Agriculture https://www.iatp.org/agriculture2 en Resolving the Food Crisis: Assessing Global Policy Reforms Since 2007 https://www.iatp.org/documents/resolving-the-food-crisis-assessing-global-policy-reforms-since-2007 <div data-history-node-id="41680" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p>Timothy A. Wise</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><h3>Executive summary</h3> <p>The recent spikes in global food-prices in 2007-08 served as a wake-up call to the global community on the inadequacies of our global food system. Commodity prices doubled, the estimated number of hungry people topped one billion and food riots spread through the developing world. A second price spike in 2010-11, which is expected to drive the global food import bill for 2011 to an astonishing $1.3 trillion, only deepened the sense that the policies and principles guiding agricultural development and food security were deeply flawed. </p> <p>There is now widespread agreement that international agricultural prices will remain significantly higher than precrisis levels for at least the next decade, with many warning that demand will outstrip supply by 2050 unless concerted action is taken to address the underlying problems with our food system.</p> <p>The crisis certainly awakened the global community. Since 2007, governments and international agencies have made food security a priority issue, and with a decidedly different tone. They stress the importance of agricultural development and food production in developing countries, the key role of small-scale farmers and women, the challenge of limited resources in a climate-constrained world, the important role of the state in “country-led” agricultural development programs, the critical role of public investment. For many, these priorities represent a sea change from policies that sought to free markets from government policies seen as hampering efficient resource allocation. Now that those policies and markets have failed to deliver food security, the debates over how countries and international institutions should manage our food system are more open than they have been in decades.</p> <p>The purpose of this report is to look beyond the proclamations and communiqués to assess what has really changed since the crisis erupted. While not exhaustive, the report looks at: Overseas Development Assistance, both in terms of how much and what is funded; Multilateral Development Banks’ policies and programs; selected U.N. agencies and initiatives, notably the Committee on Food Security (CFS); the G-20 group of economically powerful governments; and the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, who has injected a resonant “right to food” approach to the issue.</p> <p> </p> <ul><li>low levels of investment in developing-country agriculture in general and small-scale agriculture in particular; </li> <li>reduced support for publicly funded research and development and increased reliance on private research;</li> <li>a reliance on international trade to meet domestic food needs in poor countries that can ill-afford the import dependence and declining local production; </li> <li> <div>a bias toward cash crops for export over food production for domestic markets; </div> </li> <li> <div>increasing land use for non-food agricultural crops such as biofuels for industrial uses;</div> </li> <li> <div>support for high-input agricultural methods over more environmentally sustainable low-input systems; </div> </li> <li> <div>inadequate attention to the linkages between climate change and food security; and </div> </li> <li> <div>deregulation of commodity markets and increasing financial speculation in agricultural commodities,  including staple food crops as well as land.</div> </li> </ul><h4>Findings</h4> <div>Our review suggests that on the positive side, the food crisis was an important catalyst for change. As high prices persisted and public protest mounted, many governments were confronted with “moments of truth,” the cumulative result of which was to question some of the assumptions that had driven food and agriculture policy over the past few decades. This prompted renwed attention to agricultural development, reversing the long-standing neglect of agriculture as a vital economic sector. It also brought some important new funding, though at levels still far short of what is needed. </div> <div> </div> <div>The stated priorities for much of that funding suggest distinct improvement over the policies of the past few decades. The needs and political voices of small-scale farmers and women; environmental issues, including climate change; and, the weaknesses of international markets now receive more attention. The additional funding for these important areas is also driven by greater openness to country-led programs with strong state involvement, a marked change from past priorities. </div> <div> </div> <div>Our review suggests areas of great concern, though. We see neither the necessary urgency nor the willingness to change policies that contributed to the recent crisis. New international funding is welcome, but only $6.1 billion of the G-8’s pledged $22 billion, three-year commitment represents new money, and those pledges have been slow to materialize and are now threatened with cutbacks as developed countries adopt austerity measures. The overwhelming priority is to increase production. There are reasons to focus on this, specifically within low-income net-food importing countries. The setting of production targets at the global level, however, encourages an expansion in industrial agriculture and the consolidation of land holdings, including land grabs, and ignores environmental constraints and equity issues. </div> <div> </div> <div>Beyond funding, we find that the policies that contributed to the recent food-price crisis have gone largely unchanged, leaving global food security as fragile as ever. The world needs policies that discourage biofuels expansion, regulate financial speculation, limit irresponsible land investments, encourage the use of buffer stocks, move away from fossil fuel dependence and toward agro-ecological practices, and reform global agricultural trade rules to support rather than undermine food security objectives. </div> <div> </div> <div>Unfortunately, we find that the international institutions reviewed have shown too little resolve to address these issues. Although at the G-20 the world’s most economically powerful nations have asserted leadership on food security, their actions have been tepid if not counterproductive. This has had a chilling effect on reform efforts elsewhere in the international system, most notably at the United Nations. This raises important governance issues. The U.N.’s CFS is formally recognized by most institutions as the appropriate body to </div> <div>coordinate the global response to the food crisis, because of both its mandate and its inclusive, multi- takeholder structure. Yet in practice the G-20 has systematically constrained the reform agenda. Similarly, the WTO’s recent efforts to give the Doha Agenda more relevance by including food security issues in the form of restrictions on exporting countries’ use of export tariffs have failed, because many of the exporters (most of the G-20 members) refuse to surrender that policy space. Not surprisingly, importing countries’ wish for the same policy space with regard to their imports are now more determined than ever to insist on their rights.</div> <div> </div> <div>The recent food-price crisis exposed the fragility of the global food system. A paradigm shift is underway, caused by the deepening integration of agricultural, energy and financial markets in a resource-constrained world made more vulnerable by climate change. Powerful multinational firms dominate these markets. Many benefit from current policies and practices and their interests are a dominant influence in national and global policies—slowing, diverting, or halting needed action. This leaves international institutions promoting market-friendly reforms but resistant to imposing the concomitant regulations required to ensure well-functioning food and agricultural markets.</div> <div> </div> <div> <div>Three areas in particular demand decisive action:</div> <ul><li>Biofuels expansion – There is a clear international consensus that current policies to encourage biofuel expansion, particularly in the United States and Europe, are a major contributor to rising demand, tight supplies and rising prices. Yet international institutions, from the G-20 to the U.N. High-Level Task Force to the CFS, have diluted their demands for actions to address this problem.</li> <li>Price volatility – High spikes in prices remain a major problem for poor people worldwide, and for foodimporting developing countries in particular. The policy goal, for effective market functioning and for food security, should be relatively stable prices that are remunerative to farmers and affordable to consumers. We find few concrete actions toward this goal. There is strong evidence that financial speculation contributed to recent food-price volatility, though there remains considerable debate on the subject. As an FAO report on the topic noted, there is no demonstrated benefit to the public of allowing such speculation, and the potential costs are huge. Precautionary regulations are warranted but few have been taken. Similarly, the lack of publicly held food reserves contributes to the shortages that make speculation possible while leaving vulnerable countries at risk. Reserves should be explored more actively than simply as emergency regional humanitarian policy instruments. </li> <li>Land grabs – The scale and pace of land grabs is truly alarming, driven by financial speculation and land-banking by sovereign wealth funds in resource-constrained nations. The consensus is that such investments are not good for either food security or development. As laudable as recent efforts are to promote “responsible agricultural investment,” these initiatives risk being “too little too late” for a fast-moving phenomenon. Meanwhile, international institutions, such as the World Bank, must do more to protect smallscale producers’ access to land. </li> </ul><div> </div> <div>Fortunately, many developing countries are not waiting for international action or permission to more aggressively address the problems that can be dealt with at a national or regional level. Many of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) projects in Africa, for example, emphasize the kinds of changes that are needed. CAADP has four pillars: land and water management, market access, food supply and hunger, and agricultural research. Bangladesh and other countries used food reserves to reduce the impact of the food-price spikes in far more ambitious efforts than the G-20 is proposing to support in West Africa. </div> <div> </div> <div>Developing-country governments will be central to bringing about such changes. They need the policy space to pursue their own solutions and they need the support of the international community to demand deeper reform in developed-country policies. The evidence discussed in this report suggests the paradigm shift has started but is incomplete. Many developing-country governments have chosen to step away from the prevailing orthodoxy of the last several decades and are again exploring a larger role for the public sector in governing agriculture and food. Donors, too, have shown some willingness to re-order priorities and to give greater space to agriculture, and to changing priorities within agricultural spending to acknowledge the need for more inclusive and sustainable outcomes. But they still resist more fundamental reform and continue to promote private investment and liberalized markets, relying on humanitarian aid and social safety nets to try to help those who are displaced by the policies.</div> <div> </div> <div>Perhaps not surprisingly, developed-country governments have yet to make the needed changes to their domestic policies. Comfortable with re-ordering development priorities, governments of rich countries have proved unwilling to look at their domestic agricultural economies to see what changes are needed there. If the most powerful countries are not willing to make the changes at home that would help international markets perform better, they should at a minimum stop undermining international efforts, at the U.N. and within </div> <div>and among developing countries, to address the fundamental causes of the food crisis.</div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2012_01_17_ResolvingFoodCrisis_SM_TW.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=885806" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">2012_01_17_ResolvingFoodCrisis_SM_TW.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">865.04 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 18 Jan 2012 15:48:00 +0000 Andrew Ranallo 41680 at https://www.iatp.org The New NAFTA: Agricultural export impacts https://www.iatp.org/documents/new-nafta-agricultural-export-impacts <div data-history-node-id="44005" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-trade has-field-primary-category has-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/dr-steve-suppan" hreflang="en">Dr. Steve Suppan</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2019-07/The%20New%20NAFTA%20Agricultural%20Export%20Impacts.pdf"><strong><em>Download the PDF here</em></strong></a></p> <p><span><span>A June 11 <span><span><a href="https://www.nmpf.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/A-Letter-from-U.S.-Food-and-Agriculture-Associations-and-Companies.pdf">letter</a></span></span> to the leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from U.S. food and agriculture organizations urged “swift ratification” of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). However, given the miniscule increase in agricultural exports to Mexico and Canada forecast by the <span><span><a href="https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4889.pdf">U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) report</a></span></span> released on April 18, and the lack of cost of production estimates for producing those exports, the report provides no agricultural economic basis for Congress to approve the USMCA. </span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong>Key messages:</strong></span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><span><span>The USITC-estimated agricultural exports increase for the USMCA is insignificant, relative to the 2015-2017 average annual value of U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico.</span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>The USMCA’s promotion of agricultural biotechnology exports will further increase U.S. farmer costs of production, keeping prices paid to farmers below the cost of production, and making farmers dependent on U.S. taxpayer compensation for U.S. market and policy failure. </span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>The USITC report fails to estimate the likely impacts of climate change on USMCA agricultural trade. The USMCA is not a “modernized” NAFTA but a 20th century agreement that ignores climate change as a systemic risk to trade.</span></span></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span>The USITC forecasts a mere 1.1 percent increase ($2.2 billion) in U.S. agricultural exports and 1.8 percent ($3.1 billion) increase in imports, relative to the 2017 baseline (<span>Table E.S. 3, p.17)</span>, when other USMCA chapters are “fully implemented.” Full implementation means completion of transitions “including all other provisions in chapter 2 of this report,” (p. 117), i.e. quantified economy-wide estimates of agricultural trade value of USMCA provisions on intellectual property, technical barriers to trade (labeling, quality grading), agricultural chemicals, industrial goods (e.g. farm machinery) reduction of uncertainty for investors, etc. However, no period is specified for full implementation. </span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><a href="http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/trade-games-are-back-the-usitc-report-on-the-new-nafta">According to economist Dean Baker</a></span></span>, USITC’s econometric forecasting model, the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), assumes a 16-year period for full implementation. If the GTAP phase-in period is applied to the USITC’s agricultural export projection of $2.2 billion, U.S. agribusiness can look forward to an average additional $137 million in exports over the 2017 baseline. What is the historical baseline for the $2.2 billion increase touted in the June 11 agribusiness letter? Here’s an estimate.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>An August 29, 2018, <span><span><a href="https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/IN10962.html">Congressional Research Service brief</a></span></span> stated that between 2015 and 2017, U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico averaged $18.6 billion annually. The USDA’s <span><span><a href="https://www.fca.gov/template-fca/download/MajorUSAgriculturalExportMarkets.pdf">Farm Credit Administration reported</a></span></span> that in 2017, U.S. food and agriculture exports to Canada were valued at a bit more than $20 billion. Once all the transition periods of the non-agricultural chapters related to the agricultural chapter are phased in, the USMCA is forecast to add an annual $137 million to the $38.6 billion in agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico facilitated under the current terms of NAFTA. In sum, the USMCA will increase agricultural exports annually by all of 0.4 percent above the current level.  </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Even this minute addition to current NAFTA-mediated agricultural trade with Mexico and Canada obscures real questions about the winners and losers of this deal. A <span><span><a href="http://www.bu.edu/gdp/files/2019/06/PolicyBrief7NAFTAPolaskiCalpadoGallagher2019.pdf">Global Development Policy Center comment</a></span></span> on the entire USITC report asks, “If there was so little [Gross Domestic Product from NAFTA] effect overall, why is the agreement still so controversial? It is precisely because trade creates winners and losers—something long recognized by trade economists—as economies adjust to different costs of production in trading partner countries,” (p. 2). In agriculture, the NAFTA winners have been agribusiness commodity groups, traders, processors and input producers. <span><span><a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/08/07/541671747/nafta-s-broken-promises-these-farmers-say-they-got-the-raw-end-of-trade-deal">The losers are most farmers and the rural communities</a></span></span> in which dwindling farm income circulates. <span><span><a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/new-nafta-puts-brakes-farm-policy-reforms">As IATP has written</a></span></span>, the New NAFTA puts the brakes on future U.S. agricultural policy reform.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The USMCA doesn’t change this grim situation. Indeed, by enabling trade of agricultural goods from expensive genome and gene edited seeds—whose traits could include resistance to proprietary pesticides—USMCA will help increase the costs of agricultural production while doing nothing to increase prices paid by agribusiness to farmers and ranchers. A <span><span><a href="https://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications/fedgazette/farmers-heading-to-fields-hoping-for-better-days">Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis article</a></span></span> in March 2019 notes, “<span>total costs for inputs like seed, fertilizer, pesticide, fuel, and electricity have risen by 50 percent (inflation-adjusted) since 2006 for Minnesota farmers.” These costs will rise further under the USMCA’s promotion of “trade in products of modern biotechnology.” USMCA’s article on genome “edited” food and agriculture enables their trade in thousands of products (Article 3.1) “without authorization” (Chapter 3, Section A), i.e. without risk assessment.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Given the widely reported collapse in U.S. net farm income (cash receipts plus government payments) since 2013, it’s clear that prices paid by agribusiness to farmers have not increased by an inflation-adjusted 50 percent. The Minneapolis Fed charts how prices paid to farmers have been at or below the cost of production since 2010. Despite U.S. taxpayer compensation for trade policy and market failures, and despite the non-farm jobs that contribute the largest share of income to most U.S. farm households, Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies have spiked in the Fed’s Ninth District. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>It is difficult to isolate the effects of any trade agreement from the effects of the domestic policy with which trade policy is coordinated, in this case the <span><span><a href="https://academic.oup.com/ajae/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ajae/aay112/5425529?redirectedFrom=fulltext">Farm Bill</a></span></span>. However, the 1996 so-called “Freedom to Farm” Bill and subsequent versions have been designed to comply with U.S. trade agreements and maximize production for export. USMCA is part of a U.S. agricultural export policy that <span><span><a href="https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40152.pdf">requires farmers to rely on taxpayer subsidies and off-farm income</a></span></span>—a little more than 80 percent of U.S. farm household income in 2017—to compensate partially for trade related agricultural market failure.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center (APAC) (<span><span><a href="https://www.agpolicy.org/weekcol/2019/976.html">“Surviving Trade Wars,”</a></span></span> May 17, 2019), despite the increase in the value of agricultural exports (and imports), “<span><span>over the last 150 years, there have been only three times, totaling maybe 15 or so years, that exports have resulted in profitable prices for major crops in general: WWI, WWII, and the mid-1970s.” Betting the farm on exports is usually profitable for agribusiness and food processors, but seldom for farmers. “What we need,” writes APAC, “is a policy mechanism that delivers a fair price for farmers.” That policy mechanism begins in the Farm Bill and the prevention of anti-competitive agribusiness practices, such as the currently reported price fixing in the chicken industry—not in trade at any cost policy.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>The puny-USITC projected increase in agricultural exports will not reverse the falling income from U.S. farm operations, considering (as the USITC does not) the “likely impacts” of the costs of producing those exports. Climate change-related costs affecting agricultural production, processing and transportation are among the most important and likely. As IATP wrote to the USITC, the USMCA fails to estimate the trade related costs of climate change. A key message of the second volume of the Trump administration’s <span><span><em><a href="https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/downloads/NCA4_2018_FullReport.pdf">Fourth National Climate Assessment</a></em></span></span><em> </em>is,<em> </em>“The impacts of climate change variability, and extreme events outside the United States are affecting and are virtually certain to increasingly affect U.S. trade and economy, including import and export prices and businesses with overseas operations and supply chains,” (pp. 25-26).</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Nevertheless, the USMCA, like U.S. trade policy in general, contains no provisions to adapt to climate change nor to reduce greenhouse gases emissions in traded products and services, including those of the digital economy. In late June, <em>Politico </em>reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been <span><span><a href="https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/23/agriculture-department-climate-change-1376413">suppressing staff studies on climate change impacts</a></span></span>.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>What most clearly makes the USMCA a 20th century agreement, rather than a “modernized” NAFTA, is its failure to include measures to require that traded products and services adapt to climate </span></span><span><span>change and reduce greenhouse gases. <span><span><a href="https://www.iatp.org/documents/comments-no-tpa-105-003-united-states-mexico-canada-agreement-likely-impact-us-economy">IATP wrote to the ITC</a></span></span> that in addition to increasing trade in fossil fuels, “the USMCA further entrenches trinational Confined Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs) whose feed grain fertilizer and animal agriculture manure management practices are a major source of nitrous oxide and methane, respectively,” (p. 4). At a time when large investor groups are threatening to disinvest from corporations that <span><span><a href="https://www.cdp.net/en/articles/media/group-of-88-investors-target-over-700-companies-for-not-reporting-environmental-information">fail to disclose their Climate Value at Risk</a></span></span> and their investments to become climate resilient and when banks are advised to perform <span><span><a href="https://www.americanbanker.com/news/why-banks-should-stress-test-for-climate-change">stress tests to predict climate change losses</a></span></span> to their investment and loan portfolios, USMCA makes the United States more vulnerable to climate change impacts. Notwithstanding academic studies on the impact of trade on climate change, <span><span><a href="https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/01/30/wto-chief-denial-climate-impact-trade/">trade policy remains in denial about climate change</a></span></span>.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The Trump administration, by ignoring climate change and suppressing studies about it, ensures that the USMCA does not modernize NAFTA, but instead exacerbates its environmental and economic failures. The tiny USITC-projected agricultural export increase, the failure to estimate the costs of production for that increase, and the USDA's suppression of the likely impacts of climate change on agriculture combine to make the USMCA a trade agreement that Congress must reject. Congressional rejection of the New NAFTA would be the policy shock to spur Congress to modify the <span><span><a href="https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43491.pdf">Trade Promotional Authority Act of 2015</a></span></span> and restore its Constitutional obligations under Article 1, Section 8 “to regulate Commerce with Foreign Nations.” That rejection would be the first step towards crafting a sustainable trade policy.</span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2019-07/The%20New%20NAFTA%20Agricultural%20Export%20Impacts.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=205436" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">The New NAFTA Agricultural Export Impacts.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">200.62 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/trade2" hreflang="en">Trade</a></div> </div> </div> Wed, 17 Jul 2019 19:28:00 +0000 Chris Palmquist 44005 at https://www.iatp.org Midwest family farm groups step up fight against factory farms https://www.iatp.org/documents/midwest-family-farm-groups-step-fight-against-factory-farms <div data-history-node-id="43994" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-agriculture has-field-primary-category has-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author-text field--type-text-long field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author (free form)</div> <div class="field--item"><p>The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span>In state capitals across the Midwest, opposition to legislation pushed by corporate agriculture lobbyists to favor factory farms continues to grow. The <em>Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment</em> (CFFE), made up of rural-based, family farm membership groups in Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri, organized to hold factory farms and legislators accountable for the harm these operations do to independent family farmers, rural communities, and our water and air.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>In each state, family farmers, local elected representatives and citizens, both rural and urban, stood up and acted against factory farm lobbyists and their attempts to pass laws that fuel the industrialization and corporate control of livestock markets, while eroding protections from factory farms:</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>In Minnesota</span></span></strong><span><span>, the <em>Land Stewardship Project</em> (LSP) successfully beat back a series of efforts by the industry to tilt the playing field toward factory farms by weakening permitting requirements and environmental review of factory farms. Also, though it didn’t pass, LSP built legislative support to repeal the manure lagoon property tax exemption and to reinstate a Citizens’ Board, a powerful tool that would require a public environmental review of factory farms. LSP also won a series of policies that support independent family farmers protecting the land, including additional money for the <em>Forever Green Initiative</em> that helps develop markets for cover crops and perennials; boosts resources for <em>Farm-to-School</em> programs that benefit farmers, kids and rural communities; and increases funding for meat and poultry inspection that is important for independent meat processors and small- and medium-sized livestock farmers who sell directly to consumers.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span><span>In Missouri</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span>, the <em>Missouri Rural Crisis Center</em> organized a major fight to protect county level, local control over regulating corporate factory farms. Because state protections are almost non-existent, 20</span></span></span><span><span><span> rural counties in Missouri have passed health ordinances that enact common sense safeguards to protect communities from pollution, health impacts and environmental damage caused by corporate-controlled CAFOs. After an enormous fight, the state legislature ultimately passed a bill that strips counties of the right to pass new health ordinances. As part of the campaign, MRCC engaged tens of thousands of Missourians who contacted their legislators to stop this attack on their right to protect their property, air and water and communities from the negative impacts of corporate industrial agriculture.</span></span></span> </span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>“This campaign was about more than protecting Local Control,” said MRCC. “It was focused on undue corporate influence on our government and democratic process, and the negative impacts of factory farms on family farms, rural communities, water and air, and our food system. This example, the taking of local control from our rural counties, shows </span></span></span><span><span><span>how willfully out-of-touch our Governor and state legislature are with Missourians from every corner of the state. CAFOs make up only 1/2 of 1% of Missouri’s farming operations, around 500 out of nearly 100,000. Our elected representatives should work to protect the majority of farm families and rural Missourians, instead of a small number of corporate-controlled CAFOs.” MRCC is continuing to organize around the enormous power built during this campaign. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>MRCC also successfully defeated a bill to ban local elected representatives from inspecting corporate CAFOs to enforce local ordinances; and forced a vote on the House floor on an amendment to stop foreign corporate ownership of Missouri farmland</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span><span>In Iowa</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span>, </span></span></span><em><span><span><span>Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement</span></span></span></em><span><span><span> built legislative support for two major bills challenging the factory farm industry. One, called for a moratorium on new or expanding factory farms. Iowa currently has over 10,000 factory farms and over 750 impaired waterways. A moratorium would put a halt on the construction of factory farms so Iowa could address the factory farm and clean water crisis in the state. CCI organized to get 20 legislative sponsors/supporters in the House and 5 in the Senate. Another bill closed a tax law loophole that makes factory farm manure pits exempt from property taxation. This preferential property tax treatment shifts the property tax burden onto neighboring small farmers and rural residents. Through a fiscal impact statement, CCI uncovered that at least $4.5 million dollars in revenue are lost through this property tax exemption. If the bill had passed this funding could have been used for infrastructure, education, hospitals or other public entities. Both bills were blocked by Republican leadership despite growing momentum for a moratorium and changes to the factory farm industry. CCI also campaigned against a factory farm industry-backed revised Ag-gag bill, designed to intimidate employees and neighbors of factory farms from exposing unsafe working conditions, animal abuse, and environmental violations. While the law passed, CCI joined a lawsuit with the ACLU and other allies challenging this new bill in the court system. CCI, along with Food and Water Watch and Public Justice, also filed a lawsuit against the state of Iowa in the fight for clean water.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>In South Dakota</span></span></strong><span><span>, <em>Dakota Rural Action</em> (DRA) beat back a pair of bills pushed by CAFO backers designed to use public money to incentivize counties to approve new CAFOs. One bill would have<strong> </strong>allowed up to $200,000 of the contractor’s excise tax (2% on all materials and labor) levied on CAFO construction or improvements to be given to the school district in which the CAFO was built. DRA helped stop the bill, making the case that this would give CAFO investors additional leverage in the permitting process, and this was not the way to fund public education. DRA also helped stop a second tax diversion bill that would have given 50% of all taxes levied during construction or remodeling of a CAFO to the county in which it is located. </span></span><span><span><span>The Governor's Office of Economic Development has now started an incentive program strangely similar to these tax diversion bills, which promises counties excise tax kickbacks if they approve CAFOs. DRA is fighti</span></span></span><span><span><span><span>ng that program county by county. </span></span></span></span><span><span>DRA also worked successfully with members on the ground to pass a moratorium on new CAFOs in several South Dakota counties. </span></span></span></span></p> <hr /><p><span><span><span><span><span>The <em>Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment</em> (CFFE) consists of four Midwest state-based membership organizations and two national organizations fighting against corporate factory farms. CFFE works to oppose national, state and local policies propping up corporate factory farms and damaging independent family farmers, extracting wealth from our rural communities, and polluting our land, water and air. CFFE helps citizens organize and defend local control, preserve the use of public resources for the public good, and apply more democratic decision-making.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>CFFE is composed of the </span></span><span><a href="https://morural.org/"><span><span>Missouri Rural Crisis Center</span></span></a></span><span><span>, </span></span><span><a href="http://iowacci.org/"><span><span>Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement</span></span></a></span><span><span>, </span></span><span><a href="https://www.dakotarural.org/"><span><span>Dakota Rural Action</span></span></a></span><span><span>, </span></span><span><a href="https://landstewardshipproject.org/"><span><span>Land Stewardship Project</span></span></a></span><span><span>, </span></span><span><a href="https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/"><span><span>Food &amp; Water Watch</span></span></a></span><span><span>, and the </span></span><span><a href="https://www.iatp.org/"><span><span>Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy</span></span></a></span><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 17:49:41 +0000 Chris Palmquist 43994 at https://www.iatp.org Farm and food groups to Congress: Reject the USMCA https://www.iatp.org/documents/farm-and-food-groups-congress-reject-usmca <div data-history-node-id="43993" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-trade has-field-primary-category has-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>We write to you as representatives of US family farm, ranching, farmworker, local foods, public health, and sustainable agriculture organizations to urge you to reject the current version of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). The new agreement does nothing to fix the fundamental shortcomings of the previous North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while further locking in trade rules that have devastated family farms and expanded corporate control over agriculture and our food system in all three countries. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The situation confronting family farmers is dire. According to data from the 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture, nearly 250,000 small to medium scale farmers have been driven out of agriculture since the original NAFTA began. The promised benefits of increased farm exports and profits under NAFTA have not trickled down to farmers, farmworkers or rural communities. Instead, a handful of well-financed multinational firms have captured these export markets through vertical integration and now control greater shares of agricultural inputs, seeds, and equipment, while there are fewer buyers of crops, meat and poultry. In the absence of effective federal anti-trust enforcement in the agriculture sector, the diminished competition forces farmers to accept whatever prices -- and conditions -- are dictated by agribusinesses. U.S. agribusiness exports have, in turn, economically undercut family farmers abroad and, coupled with this removal of land tenure rights compelled in the first NAFTA negotiations, driven millions of Mexican farmers from their lands, forcing many of them to become farmworkers in Mexico or the US under precarious and unfair conditions. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Even the administration’s own report on USMCA projects vanishingly small economic benefits. The International Trade Commission (ITC) forecasts that USMCA will generate just <em>1,700</em> new jobs in agriculture over the full period of its implementation. The ITC’s economic simulations of the impacts of agricultural market access changes in USMCA project an increase in US agriculture and food exports of $435 million and increases in imports of $80 million. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>When it comes to agriculture trade, however, farmers and rural communities can’t simply accept the conditions that this deal reinforces. In contrast to the mildly optimistic ITC projections, a new study by the University of Florida estimates that the failure to resolve problems confronting U.S. seasonal fruit and vegetable producers and the workers they depend upon could result in upwards of 8,000 jobs lost and a loss of $471.4 million in annual revenue to Florida’s overall economy if USMCA is ratified without changes.<a href="#_ftn1"><span><span><span><span><span>[1]</span></span></span></span></span></a> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The new USMCA takes a step back in other areas, reading like a deregulatory wish list for global agribusiness firms who operate in all three countries. It would create new obstacles to enact sensible rules on food safety, agricultural biotechnology, food labeling and pesticides. Rules on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards, Technical Barriers to Trade and Agriculture would direct regulators to choose the option that least distorts trade, rather than what best protects public health or the environment. A new chapter on Good Regulatory Practices would require regulators to submit new and existing rules to review by stakeholders from all countries. If approved, these new provisions would undoubtedly be extended to future negotiations with the EU, Japan and the UK. Taken together, these new rules create barriers to basic protections for farmers and workers, the land, our water and our health. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Many of our organizations made proposals to replace NAFTA with a better set of trade rules that would advance fair, healthy and sustainable food and farming systems. We called on the US government to press Canada and Mexico to withdraw their World Trade Organization complaints to Country of Origin Labeling for meat so that Congress could restore this popular program advancing market transparency and local food systems. Even this modest proposal was rejected.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>We urge you to reject the USMCA and instead insist on new trade rules that would serve the interests of family farmers, ranchers, indigenous communities, farm and food chain workers, consumers and our environment in all three nations.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Sincerely,</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>ActionAid USA</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Agroecology Research-Action Collaborative</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Alabama State Association of Cooperatives - Forkland, Alabama </span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, Inc.</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>American Indian Mothers, North Carolina</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake Counties Farmers Union, Ohio </span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Atrisco Land Grant, Atrisco, New Mexico</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, Tillery, North Carolina</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Black Farmers and Ranchers of New Mexico</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>California Institute for Rural Studies, Davis, California</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Community Alliance for Global Justice</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Community Farm Alliance</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Concerned Citizens of Tillery, North Carolina</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Cottage House, Inc. Ariton, Alabama</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Dakota Resource Council, North Dakota</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Dakota Rural Action, South Dakota</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Family Farm Defenders</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Farm Women United</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Food for Maine's Future</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Food &amp; Water Watch</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Greene County Democrat, weekly newspaper - Eutaw, Alabama</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>GROW North Texas</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>iEat Green, New York</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Idaho Organization of Resource Councils</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Kansas Black Farmers Association, Nicodemus, Kansas</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>La Mujer Obrera, El Paso, Texas</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Land Stewardship Project, Minnesota</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Local Environmental Agriculture Project, Inc., Virginia</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Main Street Cheese, LLC, New Hampshire</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Mississippi Association of Cooperatives, Jackson, Mississippi</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Missouri Rural Crisis Center</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>National Family Farm Coalition</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>National Latino Farmers &amp; Ranchers Trade Association</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Northern Plains Resource Council, Montana </span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Northeast Organic Farming Association - Interstate Council</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Northeast Organic Farming Association, New Hampshire</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Northeast Organic Farming Association, New York</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Northwest Forest Worker Center, Albany, California</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, Inc.</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>PLANT (Partners for the Land &amp; Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples)</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>PLBA Housing Development Corporation - Gainesville, Alabama</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Powder River Basin Resource Council, Wyoming</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Progressive Agriculture Organization</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Real Food Challenge</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Rural Advancement Fund of the National Sharecroppers Fund, Orangeburg, South Carolina</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Rural Vermont</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Savage Acres LLC, Virginia</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Slow Food North Shore, New York</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Slow Food USA</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Union of Concerned Scientists </span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Western Colorado Alliance</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>World Farmers, Lancaster, Massachusetts</span></span></span><br /><span><span><span>Western Organization of Resource Councils</span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><a href="#_ftnref1"><span><span><span><span><span>[1]</span></span></span></span></span></a> Available at <span><span><a href="https://fred.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/economic-impact-analysis/MexicoFruit&amp;Vegetable.pdf">https://fred.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/economic-impact-analysis/MexicoFruit&amp;Vegetable.pdf</a></span></span></span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/trade2" hreflang="en">Trade</a></div> </div> </div> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 15:47:29 +0000 Chris Palmquist 43993 at https://www.iatp.org Alternative agricultural systems https://www.iatp.org/blog/201907/alternative-agricultural-systems <span>Alternative agricultural systems</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/2863" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris Palmquist</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/09/2019 - 10:46</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>The following is an excerpt from </em><a href="https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2019/07/Beyond%20NAFTA.pdf">Beyond NAFTA 2.0: A Trade Agenda for People and the Planet</a><em> jointly published by the <a href="https://www.policyalternatives.ca/">Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives</a>, the <a href="https://ips-dc.org/">Institute for Policy Studies</a> and the <a href="http://www.rosalux-nyc.org/">Rosa Luxemburg Foundation</a>.</em></p></div> Tue, 09 Jul 2019 15:46:46 +0000 Chris Palmquist 43991 at https://www.iatp.org We need to tame Wall Street and Big Ag to empower carbon farmers https://www.iatp.org/blog/201906/we-need-tame-wall-street-and-big-ag-empower-carbon-farmers <span>We need to tame Wall Street and Big Ag to empower carbon farmers</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/2863" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris Palmquist</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/28/2019 - 10:15</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="https://rooseveltinstitute.org/we-need-to-tame-wall-street-and-big-ag-to-empower-carbon-farmers/"><em><strong>Also posted at the Roosevelt Institute</strong></em></a></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The Democratic primary debate on Thursday night was probably the first time that soil management — as climate policy — was ever mentioned at a primetime Presidential campaign event. It was also one of the first tangible mentions of farm policy in two nights of debates. </span></span></span></span></span></p></div> Fri, 28 Jun 2019 15:15:46 +0000 Chris Palmquist 43990 at https://www.iatp.org New UN report on agroecology for climate, food security and human rights https://www.iatp.org/blog/201906/new-un-report-agroecology-climate-food-security-and-human-rights <span>New UN report on agroecology for climate, food security and human rights</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/2863" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris Palmquist</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/26/2019 - 10:29</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>The United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will launch its report <em>Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition</em> next week in Rome.</div> Wed, 26 Jun 2019 15:29:44 +0000 Chris Palmquist 43989 at https://www.iatp.org New Zealand Zero Carbon Act targets big dairy farming https://www.iatp.org/blog/201906/new-zealand-zero-carbon-act-targets-big-dairy-farming <span>New Zealand Zero Carbon Act targets big dairy farming</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/2863" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris Palmquist</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/25/2019 - 14:01</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>New Zealand's proposed <span><span><a href="https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_87861/climate-change-response-zero-carbon-amendment-bill">Zero Carbon Act</a></span></span> would be one of the first globally to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions targets for agriculture, including dairy production.</div> Tue, 25 Jun 2019 19:01:48 +0000 Chris Palmquist 43986 at https://www.iatp.org Market Risk Advisory Committee meeting agenda item on Climate Related Financial Risk https://www.iatp.org/documents/market-risk-advisory-committee-meeting-agenda-item-climate-related-financial-risk <div data-history-node-id="43984" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-trade has-field-primary-category no-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <h3 > A letter to Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission</h3> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/dr-steve-suppan" hreflang="en">Dr. Steve Suppan</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><strong><em><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/Letter%20to%20the%20CFTC%20on%20Climate%20Financial%20Risk.pdf">Download the PDF here</a></em></strong></p> <p><span><span>The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)<a href="#_edn1"><span><span><span><span>[i]</span></span></span></span></a> attended the June 12 MRAC meeting at which the committee voted to authorize a subcommittee on climate related financial risk. IATP is encouraged that MRAC, rather than an asset class specific advisory committee, has created this subcommittee to report to MRAC for a November 2019 meeting. Climate change poses risks, as well as opportunities, for market participants and the public interest in all asset classes, so it is appropriate that MRAC should host this subcommittee.  </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Investor groups are targeting derivatives end users for possible disinvestments for failing to robustly disclose to investors their Climate Related Value at Risk (CVAR) and the actions they are taking to integrate climate change resilience planning and investment into their facilities, production processes and supply chains.<a href="#_edn2"><span><span><span><span>[ii]</span></span></span></span></a> It no longer suffices for publicly traded companies to report just projects to reduce corporate carbon dioxide emissions reductions or to “offset” emissions increases by buying emissions credits. Even privately held derivatives end users, such as Cargill, are exposed to reputational risk for failing to meet self-determined climate change risk reduction goals in their supply chains.<a href="#_edn3"><span><span><span><span>[iii]</span></span></span></span></a> The scale and frequency of climate change shocks to the logistics and delivery of physical commodities will change derivatives contract terms, such as delivery points and exchange estimated deliverable supply.<a href="#_edn4"><span><span><span><span>[iv]</span></span></span></span></a> </span></span></p> <p><span><span>It would be self-defeating if derivatives market end-users, broker dealers, exchanges, centralized clearing platforms, and, indeed, regulators, approached climate change as just one more risk factor to be incorporated into Business As Usual (BAU) risk modeling. The heterogeneity and scale of climate related financial risks is hinted at in the <em>Fourth [U.S.] Climate Assessment</em>: “<span>The impacts of climate change beyond our borders are expected to increasingly affect our trade and economy, including import and export prices and U.S. businesses with overseas operations and supply chains.”<a href="#_edn5"><span><span><span><span><span>[v]</span></span></span></span></span></a> Just as foreign subsidiary defaults cascaded back to the U.S. parent banks and shadow banks, helping to trigger the $29 trillion plus Federal Reserve Bank rescue loans from 2007 to 2010<a href="#_edn6"><span><span><span><span><span>[vi]</span></span></span></span></span></a>, climate change loss and damage, both financial and physical, from foreign subsidiaries will surely not stop at the rising water’s edge. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The current scenario analysis and modeling techniques for financial crises may prove to be inadequate for the worst-case scenarios of climate related financial crises.<a href="#_edn7"><span><span><span><span><span>[vii]</span></span></span></span></span></a> Market participants should not anticipate that governments and central banks, such as the Federal Reserve, will bailout systemically important and other large financial institutions again.<a href="#_edn8"><span><span><span><span><span>[viii]</span></span></span></span></span></a> Instead the CFTC should work with the prudential regulators to consider what modifications to current rules and guidance might be needed to prevent a climate related financial crisis triggered by massive and recurrent disruptions to the deliverable supply of underlying commodities and to corporate and public infrastructure financed by securitized bonds and debt instruments.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Should the subcommittee find that the derivatives industry and the CFTC lack adequate CVAR data upon which to base recommendations, MRAC may recommend data elements for a CFTC special call to gather such data for a staff study. However, if MRAC recommends such a study, it should not limit the use of the subcommittee’s report to setting the parameters for the study. MRAC’s initial and subsequent recommendations to manage climate related financial risk in the derivatives markets could start the CFTC on a 360-degree review of whether its definitions for non-financial commodities should be modified to increase the climate reliance of derivatives end users. For example, the increase in carbon dioxide emissions has resulted in protein decreases in grains and oilseeds that are the underlying for futures, options and swaps.<a href="#_edn9"><span><span><span><span>[ix]</span></span></span></span></a>  Should the CFTC use its delegated authority to require that grains and oilseed definitions in derivatives contracts have a protein content consistent with good agricultural practices to sequester greenhouse gases, e.g. nitrous oxide, rather than release it? Should the Commission propose that exchanges develop separate electricity derivatives contracts for renewably generated electricity? </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Perhaps the most urgent issue in adaptation to climate change is how to make the water cycle environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Yet the trading of base and precious metals derivatives contracts depends on a mining and metal processing industry whose water use, to say nothing of water contamination, is unsustainable.<a href="#_edn10"><span><span><span><span>[x]</span></span></span></span></a> Should the definition of metals derivatives contracts include water sustainability criteria for the underlying so that a contract be trade eligible? These questions indicate some of the issues that the subcommittee could consider under the Commodity Exchange Act provisions to ensure that price discovery serves the public interest, as well as serving the interest of market participants to become more resilient to climate change events and trends.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Financial derivatives also should be subject to a climate finance resilient review of instruments and trading practices. For example, climate change will negatively impact the terms and value of municipal bonds and the derivatives contracts based on those bonds.<a href="#_edn11"><span><span><span><span>[xi]</span></span></span></span></a> Will bonds issued by governments with no or poor resilience planning continue to receive the same ratings as governments that invest in climate resilient infrastructure and planning? Will investors buy bonds for infrastructure projects by governments or corporations with no or low climate resiliency investment and planning?</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Financial derivative contracts that package debt as a tradeable asset are another source of potential climate related financial risk. Corporate debt grew 20 percent to $1.1 trillion in 2018, according to the Federal Reserve Bank.<a href="#_edn12"><span><span><span><span>[xii]</span></span></span></span></a> Debt holders may default or the value of collateral be reduced or made uncertain by climate related events that are too “idiosyncratic” for algorithmic trading strategies to incorporate in price discovery.<a href="#_edn13"><span><span><span><span>[xiii]</span></span></span></span></a>  The subcommittee could initiate scenario analyses of such situations. Advised by the subcommittee’s report, MRAC might recommend to the Commission that it propose climate financial resilient modifications to rules and trading practices governing credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>The subcommittee should study how banks are beginning to incorporate climate financial risks into stress testing.<a href="#_edn14"><span><span><span><span>[xiv]</span></span></span></span></a> MRAC could recommend to the CFTC that it develop climate risk criteria for the stress testing models for futures and options exchanges, swaps execution facilities and centralized clearing platforms. The possibility of a climate shock triggered default cascade effecting the solvency or liquidity of adequately capitalized trading platforms may be remote at present. However, the non-linearity of climate shocks and trends may confound the ability of market participants and broker dealers to anticipate and manage prices risks, leading to exchange and clearing member defaults or liquidity crises.<a href="#_edn15"><span><span><span><span>[xv]</span></span></span></span></a> The subcommittee should be advised by consensus reports on climate science and the climate trends outlook at least to 2030 to prepare its report and recommendations for MRAC.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Finally, IATP greatly appreciates this opportunity to submit this short comment to assist the subcommittee’s and MRAC’s important work. We look to further assisting the subcommittee,  MRAC and the Commission to develop studies, rules, guidance and/or policy to enhance the climate financial resiliency of derivatives market participants and the public interest in derivatives markets.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Sincerely,</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Steve Suppan</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Senior Policy Analyst </span></span></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref1"><span><span><span><span>[i]</span></span></span></span></a> IATP is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) nongovernmental organization, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., with offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin, Germany. IATP has participated in the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition (CMOC) since 2009, and the Derivatives Task Force of Americans for Financial Reform since 2010. IATP has submitted several comments on CFTC rulemaking, and on consultation papers of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the European &lt; Securities and Markets Authority, and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Markets. IATP has participated in meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2008. In addition to contributing to UNFCCC position papers, IATP publishes its own climate related agricultural research, such as <span><span><a href="https://www.iatp.org/emissions-impossible#appendix%20and%20datasets">https://www.iatp.org/emissions-impossible#appendix%20and%20datasets</a></span></span> More IATP work on climate change is at <span><span><a href="https://www.iatp.org/climate-change">https://www.iatp.org/climate-change</a></span></span>  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref2"><span><span><span><span>[ii]</span></span></span></span></a> E.g. “Group of 88 investors targeting 700 companies for not reporting environmental information,” CDP, June 17, 2019. <span><span><a href="https://www.cdp.net/en/articles/media/group-of-88-investors-target-over-700-companies-for-not-reporting-environmental-information">https://www.cdp.net/en/articles/media/group-of-88-investors-target-over-700-companies-for-not-reporting-environmental-information</a></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref3"><span><span><span><span>[iii]</span></span></span></span></a> E.g., Kristen Leigh Painter, “Goal to save forests in Brazil is missed: Activists say Cargill should stop buying soybeans from destructive “rogue actors.” <em>Star Tribune</em>, June 14, 2017.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref4"><span><span><span><span>[iv]</span></span></span></span></a> Brian Sullivan and Mario Parker (Bloomberg News), “Hundreds of barges are stalled on Mississippi,” <em>Star Tribune</em>, June 11, 2019.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref5"><span><span><span><span>[v]</span></span></span></span></a> “Summary Findings,” Volume II, <span><span><a href="https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/">https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/</a></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref6"><span><span><span><span>[vi]</span></span></span></span></a> <span><span><a href="http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/29000000000000-a-detailed-look-at-the-feds-bailout-by-funding-facility-and-recipient">http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/29000000000000-a-detailed-look-at-the-feds-bailout-by-funding-facility-and-recipient</a></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref7"><span><span><span><span>[vii]</span></span></span></span></a> Frank Ackerman, <em>Worst Case Economics: Extreme Events in Climate and Finance</em>, Anthem Press, 2017.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref8"><span><span><span><span>[viii]</span></span></span></span></a> Sheila Bair, “Bank bailouts propped up the financial system. But we should never repeat them.” <em>Washington Post</em>, May 23, 2019.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref9"><span><span><span><span>[ix]</span></span></span></span></a> Helena Bottemiller Evich, “The Great Nutrient Collapse,” <em>Politico</em>, September 13, 2017. <span><span><a href="https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511">https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511</a></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref10"><span><span><span><span>[x]</span></span></span></span></a> “In Too Deep: Analysis for institutional investors of water security issues facing the mining and metals sector,” CDP, 2019. <span><span><a href="https://6fefcbb86e61af1b2fc4-c70d8ead6ced550b4d987d7c03fcdd1d.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/cms/reports/documents/000/004/613/original/CDP_Metals_and_mining_report_2019.pdf?1560876943">https://6fefcbb86e61af1b2fc4-c70d8ead6ced550b4d987d7c03fcdd1d.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/cms/reports/documents/000/004/613/original/CDP_Metals_and_mining_report_2019.pdf?1560876943</a></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref11"><span><span><span><span>[xi]</span></span></span></span></a> Ashley Schulten et al, “Getting physical: Scenario analysis for assessing climate related risks,” Blackrock Investor Institute, April 2019, 10-12. <span><span><a href="https://www.blackrock.com/us/individual/literature/whitepaper/bii-physical-climate-risks-april-2019.pdf">https://www.blackrock.com/us/individual/literature/whitepaper/bii-physical-climate-risks-april-2019.pdf</a></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref12"><span><span><span><span>[xii]</span></span></span></span></a> Jean Smialek, “Federal Reserve Warns as Debt Exceeds Peak Crisis Level,” <em>The New York Times</em>, May 6, 2019. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref13"><span><span><span><span>[xiii]</span></span></span></span></a> Philip Georgiadis, “Goldman jettisons all its commodity trading recommendations,” <em>Financial Times</em>, April 26, 2019. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref14"><span><span><span><span>[xiv]</span></span></span></span></a> Caroline Binham and David Crow, “Carney plans to test UK banks resilience to climate change,” <em>Financial Times</em>, December 16, 2018. Alan Kline, “Why banks should stress test for climate change,” <em>American Banker</em>, January 2, 2019.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><a href="#_ednref15"><span><span><span><span>[xv]</span></span></span></span></a> T. Friedrich et al, “Nonlinear climate sensitivity and its implications for future warming trends,” <em>Science Advances, </em>November 9, 2016.<em> </em><span><span><a href="https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/11/e1501923.full?intcmp=trendmd-adv">https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/11/e1501923.full?intcmp=trendmd-adv</a></span></span></span></span></span></p></div> <div class="field field--name-upload field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/Letter%20to%20the%20CFTC%20on%20Climate%20Financial%20Risk.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=136576" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">Letter to the CFTC on Climate Financial Risk.pdf</a></span><span class="file-size">133.38 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/trade2" hreflang="en">Trade</a></div> </div> </div> Mon, 24 Jun 2019 21:06:53 +0000 Chris Palmquist 43984 at https://www.iatp.org Agroecology: Key to agricultural resilience and ecosystem recovery https://www.iatp.org/agroecology-key-agricultural-resilience-and-ecosystem-recovery <div data-history-node-id="43980" class="node node--type-document node--view-mode-rss field-primary-category-agriculture has-field-primary-category has-field-teaser-image title-not-empty ds-1col clearfix"> <div class="field field--name-field-author field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Author</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/about/staff/iatp" hreflang="en">IATP</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><article class="media media-image view-mode-feature"> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/feat/public/2019-06/agroecology_CIAT.jpg?itok=MEoYzLEE" width="950" height="590" alt="Agroecology practices in Colombia" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-credit-flickr field--type-string field--label-hidden field--item">Used under creative commons license from <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/CIAT">CIAT</a></div> </article> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The IPCC gives us <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/"><span>12 years</span></a> to limit global warming to 1.5˚C. The <a href="https://www.ipbes.net/news/Media-Release-Global-Assessment"><span>IPBES Global Assessment</span></a> has revealed that nearly a million species are on the verge of disappearance at an unprecedented rate of extinction. Climate change has become a primary cause of biodiversity loss, while land use change is a key factor in both the climate and biodiversity crises. Both the IPCC and IPBES call for “transformative” change that can still reverse these catastrophic trends.</p> <p>Agroecology is a transformative approach that can galvanize a just transition away from a destructive conventional agriculture and food system to one that builds agricultural resilience, rebuilds ecosystems, supports localized, fair food systems and strengthens local communities. It is an innovative process that seeks to produce significant amounts of food by maintaining and enhancing biological and ecological processes through practices that minimize the use of external inputs, recycle nutrients, build healthy, fertile soils and conserve moisture in the agroecosystem.</p> <p>Agroecology puts more power in local farmers’ hands, in contexts where they have long been disempowered. It is built on traditional knowledge and cultural practices, enhanced by scientific advances, and spread through farmer-to-farmer exchanges. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) defines <a href="http://www.fao.org/family-farming/themes/agroecology/en/"><span>agroecology</span></a> as a scientific discipline, a set of practices and a movement. It is a dynamic concept that has evolved over decades to expand its scope from a focus on agroecosystems—understanding field-level farming practices that rely on high agrobiodiversity—to include not only ecological, but also socioeconomic, nutrition and even equity aspects of agriculture and food systems. While there are many techniques intended to improve environmental sustainability and yields, agroecology is an integrated approach to the entire agroecosystem (rather than individual plants, animals, humans or soil organisms). Agroecologists recognize that technological advances are essential, but that they occur in specific socioeconomic contexts that can either reinforce or challenge inequality and environmental sustainability.</p> <p>Key agroecological principles, based on experiential learning from social movements and networks of small-scale farmers, landless farmers and farmworkers, include:</p> <ol><li>Building on indigenous practices and knowledge generation, as well as empowering local farmers</li> <li>Recognizing women’s central roles as seed keepers, cultivators and workers</li> <li>Developing new techniques through experimentation and sharing among farmers and workers</li> <li>Respecting food sovereignty—the right of peoples to define their own food and agriculture systems, allowing producers to play a lead role in innovation and placing those who produce, distribute and consume food at the center of decisions on food systems and policies</li> </ol><p> </p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"><img alt="10 principles of agroecology" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3547f33f-a241-44b0-90dd-413500e46b69" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/all_elements.jpg" /><figcaption>10 principles of agroecology from the <a href="http://www.fao.org/home/en/">FAO</a></figcaption></figure><h2> </h2> <h2>Advancing agroecology through the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA)</h2> <p>Despite agroecology’s successes at withstanding droughts—and <a href="https://pubs.iied.org/6354IIED/"><span>hurricanes</span></a>—there is a lack of awareness among decision-makers of the significant potential of agroecology to tackle challenges related to the <a href="https://foodfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Farming-Matters-28-2-Agroecological-approaches-to-enhance-resilience.pdf"><span>climate and biodiversity crises</span></a>. As governments at the UNFCCC engage in the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) on adaptation, soils, nutrient use, manure management and livestock systems (see points: <a href="https://unfccc.int/files/meetings/bonn_nov_2017/application/pdf/cp23_auv_agri.pdf"><span>2.c, d, and e</span></a>), it is critical that they take note of progress being made on agroecology in key U.N. bodies and at national and sub-national levels to inform their discussions leading to an agriculture decision at COP 26 and integrate them in KJWA. In addition, these developments in agroecology should also be a central component in enhancing mitigation and adaptation within NDCs.</p> <h2>Lessons for the KJWA</h2> <p>Agroecology has been gaining ground in many U.N. processes, especially those centered at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). A recent decision by the <strong>FAO’s Committee on Agriculture</strong> (FAO 2018 COAG/2018/5) to support agroecology as a key approach to promote sustainable agriculture and food systems has given rise to FAO’s <a href="http://www.fao.org/3/I9049EN/i9049en.pdf"><span>Scaling up Agroecology Initiative</span></a> (SAI 2018), which aims to support national agroecology transition processes through policy and technical capacity that builds synergies between countries. SAI endorses the <a href="http://www.fao.org/3/i9037en/i9037en.pdf"><span>10 elements of agroecology</span></a> that are based on seminal scientific literature and inputs over a three year process of <strong>FAO regional and international </strong><a href="http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/1113475/icode/"><span>multi-stakeholder symposiums</span></a><strong> (2015-2018)</strong>. The Initiative will develop, implement and continuously improve tools, instruments and guidance documents for leading national agroecological transitions through alliance building, co-creation of knowledge and knowledge sharing. (See also <a href="http://www.agroeco.org/doc/new_docs/Agroeco_principles.pdf"><span>five principles of agroecology</span></a> and <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21683565.2015.1130765"><span>five levels of agroecological transitions</span></a>.)</p> <p>In addition, the <strong>U.N. Committee on World Food Security</strong> (<a href="http://www.fao.org/cfs"><span>CFS</span></a><span>)</span> (the foremost inclusive intergovernmental and international mechanism on food security and nutrition) requested its <strong>High Level Panel of Experts</strong> (<a href="http://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-hlpe/en/"><span>HLPE</span></a><span>) </span>in 2017 to elaborate on agroecological approaches and other innovations for building sustainable food systems that enhance food and nutrition security. This <strong>HLPE #14 report</strong> will be released in Rome in <span>July 2019</span>, and its recommendations will be taken up for consideration in October 2019 during the CFS annual meeting. A set of CFS decisions are expected in 2020. Decisions from the CFS would not only guide national policies on food and agriculture and contribute to informed national debates on food sovereignty and the right to food, but also help guide the three Rome-based U.N. food agencies in their regional and country level program development. The KJWA process should in no way undermine the progress being made in these other fora on agroecology and should seek to incorporate the benefits of agroecology in both international and national level climate policy on agriculture.</p> <h2>Benefits of adopting agroecology</h2> <p>A <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283721240_Social_and_economic_performance_of_Agroecology"><span>review of scientific literature</span></a> examining social and economic indicators in 42 studies showed that adopting agroecological practices increased yields (in 60% of comparisons), labor productivity (100% of comparisons) and farm profitability (56% of comparisons), and decreased labor demand (75% of comparisons, likely resulting from an increase in yield and labor productivity). Because of its emphasis on minimal external inputs, instead recycling nutrients through a reliance on biological processes and agrobiodiversity, agroecological practices can be labor intensive but not necessarily cash intensive. This is an area for further research as the social and economic performance of agroecology and its indicators are not as well-documented as its impacts on farming communities and other practitioners.</p> <p>Agroecology increases production in ways that enhance biodiversity and nutritional diversity due to a reliance on integrated cropping systems rather than unsustainable and intensive monocrop production. This diversified approach also reduces vulnerability to biotic and abiotic stress from weather and disease. The advantages of this approach were conclusively demonstrated in the <strong>2008 International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)</strong>, a multi-year study involving hundreds of experts and several U.N. agencies. The findings were re-substantiated in <a href="https://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/food/docs/a-hrc-16-49.pdf"><span>a report submitted in 2010 to the U.N. Human Rights Council</span></a> by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter. It showed the additional value of agroecology, not only for fast progress in the realization of the right to food for vulnerable groups in various environments, but also for economic development. The report called for appropriate public policies to create an enabling environment.</p> <h2>Way Forward for the KJWA</h2> <p>The KJWA should build upon these and other international processes that are well underway. A number of national and regional governments are also moving forward with policy and funding support to institutionalize and operationalize agroecology. Parties participating in the KJWA should take the time to understand what their own governments are doing with regards to research and support for the expansion, operationalization and implementation of agroecology. They can learn from and build upon current international, national and subnational processes. At a minimum, the discussions and any actions taken through the KJWA must not undermine the enormous potential of agroecology to meet international climate and food security goals.</p> <p><a href="https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/2019-06/2019_06_11_Agroecology_links_IATP.pdf">Download a PDF of this fact sheet.</a></p></div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Primary category</div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/agriculture2" hreflang="en">Agriculture</a></div> </div> </div> Sun, 16 Jun 2019 22:49:51 +0000 Colleen Borgendale 43980 at https://www.iatp.org