Alignment of Trade Policy and Technology makes Worldwide Food Security Attainable

Thanks to the “green revolution,” continuing productivity gains from biotechnology and advances in production technology, sufficient food is at least theoretically available to feed the world’s population. All too often, however, artificial trade policy barriers low incomes, and inadequate transportation, storage and marketing systems block food from flowing to people in need.

Trade Mitigates Climatic Challenges

In every part of the world, adverse weather periodically affects food production. Agricultural trade is a common-sense, efficient safety net. For example, the droughts and fires that occurred in Australia in 2008 and 2009 made that country unable to fulfill many grain delivery contracts it had signed. Through international trade, the U.S., Ukraine and other countries stepped in to make up the shortfall. This occurs routinely; no country is immune from weather events, and all countries benefit from the trade safety net. Some countries have no alternative to trade.

Food Availability Controls Food Costs

The affordability of food is a major concern around the world. People in developed countries devote less than 20 percent of their income to food – in the United States, less than 10 percent – while in developing countries, more than half of household income is often spent on food. Better availability and more choice through trade can significantly reduce costs to consumers in the developing world.