Food security and trade: reconciling discourses in the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Trade Organization

Arild Aurvåg Farsund*, Carsten Daugbjerg, Oluf Langhelle

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A contested issue in the international debate on food security is the role of trade in safeguarding food security at the global and national level. This paper explores how the issue of food security and trade has been discursively framed in two international organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO), from 1945 to 2014. We argue that there are identifiable shifts in FAO’s positions on food security and trade in the 1980s and 1990s towards trade liberalization as advocated by the WTO. The official view of the WTO secretariat and many of its member states (proponents of trade liberalization in agriculture) is that trade liberalization is both necessary and conducive for food security. The FAO has adopted this discourse. Although this is the dominant discursive framing, counter-framings of the food security - trade problem has played an important role in the deadlock of the Doha Round negotiations. We consider how this may influence the global food trading regime.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)383-391
    Number of pages9
    JournalFood Security
    Volume7
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

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