General Council - Committee on Agriculture - Committee on Agriculture, Special Session - COVID-19 initiative : protecting global food security through open trade - Communication on behalf of Members of the Cairns Group
作者:General Council
文件編號:G/AG/31, TN/AG/44, WT/GC/218


communication on behalf of Members of the Cairns Group

The following communication dated 17 June 2020, is being circulated at the request of the Delegations of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.






1.1.  COVID-19 has caused a global health crisis of unprecedented complexity, affecting the well‑being and livelihoods of millions around the world. We recognise that our primary focus is to ensure the health and safety of our citizens, while laying the groundwork for a strong, inclusive and sustainable economic recovery.

1.2.  The global agricultural and food system, underpinned by World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, spans international borders, bringing food, fibre, and other essential products to people all over the world. Agriculture contributes over USD 3.3 trillion to the global economy each year, and employs around 27% of the global workforce, including on average 60% of employment in low income countries.[1] Trade is an important component in ensuring the availability of diversified, safe and nutritious food for all.  

1.3.  Throughout the first phase of this pandemic, the agriculture sector has been resilient and international markets have remained relatively stable despite strong pressures on production, supply chains, and rapid shifts in demand. At this critical time, it is vital that we put in place trade facilitating measures and that we do not put the global agricultural and food system at risk by introducing new measures that distort trade or production, limit supply or unduly distort prices, at the expense of people’s wellbeing.

1.4.  Open trade complements domestic production in ensuring and supporting global food security. No single economy can lay claim to full self-sufficiency.[2] We all rely on international trade for key components of our diet, and for access to inputs, machinery and services that allow us to produce safe and affordable food. Trade facilitates access to food during local production shocks and across different production seasons, and acts to prevent domestic shortages. Trade also leads to a more efficient and sustainable allocation of factors of production, such as land and water resources. Under open market conditions, agricultural supply chains are able to adapt to occasional and temporary challenges. Without predictable agricultural and food trade we would all be significantly worse off.

[1] World Bank data.

[2] Only 17% of countries produce more calories than they consumed between 2005-2009 and even those countries relied on trade to ensure a varied and nutritional diet. (M.J. Puma et al Environmental Research Letters January 2015).