Rethinking trade policies to support healthier diets

GLOBAL PANEL ON AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SYSTEME FOR NUTRITION ; UNSCN – UNITED NATION SYSTEM STANDING COMMITTEE ON NUTRITION — POLICY BRIEF, n°13 Février 2020

“The aim of this brief is to help policymakers understand the key issues to consider when choosing trade policies and trade instruments. There is no single approach that fits all. Choices will need to be conditioned on individual circumstances; integrated into the much wider portfolio of actions to improve diets; and take account of the consequences for local producers, and others involved in domestic food chains.
The primary focus here is on cross-border flows of agricultural commodities. The brief discusses how trends in global trade affect diets, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, and more generally, the natural environment upon which food systems depend. It explores the diverse mechanisms at play: for example on the effects of trade on food imports, local production, consumption and purchasing power and, importantly, food price volatility. The relationship between trade and food safety is also highlighted.
Finally, the brief sets out a framework of issues for policymakers to consider when developing new trade policies to improve diets, particularly for the poor. This reflects the concern that future trade could be principally driven by the demands of increasingly prosperous middle classes.”

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