The Committee for Agriculture is amongst the major policy committees of the OECD. It implements the agriculture programme of work, which is approved by the OECD Council. This Committee oversees both the content and the running of its programmes. It provides a forum for member governments to address common problems, exchange experience and encourage co-operation on new approaches to policies. The Committee generally meet twice a year and is composed of senior officials responsible for agricultural policies in member governments. From time to time, the Committee for Agriculture meets at High level or at Ministerial level to provide further impetus to the process of agricultural reform.
The Committee for Agriculture is assisted by several Working Parties and Commodity Working Groups, which deal with the detailed design and implementation of specific aspects of its work. The Global Forum on Agriculture promotes a two-way policy dialogue and the sharing of knowledge with non-OECD countries. Expert workshops and seminars are organised regularly on special themes and topics.
Because the comparative advantage of the OECD lies in its capacity to integrate all aspects of policies, and because agricultural policies are increasingly interlinked with broader economic and social policies, the Committee for Agriculture has also established links with other OECD Committees, in particular the Environment Policy Committee and the Trade Committee, through Joint Working Parties. To exploit all possible synergies, the Committee for Agriculture also draws upon and feeds into the work of many other international institutions, notably the FAO, WTO, World Bank, and Council of Europe.
Agricultural policies impact widely in society, while increasingly other policies impact on agriculture. The Committee for Agriculture has built up partnerships to reflect this wider focus. In particular, the international farm organisations are consulted on issues of common interest and on ongoing activities on a regular basis. Consumer organisations, agri-business, farm organisations, and environmental non-governmental organisations are also invited on an ad hoc basis to conferences on specific topics, such as workshops on agri-environmental matters. Key academic and research institutes are also important partners in this respect.
The work of the Committees and Working Parties is supported by the Directorate for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries in implementing the programmes on agriculture and on fisheries. The staff of the Directorate is part of the Secretariat of the OECD and are independent civil servants drawn from OECD member countries. The Directorate is served by five Divisions and two Units: Trade and Markets; Policies, Trade and Adjustment; Policies and Environment; Non-Member Economies; Fisheries; Codes and Schemes; and Co-operative Research.
Click here to learn more about our structure (Organigramme of the Directorate and Committee Structure).