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Foro Global sobre Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición • Foro FSN

Re: Examining the linkages between trade and food security: What is your experience?

Juan GarciaCebolla
Juan GarciaCebollaFAO ESAItaly

It is difficult to find references to certain topics in discussions on linkages between trade and food security. Probably it is an indicator of the low priority of those topics and the predominance of a paradigm that focus the attention of those that support it but also of those who dislike it. One example is regional integration processes and improvement of trade between neighbor countries, it is almost absent of the discussion. It has different implications in terms of food security: lower diversification and higher exposure to shocks, lack of opportunities for people in border regions, higher dependence on remote providers to balance supply and stocks during crisis…

Regarding to international standards, there are many countries where food safety policies only pay attention to the export sector and some wealthy urban sectors, creating a dual market, a formal one for those who can afford and other informal for local poor, creating in addition barriers that marginalize economically some groups instead of supporting them to strengthen their capacities to meet the standards and be part of the formal economy.

A human rights based approach can help to handle some of the negative externalities of trade on food security, not only for cases related to free trade agreements, also in other areas, promoting empowerment and increasing participation on decision making to balance priorities, including the needs of vulnerable people.