5. Role of Private Sector in Development (cont.)

Feeding the Planet through Democracy and Diversity
Florence – 14 July 2014
What can the Italian Presidency do to help resolve the
EU food security paradox: good policy – lousy PCD?
Nora McKeon
Terra Nuova/Concord Italia representative in the European Food Security Working Group
Concord position paper on food security:
Justice, Democracy and Diversity in our Food System
1. Observations:
• Hunger is a result of injustice, not of scarcity.
In our globalised world we have a dual food system: the industrial system generating
huge profits for corporations but failing to feed people with healthy food and
generating other negative impacts…
…and local small-scale food systems that are still the basis of the world’s
food supply (80%) and can restore the environment and improve social
justice, but are neglected by policies, research and investment.
Concord position paper on food security.
2. Problems
Domination of production, processing, retailing by a small number of multinationals
giving them an unsafe level of power.
2. Problems (cont.)
Political support invested in unfair and environmentally damaging food systems; vast
majority excluded from contributing to decision-making on food.
Unjust trade rules that force markets in food insecure countries open to unfair
Financialization of natural resources and agricultural commodities leading to speculation
and land grabbing.
Unsustainable production methods.
Race to the bottom in food provision creating long and unaccountable food chains.
Unsustainable consumption patterns.
Research agenda and funding disproportionately geared to high-tech, profit-driven
approaches rather than meeting the needs of local food producers.
Concord position paper on food security.
3. Solutions
Ensure democracy and coherence in policy making, with bottom-up approach. Globally:
Committee on World Food Security.
Opt for agroecological methods of production.
Prioritise local economies and trade.
Bring back the State! Investment policies focused on provision of public goods to
complement farmers’ investments rather than facilitating foreign private sector.
Let food insecure countries ensure stable and fair prices and more responsible
consumption by managing and protecting markets – as Europe does.
Guarantee access to productive resources.
Redirect agricultural research towards meeting the needs of family farmers, with their
Better aid and development policies built on human rights.
EU food security policy framework - the best in town in 2010.
The EU and Members should:
“focus on sustainable small-scale food production to increase availability of food in
developing countries. It has multiple effects of enhancing incomes and resilience
for rural producers, making food available for consumers, and maintaining or
enhancing environmental quality.”
. “help create employment In rural areas through agro-processing, mainly in small
and medium sized enterprises.”
“support research and innovation which have clear benefits for smallholder
“support application of right to food in developing countries: strategies that tackle
the root causes of hunger and empowerment of marginalised groups in the
design, implementation and monitoring of national programmes, as well as
establishing and strengthening redress mechanism”.
«Support the reformed CFS to become the pivotal institution to coordinate global
food security».
EU Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan – 2013.
Laudable effort to ensure policy doesn’t remain on a shelf and to build coherence
among Members.
Council conclusions, reiterate rights-based approach, support for small-scale
producers as biggest investors, shorter food chains, support for CFS and VGGTs,
addressing root causes of food and nutrition security.
Baseline monitoring exercise in 2013/2014 – report will be published under Italian
Presidency. An excellent initiative but…
 Too much emphasis on coordination and complementarity and not enough on policy
 Patchy inclusion of civil society in the monitoring exercise despite reiterated efforts by
Concord EFSG. Italy the positive exception thanks to Italian HARD member.
A special word about Italy.
Particular attention to food security. EXPO, ICN, Rome-based agencies and CFS.
No coherent policy yet but interesting reflections in post 2015 process highlighting:
 Need to focus on local agri-food systems
 Need to act on root causes of food insecurity including distortions in international market.
 Right to food the basis.
Italy a rich terrain of experimentation in building a better food system from the base up – food
 Family farming and agroecology
 Territorially rooted quality food provision. Producer-consumer cooperation.
 Public procurement.
BUT…. good policies risk being thwarted by inadequate Policy Coherence for
Development. Can the Italian Presidency make a difference?
A few examples:
1. Economic Partnership Agreements
Benefit European competitivity at the expense of African small-scale
producers that EU food security policy claims to want to support. Will Italian
Presidency witness final act of a decade of ROPPA resistence?
2. Agrifuels
Can Italian Presidency pilot an ILUC decision through EP and Council that has
a meaningful impact in terms of reducing EU’s incitment of land grabbing?
Good policies risk being thwarted by lousy Policy Coherence for Development.
Can the Italian Presidency make a difference?
3. Financial speculation
We support the Italian Presidency’s efforts to seek agreement on the FTT, targeting
those forms most pernicious for speculation on food and land.
4. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
We urge the Italian Presidency to fight against pressure to:
lower EU standards on food safety and labelling and tolerance of GMOs.
Derail efforts to make financial and commodity market regulations more
effective and transparent.
Undermine public procurement policies favouring local food.
Introduce Investor State Dispute Settlement clause.
And to fight for transparency and an end to favoring corporations in
Good policies risk being thwarted by inadquate Policy Coherence for
Development. Can the Italian Presidency make a difference?
5. Role of Private Sector in Development. Council conclusions in December?
We urge Italian Presidency to be cognizant that the EC Communication:
• forgets that the bulk of investment in agriculture comes from small-scale producers
themselves. They are the actors that need to be “leveraged”, not TNCs profiting from
public funding to increase private profits.
5. Role of Private Sector in Development (cont.)
Extols global market-led, value chain, contract farming approach to “turning
smallholders into small entrepreneurs” denounced by small-scale producer
organizations and demonstrated to undermine autonomy that is the basis of their
resilience. Trade and Agriculture Support Programme in SAGCOT/Tanzania.
5. Role of Private Sector in Development (cont.)
Parrots the mantra of PPPs and use of public “patient capital” to support enterprises,
ignoring the evidence that they represent a more expensive and less equitable way of
delivering public services and infrastructure in the longer-term.
5. Role of Private Sector in Development (cont.)
Counts on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to induce TNCs to respect human rights
and economic, social and environmental impacts of their investments despite evidence
that it is a weak or even counterproductive approach to regulation.
«We don’t want ‘responsible investors’.
We want a legislative framework that
protects us effectively and investors
who are obliged to respect the law.»
5. Role of Private Sector in Development (cont.)
Strengthens corporations’ already excessive influence in shaping policies and
regulatory frameworks.
No mention of Committee on World Food Security, where principles on
responsible investment in agriculture are being negotiated in the name of food
security and the right to food, with small-scale
producers’ organisations in the room.
The EU, the Italian Presidency and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition whose added value is corporate-friendly policy change: land, seeds and other inputs,
rules and regulations that «make a difference for entrepreneurs».
Two important international appointments during Italian
Presidency where EU can and must play a decisive role:
International Conference on Nutrition 2 (19-21 November 2014)
Fight for an approach to nutrition security based on sustainable, diversified
local food production and provision VS corporate GMOs and fortified foods.
Negotiation of principles for responsible agricultural investment (rai) in
Committee on World Food Security (4-8 August 2014)
Fight for principles grounded in human rights that prioritise public policies
and investments to support and protect small-scale food producers and local
food systems.
We need each other to build a just, democratic and diverse food system!

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