Markets and Trade

UN Food Systems Summit + 2 Stocktaking Moment Special Event “Trade for agrifood systems transformation”

- 26/07/2023

Trade is an integral part of our agrifood systems. Policies affecting trade and markets are important for all dimensions of food security and nutrition. By moving food from surplus to deficit countries and regions, trade contributes to food security and the diversity of food available to consumers. Furthermore, goods and services – ranging from fertilizers, seeds and farm machinery, through to financial services, transport, and retail – are traded at scale around the world. Given its key importance, trade is recognized as one of the essential means of implementation for the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including specific targets under SDG 2 on Zero Hunger. However, while food and agricultural trade has expanded rapidly in the last decades, catalysed by the establishment of the WTO and the proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs), progress towards SDG 2 has stagnated and more recently has been reversed. COVID-19, economic slowdowns and downturns, climate shocks, and conflicts, such as the war in Ukraine, have demonstrated the significance of open trade and markets for global food security. As identified by the UN Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG), it is crucial to keep food and agricultural trade and markets open, well-functioning and unimpeded, including by minimising logistical constraints and disruptions to supply chain. It is also important to address trade finance and debt constraints faced by developing countries.