During 2016-17, the CFS should undertake activities to analyse changes in global food system governance. At present, rapid changes are taking place in the actors that shape decisions about global food policies. New sets of actors are influencing formal decisionmaking, as well as the broader market and governance environment, with major implications for future policmaking at the national and international levels. I propose the CFS analyse this issue in depth either through a workstream or HLPE report.
Addressing this issue would require identifying the actors that are exercising growing influence (particularly multinational corporations, private financial organizations, intergovernmental treaties with strong private backing, semi-monopoly food retailers, etc.), as well as the mechanisms through which they are shaping global policy and (including intergovernmental trade agreements, public-private partnership schemes, the financialization of food markets, etc.). This would build upon the strong base of analysis initiated under the leadership of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
CFS needs to play a leading role in identifying these trends, analysing their consequences and identifying leverage points for change. No other global institution has the legitimacy or capacity to undertake this task. Analysing global food governance - and the political and economic forces driving change - is crucial to maintaining and strengthening future policy space to address the full range of specific challenges (including improving nutrition, driving sustainable agricultural intensification, job creation, and building national and regional food markets).
Institute of Development Studies, UK