Better policies to achieve a productive, sustainable and resilient global food system

OECD Conference Centre, 7-8 April 2016

Co-Chairs: Mr Stéphane Le Foll, Minister of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry, France; Mr Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, United States


Pre-Meeting Dialogue on the Future of Agriculture and Food

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, Director Ken Ash, Minister Le Foll and Secretary Vilsack will meet invited members of the Press and civil society and share their vision for the future of the sector.


Session 1: A new policy paradigm for agriculture and food

There is broad agreement among governments and stakeholders around a common set of aspirations and ambitions for the global food and agriculture system. These include: to provide all consumers with reliable access to safe, and nutritious food; to enable producers everywhere, big and small, male and female, to seize available opportunities to improve their standards of living; to contribute to productivity growth and sustainable resource use, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, and the provision of ecosystem services; to improve farm resilience and farmer capacity to manage risks; and to contribute to inclusive growth and development, within and across countries. This calls for economy-wide, integrated policy frameworks where all incentives and signals point consistently in the desired direction. In this session, ministers will be asked to express their views concerning the priority policy areas that warrant increased attention in order to achieve these shared goals.


Dinner hosted by OECD SG Angel Gurria on the theme “Strengthening international cooperation in pursuit of our shared goals”

Achieving sustainable productivity growth and resilience in the face of resource pressures, exacerbated by climate change, will require much strengthened international cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, and innovation. International markets that allow food to flow reliably from surplus to deficit regions and countries will be essential. International investment flows, public and private, within responsible agricultural supply chains, have a huge role to play. Cross border co-operation in sharing and adapting existing and new knowledge and innovation, including to face climate change challenges, could make a big difference, providing solutions to problems and allowing untapped potential to be realised where it exists. Open dialogue is valuable in itself in building mutual understanding and trust.


Session 2: From shared goals to concrete actions

The focus of this session will be on how to get on a new policy path, how to shift from established policies to new approaches, and how to ensure participation and support of relevant stakeholders. The process of policy change is difficult and there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. The evidence base needs to be constructed and explained. Sequencing is important. Transitions need to be managed and the most vulnerable assisted. Policy directions should be consistent over time and the pace of change needs to be adapted to the circumstances of different countries and regions. With many countries facing fiscal austerity and competing demands for financial resources, public support to the sector is unlikely to increase. The mix of policies employed should be developed as a coherent package, building on economy-wide measures and introducing sector-based policy measures when needed to address sector specific opportunities or threats effectively and efficiently.


Working lunch on "Defining the optimal policy mix to achieve food security"

To achieve food security in all its dimensions – access, availability, utilisation and stability – requires a multi-faceted approach, tailored to the needs and circumstances of different countries. It calls for integrating a broad spectrum of policy measures, ranging from health, education, poverty reduction, and development to trade, investment, innovation, environment, and agriculture, into a coherent package. The approaches taken today in countries at different stages of economic development and with different resource endowments have been varied and have produced equally varied results.


Closing session and Formal presentation of the results of the meeting 

The Co-Chairs will present their summary of the meeting and the Ministerial Communiqué. This closing session will be open to the press and will be webcast.