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"Achieving world food security is
a global challenge for governments and industry"
At the 2011 Berlin "Grüne Woche" an "International Agriculture Ministers' Panel Discussion Trade and Global Food Security: Global - Regional - Local is taking place, at the very moment that we are writing this (Saturday, 22nd Janurary 2011, 10:00-12:00 hrs, ICC Berlin, Hall 2).

The honorable gentlemen and the occasional lady will talk everything they can think of to help safeguarding our future.

We know the outcome.

It will virtually the same as last year's.

Especially the keynote speaker, Mr Pascal Lamy, will guarantee for Business As Usual. We know his words by heart, relentlessly pushing for immaterialised growth on a limitless world, internalising all environmental costs tomorrow, or the day after, meanwhile rejoicing over the WTO's success in protecting the turtles.

What do they know about the downslope after peak-oil?

Opening address Greeting Dr. Marek Sawicki Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Poland (Partner Country of the IGW)
Keynote-speaker Pascal Lamy Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Panel discussion Ilse Aigner Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection
Aziz Akhannouch Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Morocco
Dacian Ciolos European Commissioner for Agriculture
Sally Jepngetich Kosgey (to be confirmed) Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kenya
Mykola Prysjashnjuk Minister of Agricultural Policy and Food of the Ukraine
Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food of Canada
Pascal Lamy (to be confirmed) Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Statement Bruno Le Maire Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Republic of France Topic: Price Volatility, Speculation with Agricultural Commodities of the French Presidency of the G 8 / G 20
Facilitator Christoph Minhoff Phoenix
Buffet Lunch 12:00-14:00 hrs, ICC Berlin, Gallery Hall 2
International Press Conference with Participants of the Panel Discussion, Pascal Lamy, Bruno Le Maire and Dr. Marek Sawicki 12:15-14:00 hrs, ICC Berlin, Hall 10 <

Think of "Soylent Green" (1973) picturing a world that we are approaching today. Compare the wikipedia entry and an excerpt of Harry Harrison's novel Make Room.

Helmut Lubbers
Welcome by the Food Industry Association to the 2011 "Grüne Woche":

Dear Readers,

It is becoming an ever greater challenge to ensure food security for everyone. The growing world population, increasing affl uence andchanges in eating habits are leading to a rise in demand for highquality foods. According to the FAO, global food productionwill need to almost double by the year 2050 in order to nourish the expected population of nine billion. However, it will only bepossible to feed this number of people in future if agriculture boosts its production and productivity sustainably in the long term.Promoting local value creation, regional cooperation and global integration can help to improve the global food situation.

Within the scope of the GFFA the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE), the German Farmers’ Union (DBV), the German Agricultural Society (DLG), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) and the German Committeeon Eastern European Economic Relations (OA) are committed to discussing global agricultural and food matters together with policy-makers, academics and civil society actors with a view to developing approaches and identifying solutions.

Under the title “From Farmers to Consumers – Business Initiatives for Sustainable Value Chains”, the International Business Panel will be focussing on partnership and cooperation along the value chain in 2011. The objective is to present initiatives from the private sector targeting integration of farmers from industrialised, developing and transition countries into regional and global supply chains, thus promoting sustainable economic development. We shall be discussing the challenges of this approach for the private sector and policy-makers with high-ranking international representatives from business and industry.

In addition to the International Business Panel, GFFA with its broad spectrum of sectoral and regional panels offers you an opportunity to gather fi rst-hand information about development trends in the areas of agriculture and the food industry in Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa, and to establish many contacts with political decision-makers from these regions.

With our commitment at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, we are jointly transmitting a clear message that the global challenge of securing the world’s food supplies can only be mastered in a responsible partnership between policy-makers, the private sector, research and society. To this end we are intensifying international dialogue between all partners in order to develop successful approaches together.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to Berlin in January 2011.
Welcome (original)

"Achieving world food security is
a global challenge for governments and industry"

By original: Jan 2010 (Copyright notice)

Outcome of the 1st Berlin Summit of Agriculture Ministers on 17 January 2009 The agriculture ministers from throughout the world assembled at the 1st Berlin Summit of Agriculture Ministers have concluded:

In the Millennium Declaration of 2000, the world’s leaders set a target of reducing the proportion of the poor and undernourished by half through 2015. In spite of the actions already initiated, there is a danger that this target will not be reached. Policymakers are thus faced with great challenges.

Although the world market prices, particularly for crude oil and food, have currently returned to a more moderate level, their dramatic rise in 2006 and 2007 had severe consequences for the food security of the poor and poorest households. As a result, decisive action is urgently required in the rural and urban regions of the developing nations. At the same time, the international donor community and the governmental and non-governmental aid organisations are called upon to activate their potential for rapidly improving the situation.

Energy supplies need to be assured and significantly more food must be produced under the conditions of global climate change and the decline of land under cultivation, occurring concurrently with a rapidly increasing global population. By 2050, the population of the earth will grow to 9.2 billion, from 6.5 billion today. At the same time, urbanisation will increase dramatically. There is already enough land world-wide to nourish the expected 9 billion people. But intelligent concepts are needed to utilise this land both sustainably and efficiently, to appropriately distribute the harvests and to guarantee that every human being has access to sufficient food.

The realisation of the right to food is a challenge of global proportions, one that can only be mastered through a world-wide partnership of governments and in close cooperation with the civil societies, which comprise all social groups, non-governmental organisations, agricultural associations, the food industry, the commercial sector and private donors. The Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food promulgated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are a suitable instrument in this process.

The ministers support the initiative of the United Nations to create a Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security and underline the importance of the FAO in this process.

The ministers of agriculture see the need for action in the following main areas:

1. Increasing agricultural production – preserving natural resources

In most developing nations, the agricultural sector does not have the flexibility needed to rapidly increase production and productivity in response to greater demand, even when agricultural prices skyrocket. Small-scale farmers do not have assured access to land, water or the means of production. Large portions of harvests are lost. Capital and infrastructure are lacking. When food prices rise, people who already spend the greater part of their household income on food can then no longer buy enough food to adequately feed their families. The majority of undernourished humans live in rural regions; there, as in the cities, hunger and malnutrition can lead to unrest, which undermines the stability of those nations.

In addition to rapid assistance in emergency and crisis situations, it is urgently necessary to increase agricultural production in those countries and raise the purchasing power of the entire population of the poorer countries in the medium term. This is a prerequisite for these countries to develop in general and for there to be economic growth that reduces poverty. Developmental cooperation must align its short-term and long-term instruments toward these aims. Promoting agricultural production must once more become a primary objective, particularly in nations with food security problems. Measures are needed that reflect the concrete requirements of individual nations. Here, and in the proper implementation, is where the responsibility of the affected nations lies.

Sustainable development can only succeed when all the natural resources such as water, soil and biodiversity are preserved.

2. Investments according to need!

Investments in agriculture are key to promoting agriculture. In many countries, such investments, including agricultural research, consulting and education, are the best way to fight poverty and stimulate economic development. At the same time, investments in agriculture promote the diversification of the economic structure. In many cases, what is most needed is an improvement in the conditions under which agriculture is practiced. This can relate to changes in governance, economic policy, the educational system or the health care system.

In this process, a custom-tailored approach that builds on the strengths, needs and priorities of each individual country is the key here: the aim is greater than merely an increase in production.

3. Strengthening rural areas!

This requires fundamental structural changes extending far beyond the agricultural sector. The development of economically viable rural areas must become a primary policy objective. As the source of food, agriculture fulfils a key function that must be consolidated and enhanced. The fundamental prerequisite for this is providing farmers with access to knowledge and technology, the productive resources land and water as well as the means of production.

A further step is to enable the farmers to participate in value creation to a greater extent. Associations for improved joint production, storage, transport and marketing are one possible solution approach. The ultimate aim must be to develop joint project approaches between the public and private sectors. A further path is supporting entrepreneurship through microcredits. Finally, the promotion of resource-sustaining land use is important. A sustainable production and utilisation of biomass can contribute to the energy security of rural areas.

4. Agricultural research!

Agricultural research has a contribution to make toward increasing productivity with respect to agricultural primary products in compliance with all criteria for sustainability and efficient processing methods.

5. Challenges for the donor nations!

The political leadership of the donor nations must also face the challenges of securing the global food supply.

All nations must give priority to conserving sustainable production potential in order to meet a growing demand for food, fuel and fibres.

The nations must conserve sustainable production potential in the temperate regions and utilise these to achieve food preparedness, crisis preparedness and crisis management. Competitive situations in the production of plants for different uses are to be taken into account. Feeding people is the primary goal of agricultural production!

WTO members should take prompt and concrete actions for a rapid conclusion of the Doha round negotiations in consensus. Market access must be improved, all forms of competition-distorting export promotion measures must be eliminated and competition-distorting subsidies reduced in order to conduct agricultural trade in a fair way. Generally accepted standards for sustainable production must be developed in international cooperation and their implementation must be supported in the developing nations. For their part, the leading distribution companies and the food industry must contribute to ensuring that local and regional agricultural production can develop both quantitatively and qualitatively, and can reach the consumers, so that increased sales promote sustainable production while improving the earning situation.

The 1st Berlin summit of Agriculture Ministers was attended by ministers from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, China, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mongolia, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and Germany as well as by representatives of the FAO.

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