CONCORD held the third FATE Forum (Food, Agriculture, Trade and Environment) on December 6.

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Where: Mundo B, Brussels
When: December 6, 09:30-19:00

This was the 3rd Forum on Food, Agriculture, Trade and Environment organised by CONCORD. The global context has changed since the first Forum was held in 2008: several food price crises, the financial and economic crisis, a new climate change deal and, of course, the Committee on World Food Security had been heavily reformed. New European policies have been developed such as the 2010 EU Food Security Policy Framework, the 2012 Communication on Resilience, the 2011 EU development policy ‘Agenda for Change’, the 2012 Communication on Trade and Development, the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, and more broadly, the EU-wide 10-year economic Strategy called EU2020. Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) has also gained momentum on the EU’s agenda. Importantly, 2012 is the year of the legislative debate on the post-2013 reform of the Common Agriculture Policy. At the international level, the G8 and G20 have been intensifying their initiatives in the area of food and nutrition security while the Doha round of the WTO trade negotiations are still in deadlock. The Rio+20 Summit on sustainable development took place in July, while the international development community is preparing a new framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals after 2015.

All the above provided numerous reasons to carry on with the effort of creating internal coherence within CONCORD. Moreover, it also raised the need to learn more about the different connections between all the aforementioned issues.

CONCORD’s working group on food security – EFSG – had been leading the organisation of the 2012 FATE forum. The theme chosen for 2012 was investment in agriculture.

Due to the food crisis, agriculture is back on the global agenda. And all stakeholders now agree that there is a need to invest again in agriculture, to support food production by small-scale producers. But how? And by whom? To do what?

At the same time, there has been an increasing recognition of a global food governance gap, global food governance is required to address, most notably, investment issues. But how do we fill this gap: will the lead be given to the G8/G20 (L’Aquila Initiative, New Alliance), the World Bank (GAFSP) or to a renewed CFS which seeks to engage with inclusive policies to guide investments?