment of international trade policies. … Our brief [published this week by the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition] shows that much more can be done to take into account the effect of trade on diets and nutrition: 1. Close attention should be paid to trade policies that influence the relative price of foods within domestic markets. … 2. High priority should be given to trade policies that specifically help to increase the availability and to reduce the price of nutrient-rich foods. … 3. Policymakers should be alert to the effects of trade policies on the availability and pricing of imports of ultraprocessed foods. … 4. Policymakers should pay close attention to trade agreements that embody strong investor protections … 5. Food trade can be especially beneficial in managing price volatility and climate change risks. … Government policymakers, supported by evidence, need to come together to redress this situation. Trade policies can help countries better manage their food supply so that consumers are able to access diverse, available, affordable, and healthy diets that support economies, our health, and our planet” (2/14).