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Food Security Rests on Trade

Food production will suffer some of the most immediate and brutal effects of climate change, with some regions of the world suffering far more than others. Only through unhindered global trade can we ensure that high-quality, nutritious food reaches those who need it most.

PARIS – From farm to fork, the international community is facing growing challenges in eradicating hunger and malnutrition. And yet while some parts of the world are obviously better endowed than others in terms of climate, soil, water, and geography, there is plenty of food to go around. So why is food insecurity a problem for so many people in so many countries?

What is missing are conditions ensuring that healthy and nutritious food can reach those who need it. Surplus countries need to be in a position to supply deficit countries, and all the more so now that climate change is undermining the conditions for food production in many parts of the world.

Simply put, ensuring that all households have access to the quantity, quality, and variety of nutritious foods that are necessary for a healthy and fulfilling life requires open, predictable, non-discriminatory, and fair trade. And that, in turn, can only be assured by the global rules agreed upon at the World Trade Organization – rules that have already underpinned a 270% increase in global trade in food and agriculture products since 1996.

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