FAO, WTO partner to promote food trade & safety

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) recently partnered to promote international food trade and safety.

"We look forward to ensuring fair trade of agricultural and food products through this stronger (FAO-WTO) cooperation," FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said. "On the one hand trade is likely to play an increasing role in meeting the growing demand from food-deficit countries. On the other hand, greater trade openness may undermine the capacity of local people to produce their own food."

Graziano da Silva pointed out the partnership would help the world's nations stay on track toward sustainable development, which will help reduce world hunger.

"We seek to ensure that the global trading system works for all, that it is fair and balanced," WTO Director Roberto Azevêdo said. "When I visit developing countries, especially in Africa...business people tell me about the difficulties they face in meeting the required standards."

The role of agriculture in developing countries will be a major agenda item at the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference, which is set to take place in Nairobi Dec. 15 to Dec. 18.

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