Agricultural Commodities, Trade and Sustainable Development

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International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)


"Talks on agricultural trade liberalization at the World Trade Organization must take into account the needs of commodity-dependent developing countries, to ensure that agricultural trade and commodity production will deliver outcomes that favour both the environment and poverty reduction. Alongside the trade negotiations, there are also hot debates amongst a range of actors and networks on ensuring functioning of domestic agricultural markets, improving governance and sustainability in bulk commodity markets among civil society groups. Environmental and conservation groups seek the application of better management practices (BMPs) organized either through segregated supply chains or through preferential access to markets and finance.This group is focused on private regulation, upgrading of buyer-driven chains, and supply chain management. Elsewhere, a cluster of organizations are revisiting supply management to reduce oversupply and price volatility, focusing on learning lessons from the failures of International Commodity Agreements (ICAs). And a group of farmer and development organizations is concerned about growing corporate concentration in commodity markets and the impact of skewed market power on the small and decreasing share of wealth finding its way back to primary producers.This group is focused on competition policy and corporate accountability."



sustainability, agricultural development, commodification