WASHINGTON (June 20, 2011) – National Farmers Union (NFU) joined farm groups from 60 countries from around the world in calling for better coherence between World Trade Organization (WTO) policies and other global concerns.
“The WTO’s main goal is to open markets around the world, without regard to issues such as food safety, maintaining viable rural communities, and preserving precious land resources,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “While we support the objective of opening trade around the world, WTO must recognize that agriculture is a unique industry, and that every country has a right to protect domestic producers to improve self-sufficiency and ensure food security.”
The agricultural groups called on political leaders to include some basic principles when pursuing trade agreements.
“Trade rules must allow for certain policy measures to promote stability in prices and food supplies,” said Johnson. “Special considerations must be given to developing countries to ensure they can address the concerns of their farmers. Additionally, all countries should have a right to address issues like food safety, the environment, animal welfare, and the needs of their rural citizens.”