As COVID19 is spreading across the globe, living an ordinary life has become a challenge for millions. Considering the current spike in the unemployment rate, WTO has urged the global agri-food suppliers or countries to ensure that their health & safety measures, which are paramount for their citizens, should not affect the global food supply chain.
As a response and to avoid any such adversity — 23 countries have come forward to protect the global food trade. They issued a joint statement, on 22 April 2020, to improve the global agricultural trade. Some of them, such as China, Brazil, and Australia are the biggest agricultural exporters in the world and their stance shapes the global food trade. These countries account for 63% of exports and 55% of imports of the total global agri-food products.
The move will assure that people don’t need to face any food scarcity in their daily life.
To ensure well-functioning of global agriculture and agri-food supply, they’re committed to the following eight points:
Ensure that food supply chains remain open and connected.
Exercise restraint in piling up domestic food stocks.
Not impose any restrictions on agriculture export.
Make sure to keep any emergency agri-food-related measure tackling COVID19 proportionate, transparent, and temporary.
Notify WTO as soon as any practicable measure affects the agriculture and agri-food products.
Keep information on various levels of food production, consumption, stocks, and food prices widely available.
Support WTO and other organizations in examining the effects of COVID19.
Engage in dialogues to improve preparedness and responsiveness to limit unjustified agriculture export restriction, especially at WTO.
These commitments will not merely keep various global commodity markets well-positioned to tackle the pandemic but also give hopes and positivity in the hearts of traders.
AMIS (The Agriculture Market Information System) market monitoring (from April 2020 onward) report shows that the world food markets remained well-balanced and the cereal stocks are being anticipated to record their 3rd highest level this season. Besides, the world has enough staples available to meet the anticipated demand.
Out of sheer fear, it’s indeed superfluous to pile up food stocks which may disrupt the ecosystem of the global agri-food market.
It’s welcoming that the major exporters stood together to put the world in a better position, to deal with the pandemic or any unforeseen crisis. It’s highly commendable.